faith and the south african covid variant

on the news, we keep hearing about how the new strain of coronavirus from south africa will spread quicker and is more deadly than the original strain. people here in the usa are asking if the vaccines will protect against the new strains. scientists are still trying to test and see what all the possibilities are.

but what about the people in south africa? with about 60 million people– the vast majority who are poor and living in townships– how is the virus being contained there?

how fast will the new variant spread to other parts of the continent? when will these poor countries get vaccines? when they get the vaccines, when will they get “herd immunity?”

how many more people will die because of covid?

while it is natural to consider first how we (my family, neighborhood, city, state, country), are we blinded to those whose situations are more dire? is this another dimension of “white privilege” bias in the media whereas the suffering and deaths of people of color are less important and rarely reported?

yesterday, i saw a two graphs of chicago. the first graph showed the neighborhoods that had the most deaths from covid. the second showed where the vaccines have been administered. you guessed it: the concentration of deaths are in neighborhoods with people of color and the most vaccinated are predominantly white neighborhoods.

there are positive steps however. the new president, joe biden, has vowed to work multilaterally with the world health organization and COVAX to poorer nations. but we all know that hoarding by richer countries can happen, but our participation with the WHO can better address vaccine roll outs.

people of faith need to continue to pray– to change the various situations and to change us through this heavy cross. we all need the gifts of the Spirit to steel our spines and bring comfort to our brothers and sister who suffer.

let us pray:

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.



  1. beccamac2001 says:

    Hi ya Father Art!
    This one has me scratching my head.
    I feel like we were not sufficiently scared , or at least some of us by the first virus.
    Now boom magically it is appearing , apparently originated in Africa.
    Oddly we have three cases here in Arizona , none of these people have been to Africa or most likely even know anyone from there.
    I realize the things we are exposed to can be the instigator but honestly this seems like more scare tactics to me and I am not a person who will refuse the vaccine, nor am I a supporter of scare tactics.
    To be honest I am more than a little pissed off at the growing ability of government to nitpick ridiculous agendas while giving lip service to the most pressing issues.
    I was not pro Tump and I am also not pro Biden.
    His morals and values have me questioning if he is the right person to be in the Oval Office. and as for his successor , (let’s be real) yikes 😱.
    I guess my main point is while they play smoke and mirrors with vaccine availability and now the new threat of different strains , what is really going on? How much legislation, bills or whatever they are called are being slipped right past us?
    We are not a national of, to use an old school team fraidy cats (wow auto hates me) I fear our youngsters coming up will be influenced to just agree with what they are told.
    I have had talks with my grands that are of age to get it.
    The youngest is 10 and had a complete melt down a couple months ago.
    Her parents are amazing people (daughter and hubs) they get up extra early to read the gospel and exercise before work. They immediately realized she needed a little extra love, hugs, something new to do.
    When she started crying out of the blue and said covid is ruining my life they stepped up.
    The rest are all teens and have formed their own opinions.
    It’s a wide range. We talk , they are very skeptical from the get go about our government.
    Our son and his wife are still working the covid units and have held the hand of more dying people than they ever thought possible when they became nurses. We went to their house for dinner for my birthday , the stress on them is real and so poignant. While Prescott has been truly for the most part minimally affected it doesn’t lessen the impact of working 110 hours in two weeks in the covid units.
    Sorry to be so lengthy , I really feel deep in my heart we are being bamboozled 😳.
    I think the people who are in power of our country and the whole world are not who we think and are not and have not been in a long while decent human beings.
    Peace and love
    From Prescott


    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for the response becca. certainly, responding to a global health is difficult. all the more when people use it for political advantage. that was part of my point in the post: if we are only concerned about the usa, we are being shortsighted. only by working together as nations can we effectively defeat this virus. your son and his wife have seen the effects firsthand and it amazes me the outright obtuse attitudes that so many have amidst the suffering and death. it shows how little respect for human life exists.

      also, if we as a nation with all the resources and wonderful people who are going the extra mile to address this pandemic are struggling this much– how much more with developing countries– like every nation in africa. icu and hospitals are few and far between in such countries. unfortunately, we are going to see much more death and suffering from our brothers and sisters around the world


  2. DC says:

    Awesome reflective prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

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