Tony Joseph

Headline: “Coronavirus may cost millions of jobs.”

It is not the virus that will cost hardworking Americans their jobs, it is the panic caused by the fear of the virus.

We should be fearful of many things, but we should never panic because in the panic mode, we lose intelligence and self control. I do not want to catch the flu, nor do I want anyone else to get it.

I want my family protected and healthy and living wisely so that they avoid situations that could be harmful to them.

We get our flu shots, eat wisely and exercise daily. But because of panic, our government leaders have made that very difficult with closures and restrictions in our normal daily lives. To date, we have 280 deaths from the virus.

During 2019 and for previous decades before this, at least 22,000 Americans died yearly because of the flu.

We should put all of our resources into finding the best treatment, a vaccine and hopefully a cure. But to shut down the country and ruin the economy because political leaders know how to save us is folly to say the least.

The media and the political differences will not help but rather dismay us. We in the 21st century demand instant results – we should have had a cure and vaccine the day after the “Chinese” flu started.

Chicken Little is screaming “the sky is falling” and we are afraid it is true. Because we are forced to sit around until politicians decide it is safe to go outside to work and play, we will have more spousal and child abuse, more suicides and nine months from now, more newborns.

We cannot even go to the comforting services to God in our churches because of fear and panic.

“Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow death I will fear no evil!”

Comforting words from God, but like in the song “American Pie,” “Not a word was spoken; the church bells all were broken.

“I saw Satan laughing with delight the day the music died.”

Let us hope that, “The three men I admire the most; the father, son and the holy ghost,” do not take the last train for the coast the day the music died.

Music and singing are inspirational tools in all religions, but they have been silenced by fear and panic.

The people who do not attend church regularly are not affected by church leaders closing services, but the faithful see the absurdity of keeping them away from the house of God.

Jesus said, “I have come to give you life!” Live it wisely and live it the proper and healthy way that he has guided you.

Be careful out there and do not cause others to get ill and do not get ill from others. With the intercessions of the mother of God and the prayers of the saints and angels, this virus will be defeated.

But I pray and hope we do not destroy ourselves before we are victorious.

We beat the swine flu, the Spanish flu and many other little bugs that make life challenging. With faith, we will defeat this virus also.

Like one more line from Don McLean: “And do you have faith in God above?”

Help us, God, where our faith falls short.

The Rev. Tony Joseph, of Richland Township, is a priest at St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church in Latrobe and St. John’s Orthodox Church in Ligonier.

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