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Quantum 86 – Coronavirus Special

This episode of Quantum looks at Coronavirus and its impact throughout the world and on the church –


Quantum 85 – Bishops Curry and Love; Prince Harry; Coronavirus; Trevor Phillips; Piers Morgan and Lisa Nandy; Polygamy; MSNBC Maths; Tom Holland and A C Grayling; Leonard Cohen

What is the Impact of Churches Closing Because of Coronavirus?

Three Bible passages to Replace Fear of Coronavirus with Hope in God


  1. Please note that 20000 troops are NOT on the streets in the UK. There are geneally 10000 on standby to help with stuff if needed – most recently, this has involved loved working with flood defences. This number has been doubled to 20000. This includes 150 who are being trained up to drive oxygen delivery lorries. Northern Ireland aside, the U.K. tends not to put armed soldiers on to its streets.

  2. 1.1 There is much about the present situation I don’t understand, statistics and computer modeling being uppermost but wisdom seems to be a rare commodity.
    1.2 The work of John Owen stands the test of time, in times of testing. Two abridge works Communion with God and the Glory of Christ (Banner of Truth) are a testament to a man who knew his God in hard times and provides much wisdom, sustenance, and ballast today.
    1.3.1 More contemporary wisdom was found yesterday from Tim Keller, based on Job 28:20-24, 28)
    “Even though supreme wisdom is not available, practical wisdom is, through the fear of the Lord. This gives you basic answers about questions of meaning, broad principles for guidance, and most of all the presence of God that you will need to get through life.
    If you have the loving gaze of Jesus’ face, what other circumstances do you think you need in order to be content?
    List them,
    Now repent for resting in them too much.” :
    The Way of Wisdom(TWoW): Tim Keller with Kathy Keller
    Just when I think I’ve cracked it, I’m shown that I’m irreducibly prone to seek, contentment, comfort, security, identity, safety apart from him. Such a time is this.
    1.3.3 Fear of the Lord: described as ” not mere belief in him. It is to be so filled with joyful awe before the magnificence of God that we tremble at the privilege of knowing, serving, and pleasing him…fear of God and self-understanding grow or diminish together. Indifference toward God is a form of self-deceit. To feel no need for God is to be out of touch with reality -such people have ceased to be wise.” Keller, My Rock My Refuge March 11
    2. 3.4 And from TWoW, March 11 “Finally don’t mourn over youth and vigour when they fade. “To idolize the state of youth and to dread the loss of it is disastrous; it spoils the gift even while we have it.
    Timor mortis conurbat me is the refrain in many poems. It means”Fear of death disturbs me.” Are you afraid of aging, sickness, and death? Will you be facing them alone or with Jesus at your side?”
    Wisdom in Christ, all for such a time as this. Christ himself, for such a time as this.
    Yours in Christ,


    Coronavirus is one big media hype and has turned into a hoax. Coronavirus is no more prevalent than any other year.

    1/1000 will die of flu. Many viruses cause flu symptoms. 10% will be corona viruses

    Dr. Wodard says.
    “We are currently not measuring the incidence of coronavirus diseases, but the activity of the specialists searching for them.”

    1. Kevin – it is unwise to pronounce that Coronavirus is a big media hype and box. It is very real…Over 600 people died in Italy yesterday. I suggest you don’t buy into every conspiracy theory on the Internet.

      1. But it is also unwise to discount the possibility that the panic in government is irrational. Did you watch the video? Did you detect logical flaws that invalidated Dr Wodarg’s argument? If we are going to cripple western society in an effort to fight the virus, we had better be sure that it’s worth it. Here is my synopsis:

        There are about 100 flu-causing viruses. Virologists used not to be interested in having tests for them, because there were so many and they keep on evolving. Recently we have developed tests for about 8-10 of them.

        Why did the virus break out in Wuhan? Because Wuhan has the biggest safety laboratory for viruses in the whole of China. They found a new type and announced it to the world. In Berlin, which keeps a global database, virologists devised a test for the new variant. A protocol for the test was submitted to the WHO, and because of the panic in China it was accepted without the usual validation procedures. The test does not tell you how dangerous the virus is. For that, you need to survey an entire population and determine ‘excess mortality’.

        In Germany 20,000-30,000 deaths are attributable to flu. Around 10% of flu viruses are coronavirus. Hence, had tests been done specifically for that virus in previous years, annually 2000-3000 people would probably have been found to die from coronavirus. (1) We are nowhere near those numbers at the moment. (2) The numbers being reported do not establish that death was from this specific virus rather than from the other 90% that cause respiratory illness.

        Medical researchers (e.g. Imperial College) have a vested interest in talking such things up. They want to feel important and have political influence; they need funds for their projects. In Wodarg’s opinion, the idea that we are dealing with a virus that, without draconian action, will kill tens of milllions is an emperor without clothes. He does not say that lightly.

  4. I worked in the public health section of the NHS in 2009 during the swine flu outbreak, when the Department of Health was reluctant to implement “command and control” measures within the NHS, let alone the sweeping Emergency laws that have come into being which if implemented would bring in command and control, the like of which has not been seen outside war-time or even during war time. And yes, the outbreak then differs from now. Then a vaccine was available.
    My main concern is the reliability of information, particularly the way it is presented, reported. Invariably, the worst case scenario.
    Where is the wisdom? There appears to be little in the language which transmits viral fear and panick-demic. Lock-down, self isolate (generally, stay in) social distancing (avoiding others).
    Am I to be criminalised for walking or cycling in the country, by myself or with my wife?
    A friend in his 80’s, a lifelong walker, continues to walk to the shops, over a mile away, for himself and similarly aged wife. Careless, reckless, negligent? Volenti fit non injuria? Or is he to become a bed and crematorium blocker along with his wife.
    I was raised at a time when “coughs and sneezes spread diseases” was a commonplace public health advert as was basic hand hygiene.
    I’ve been particularly careful over a number of years to wear gloves on public transport. My wife and I have stayed away from church when infected with cold/flu out of concern to not pass it on. Others made it clear that we were consider to be wimps.
    However, church has been a place, at times, when there has been much unguarded coughing, sneezing and spluttering, long before this outbreak, much to our unsettlement. And we have been wary of drinking from the common cup of wine in communion. (In Methodism it was invariably from individual cups.)
    It appears that what was once accepted as simple public health common sense, is far less common, even within the church.
    My wife and I also have the protection of being able to not engage with children.
    The upshot is that, notwithstanding Mat Hancock’s statement of including churches and other faith groups (after discussion with them) in barring group meetings, I believe that with rigorous checks and hygiene measures and exclusions, churches at their discretion could continue to meet in various settings, times and sizes to worship together. I don’t think that is being complacent.
    The UK church is unlike S Korea. and S Korea has been used as an example, as a reason to close churches.
    Practical measures could be put in place.
    At the chemist today, queues were formed outside (but not 2 metres apart). Only three people at any one time were allowed in, following arrows on the floor, to stand one at a time in a marked out square a certain distance from the counter. Practical steps. Any ideas as to how practical measures could be put in place in church, per -person- per- square metre, with all the other health and safety measures, 5, 10, 15, 20 per meeting? Is that really so complacent?
    (Just heard from a friend that the CoE is limiting Wedding services to 5 people, so it can be done and that her retired URC minister husband has been told he can’t take a funeral scheduled for next week as he’s over 70. No other URC minister could be found, but Methodist minister has stepped in.)
    Is a funeral service not included in meetings of worship?

    I’d still like to see more comparative epidemiological information behind the numbers, more qualitative analysis and difference between absolute (personal) risk and relative risk (15 % for over 80’s) being made clearer and differences between improvement methodology and research methodology drawn out.
    In industrial Italy, you said that some workers have come from Wuhan. In other parts there may be other factors; multi -occupancy buildings, family sizes and age groups living together? and much more: figures have faces!
    Anyway, we have what we have and prayer is needed for the heavy burden on decision makers and for responsible (media) influencers.

  5. David, you tweeted: ‘IN the midst of the world trying to prevent millions of death New Zealand sneaks in a law that will kill thousands of their own people and discriminates against women and the disabled.’
    (1) What did you mean by ‘New Zealand sneaks’?
    (2) Did you check the accuracy of the claims made in the article you linked about what the legislation will do?

  6. Well David, how does ‘sneak’ really apply to the New Zealand abortion bill when:
    (1) The Law Commission was asked on 27 Feb 2018 to prepare a report on abortion law reform. The Commission received over 3000 public submissions in Apr and May 2018 and reported in Oct 2018 ;
    (2) The Abortion Legislation Bill was given its first reading on 8 Aug 2019 and the Bill was referred to the Abortion Legislation Committee which received over 25,000 submissions and reported back 14 Feb 2020 (did you read this report?);
    (3) The 2nd reading (3 Mar), Committee stage (17 Mar) and 3rd reading (18 Mar) (all with conscience voting) were all available for anyone in NZ to watch or listen to.
    How is this ‘sneaking’?

    1. Yes – you are right – this has been ongoing….it just strikes me as extraordinary that the NZ parliament in the midst of this crisis when we are all trying to save lives – pass a law to take thousands of lives every year….but you are right- on reflection I don’t think they ‘sneaked’ it through….they were very blatant about it…

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