Can paper money spread coronavirus?
A growing number of businesses and people worldwide are afraid so.
They have stopped using banknotes out of fear that paper currency, handled by tens of thousands of people, could be a vector for spreading the virus. Businesses are refusing to accept currency; some countries are urging their citizens to stop using banknotes altogether.
However, public officials and health experts say that the risk of transferring the virus in this way is small.
Other ways we pay for items are just as likely to be vectors for disease transfer, if not more so. Credit and debit cards are made of plastic and metal. ATMs are touched by hundreds of human hands every day.
And the Federal Reserve has taken efforts to ensure the money supply is not contaminated. Banknotes that circulated in Asia and Europe are being quarantined for seven to ten days as a “precautionary measure,” according to a Federal Reserve spokesperson.
The fear of cash reveals something important about human nature.
A Shepherd you can trust today
In these days when so much seems out of control, it’s natural to control what we can. I cannot keep people from sneezing, but I can stay six feet away from them. I cannot protect our country, but I can protect myself and my family.
Of course, the best way to handle what we cannot control is to trust it to someone who can.
We go to doctors in the belief that they can treat illnesses we cannot. We seek the help of attorneys with legal challenges because they have training and experience we do not. Unless you’re a home builder, you probably trusted a home builder to build your home. Unless you’re an automobile mechanic, you probably trust automobile mechanics to repair your car.
The best way to deal with what we cannot control about coronavirus is to trust it to the One who can.
The psalmist prayed, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!” (Psalm 80:1–2).
We don’t know what crisis caused the psalmist to cry to God for such help. But whatever it was, he knew that circumstances do not change the character of God. He is just as much our Shepherd when times are hard as when they are good. Nothing about coronavirus changes his power or his love.
And the psalmist knew that he could turn to his Shepherd with his crisis. His prayer is recorded in Scripture so we can make it our own: “Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (v. 19).
Where do you need your Shepherds’ face to “shine” in your life today?