COVID-19: THE FACTS, THE RESPONSE, AND YOU

Disaster Response | Print

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has significantly altered the way daily life looks and is experienced in countries all over the world. In particular, with over 200,000 cases now being reported, the past several days have been defined by significant lifestyle changes for Americans. Schools are closing; restaurants are shutting their doors; and offices are sending workers home. 

At BGR, we are keenly aware of these changes and their global impact. We also know that times of trial often bring out the best in people. Time after time, we have seen individuals and groups come together to help each other in times of crisis. 

It has been our mission from day one to connect people who care to people in need. 

During this unique, critical time of the pandemic, that mission remains unchanged as we seek to keep you informed of how we are helping those impacted by this virus around the world, and how you can be part of that relief effort.

THE FACTS

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, and breathing difficulties, ranging from mild to severe. The elderly and those with underlying conditions are especially vulnerable and are more likely to become severely ill or die. 

There are currently around 200,000 cases of COVID-19 around the world, with over 7,000 fatalities so far. The virus is highly contagious, but practicing common sense hygiene and adhering to social distancing guidelines can greatly minimize the risk of infection.

At this point, the fallout of the coronavirus and our understanding of its impact is developing and changing daily. Places of business are closing offices around the world, meaning many jobs will now be done remotely, while many more may be eliminated altogether. The shifting economic landscape is as real a threat as the virus and is already impacting families, especially those dependent on school meal programs.

For some, the effect will be minimal, while others will forever be changed. It is imperative to remain informed of the progression of the disease while heeding guidelines and doing your part to protect yourself and your loved ones. 

It is only natural for worry and fear to arise at times like this.The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has dedicated resources to help you cope through this trial, which you can access here. Caring for yourself and others can be a powerful way to manage stress. Assisting others in dealing with stress—in your neighborhood or on the other side of the globe—can also make your community stronger. Below, you can explore some of the projects BGR currently has in the works that will need your support as we do what we can to ease others through this unprecedented moment in history.

BGR RESPONSE

When the coronavirus began to take hold in Asia, BGR and its local partners promptly jumped into action, supporting local churches as they ministered to their communities. These projects are made possible due to the generosity of people like you, but these and other emerging relief initiatives will require continued financial and prayer support.

  • In one particular viral hotspot, the existing weak economy has been further damaged by the coronavirus. The loss of jobs, coupled with a shortage of basic food staples, has made this vulnerable area even more so. BGR is partnering with local churches, providing funds for the church leaders to purchase and distribute essential items.
  • During the pandemic, the homeless are especially at risk, as they are often unable to acquire preventative tools or food. In one Asian community, citizens are required to wear masks when they venture outdoors. Many homeless people cannot afford them. BGR and local Christians are planning four separate distributions, providing 1,000 surgical masks and 400 meals to this vulnerable population.
  • With much of the world restricting movement and travel, specific areas that rely on tourism as a vital component of their economy are experiencing drastic losses. In three of these communities, BGR is partnering with both national and local partners to distribute three weeks of food and supplies to 200 households.
  • In one impoverished region in Asia, purchasing hand sanitizers or soap is not feasible for many. BGR and local partners are distributing hand soap to these communities, as well as offering education on the importance of vigilant hygiene. This project will impact approximately 2000 people.
  • Many medical facilities around the world are ill-equipped to handle the pandemic. In one African community, not a single health center is prepared for an influx of COVID-19 patients. In the same area, there is also a lack of awareness of preventive measures. BGR and its partners will provide and distribute locally sourced soap, along with flyers, about ways to avoid the illness and what to do if one becomes infected. Additionally, the local hospital will receive medical supplies and preventive gear for healthcare workers such as masks and face shields. These measures will benefit nearly 1000 people in the area.

These are but a handful of initiatives already in motion. As the globe continues to contend with the fallout of COVID-19, BGR will continue to serve vulnerable communities prayerfully and diligently.

HOW TO HELP

The scope of the COVID-19 outbreak is unlike nearly any other in history. The impact is unprecedented. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and helpless, particularly given the preventative guidelines. However, remember that even in the current state of social distancing, you are not alone or obsolete. You can make a difference.

PRAY

The first and ultimate line of defense is prayer. 

  • Pray for healing for those who have been infected. 
  • Pray that those who are healthy will remain so. 
  • Pray that medical providers and other disaster responders will be protected against COVID-19.
  • Pray that critical resources—COVID-19 tests, surgical masks, hospital beds, sanitizer, etc.—will be available and effective in managing this health crisis.
  • Pray that God’s love will be demonstrated and seen through the actions and generosity of those who love Him.

GIVE

Even though social distance is rapidly becoming a new norm, it does not mean that you can’t play a valuable role in helping others in countries around the world. The projects detailed above are but a few of the efforts you can support financially. Please give to BGR’s Disaster Relief fund below to help our projects continue across the globe.

PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE

At this point, the spread of this virus is largely contingent on the diligence of people. Listen to and comply with the recommendations of medical professionals and world leaders, while encouraging others to do the same. For a comprehensive list of things you can do to stay well, click here for recommendations from the WHO and the CDC.

TRUST

This is an unsettling time in countries around the world. Yet, we must remember that nothing is bigger than the love God has for us all. “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Sources:

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html