Column by Manning Pastor Sam Livingston: The COVID-19 effect


To start with, let's look at two words, affect and effect. Affect means to act on, produce an effect or change. Effect means something that is produced by an agency or cause. The effects COVID-19 produced have affected all of us in one way or another.

The pandemic, COVID-19, that has been with us for almost two years has affected almost every aspect of our lives. It is safe to say that practically all of us know of at least one person who fell victim to this awful virus. At times, this whole thing feels like a fictional movie produced by some Hollywood filmmakers. Who would have imagined that we would be on this side of 607,000 deaths in the United States and 4,060,000 worldwide and counting each day? These numbers are frightening to say the least. The deaths, closing of businesses and mandatory safety measures caused a ripple effect from one side of the Earth to the other. It doesn't matter what language you speak or the pigmentation of your skin, COVID-19 has affected everyone.

In the business world, two words rule the industry, supply and demand. The theory is simple; in order to meet the demands of the purchaser, the seller must be able to supply the goods. If the goods are plentiful, the cost of the goods or services remains normal. If the goods are not plentiful, the cost of the goods and services goes up. The outbreak of the virus caused businesses to close, productions to cease and workers to stay at home. When trees cannot be milled, the supply becomes limited, and you guessed it, the price for a 2-by-4 increases. This scenario has played out in the food industry, petroleum industry and practically every essential thing we can think of.

The data does not lie; if 607,000 people died from the virus, the effect on families, businesses, schools, etc. is exponential. Suppose at least one person in the bloodline of the deceased decided to take an early retirement. Now we have 607,000 people no longer in the workforce. Suppose 25% of the 607,000 were gainfully employed citizens; then 151,750 jobs needed to be replaced. Suppose 10,000 families decided that home schooling was the best solution for them, so one person quit his or her job to stay at home. Suppose 20,000 people who received stimulus money quit their $8-an-hour job and started a small business. Now, all of a sudden you have 1,395,750 pre-pandemic positions that need to be filled. We have a major problem that's causing the products and services we need and enjoy to suffer.

Isn't it great to know that regardless of what happens to the gross national product, there is one thing that will never change? The love that God has for all of us enables him to be our Jehovah Jireh (our provider). He is the God who supplies our every need. His supply chain will never get low. His angels that have been assigned to us will always show up for duty. We can't produce enough oxygen to sustain the world, but God does it every second of the day. We cannot water every single crop in the field; however, the rain from heaven can.

Paul in his letter to the believers at Ephesus penned these powerful words, "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:19-21.

God has not changed; he wants to supply our needs. We just need to worship and adore him!

Lord Jesus, please forgive us of our sins and heal the land! Amen.

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.