Contagious Leprosy Containment – A Reflection about Corona

It has been quite a while since I wrote. My first writing in 2020 is in relation to the Corona Virus. This virus is causing nations and cities to lock down. Airlines at the point when I am writing are ceasing to fly. I personally believe this is a time to:

  • Reset – This is perhaps a forced sabbatical rest where we let the “land” rest. Truly there are news that dolphins swimming in Venice waters with nature starting to blossom while human activities ceases.
  • Realign – A time to reflect and seek the Lord. A check what is our focus. Our first reactions to the situation can be a very good indicator.
  • Reposition – When our focus is align and clarity is gained, then it is time to adjust our position, even if it is for half a degree. A slight deviation will land us in a very different destination.
  • Re-strategize – After such a huge global shaking, things will not be the same. The “how” needs to be adjusted based on the realigned focus and position in relation to the new environment.
  • Restore – If the previous four steps were done according to the Lord’s will, restoration will start.

My key purpose for writing this post is not the five points above.


Leprosy as an Incurable Contagion

This morning the word “leprosy” kept coming to me and I went to Leviticus 13-14 and read the passage. With Corona in the backdrop, I understood how this passage is relevant to current times. It is not my intention to do an exposition of the two chapters and related passages. If you are interested, you can read up at that I thought was a rather comprehensive and useful resource.

The concept of quarantine or isolation is not foreign to the Bible. In the case of leper, or other forms of uncleanness like touching a dead body, the detailed instruction of care as a community is worth examining. It is important to first establish that leprosy is a contagious disease without cure during that time. So incurable it is that the word “cleansed” is used for a leper who recovered and not “healed”. There might be spiritual significance of it linked with sin, but so does other ailments like deaf, dumb and other forms of disabilities.

I see a parallel to the present Corona virus. There is no cure for it at the moment even though labs all around the world is working hard to find a vaccine. It is spreading. In some countries like Italy, spreading rapidly with high numbers of deaths. The only difference is perhaps leprosy does not take a life within such a short span as this virus.


Leper’s Responsibility of Care

Care in this context is not about the leper. Nothing was mentioned about how to care for a leper or the sores. The concern in Scriptures is about the community at large. The responsibility of care for the community lies on the leper, who is already in fear and suffering. They have to go to the priest, who in this role parallels our modern day doctors. Get themselves checked. If suspected, they have to go through seven days quarantine. This means they stay out of the camp, away from everyone else. A leper’s clothes are commended to be torn and not allowed to have their heads covered (Leviticus 13:45). A leper can be identified from far based on attire. If people still did not spot the leper, it is the leper’s responsibility to shout “unclean, unclean” to warn others. It is the leper’s responsibility.

God is teaching the Israelites community responsibility. There were instances where God supernaturally healed lepers. Jesus healed lepers ( Luke 17:12, Matthew 8:2, Mark 1:40 and Luke 5:12). Bear in mind that all these healings were still subjected to the law. Jesus told the lepers who were made well to present themselves to the priest. These were exceptions rather than norm. The lepers observed the laws by isolation and keeping a distance as commanded.


Current Believer’s Responsibility of Care

While Corona Virus is spreading across the earth, what is the responsibility of care as believers or as someone living here on earth? Yes, Jesus heals. It is His decision to heal who He choses to heal at His time. Before Jesus does his miracle, it is each of our responsibility to protect the community. If we need to be quarantined or isolated, do it as commanded by the Lord and the authorities. Take the time to do what is needed. Get ourselves right before God so that His healing can flow when it is time. The five points at the beginning of this point might be helpful. For those who are not quarantined, be responsible in not adding yourself to the quarantine count.


Please exercise wisdom and caution this season as this is love, not just for ourselves but to our loved ones and the world. <3