There’s no Coronavirus in Malawi - at least not today. That might change by tomorrow. Or later tonight. We pray that it will not come at all, but we know that is asking for a miracle. With only a handful of ventilators and a few dozen oxygen machines for millions of people, it would hit us hard. Our communities are already struggling from malnutrition, from parasites, and from viruses that compromise immune systems. And our healthcare providers were few to begin with – less than one doctor for tens of thousands of individuals. So we pray for this global pandemic to miraculously pass us by. And we prepare. Last week my teammates looked at me strangely when I didn’t want to shake their hands or when I begged sniffling nursing students to return home. The hospital wasn’t ready for a talk on Coronavirus this time last week. Now we have a Disaster Preparedness Committee with dozens of action points for moving forward. The pharmacist has plans to make our own hand sanitizers and put them on every ward. Our Environmental Health Officer is formulating a plan to educate our staff and surrounding community members. Nurses compromised with logistics personnel to determine oversight for handwashing stations at every hospital entrance and triage staff just inside. Our charge nurse, faithful and organized, will make sure that everyone does their designated tasks in a timely manner. We don’t have a room to isolate patients. We don’t have a ventilator. We don’t even have medications to treat severe complications. But we have a bit of time to prepare, and we’re working together efficiently, which is impressive considering all the other things on each of my teammates’ plates. We still pray that we will be spared. I think about the church I attend here, and how optimistic outcomes from an outbreak could mean a dozen members of our Sunday congregation dead. I praise God that we can do something while there is still time. We have no idea what the future will hold for us, but at least we can say that we tried to do our best to contain this.
As we hear stories from friends and family on the other side of the world, we are laying prayers before God for you often. Please join us in prayers:
- For those who are isolated and lonely due to quarantine measures around the world
- That Coronavirus will not cause death or destruction in Malawi
- That Greg and I can travel just enough to keep our visas valid and get back to Nkhoma safely
- That I have energy and balance to keep serving until other missionaries come and join me
Thank you for your prayers and support, Greg and Christina