When will a vaccine for COVID-19 be found?
I believe this is one of the biggest questions everyone is asking right now. With more than 22 million people infected by the coronavirus worldwide and close to 800,000 deaths, the race to develop a vaccine is an urgent one.
At the individual level, the virus is no respecter of age, gender, race, or status. It attacks the human body by multiplying inside the cells, especially those in the lungs. This can damage the lungs and affect the patient’s ability to breathe, as well as other organs. And if the body’s immune system is not able to resist it or overcome the destructive effects, the coronavirus can eventually kill.
At a larger level, this insidious enemy has crippled economies, caused massive job losses, disrupted businesses, and changed the face of work, social, and family life around the world. Words such as “new normal”, “safe distancing”, and “stay home” have now become part of our daily conversation.
The wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 and our desperate search for a vaccine to stop its rampage against humanity reminds me of the effects of sin and its presence in this world. After our first earthly forefathers Adam and Eve rejected God’s authority, their sin of distrust and disobedience destroyed the perfect relationship they had with God. Since then, this damaged relationship has separated all of us from God.
As sin has led people to rebel against their Maker, we have lost the ability to enjoy a right relationship with God. Not only that, it has also destroyed our relationships with each other.
Sin has also totally altered the world and the conditions that mankind live in. Romans 8:21 observes that creation is in “bondage to decay”: we can see evidence of this in global warming and climate change, which are likely to cause more natural disasters leading to more suffering and pain.
As I continue to reflect on how sin has crushed our lives, I am reminded why Jesus, God’s one and only Son, came to dwell among man (John 1:14). He came to die on the cross for our sins, and through His resurrection, those who believe in His saving power will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
The world may be waiting for a vaccine to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering it has caused. But ultimately, this is only a temporary solution to an even larger crisis. Jesus our Saviour and Lord offers a more permanent solution to the plight and sin of man. He has already overcome a world fraught with pain and sorrow, “that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” (John 3:15).