What a remarkable time it is in which to live! Entire nations have been brought to a standstill by an unseen enemy that is no respecter of persons, nationalities, or social status. Standard operating procedures are being thrown out the window. Improvisation is the new normal.
As I was editing this article for publication the following secular article landed in the inbox of my email: “Covid-19 is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reshape a basic human behavior.” Quite an intriguing title, is it not? I plan to scan through it after I finish my edits. I can guarantee you one thing: the article will not offer anything that will radically transform a human being at his/her core. (OK, I peeked after finishing my edits. The article is about mobility and transportation. Now you won’t have to search for it. Take the time you would have read it to go for a walk!)
The uniqueness of this season is framed by the introduction of new concepts and their corresponding catch phrases, such as “social distancing,” “stop the spread,” and “shelter in place.” These new terms have joined the famously old admonition used by mothers for centuries, “wash your hands.” As is almost always the case, your mom is right. Thanks, mom!
Indeed, a common commentary during this fight to stop the spread of Coronavirus is that much of this could and can be avoided by the simple exercise of hand washing. Every medical doctor dogmatically proclaims that it is the most significant way in which people can protect themselves and others. They are adamant in this conviction.
Amazingly, and unknown to many in the current day, the adamance by physicians to “wash your hands” comes two centuries after their predecessors learned this lesson the hard way. They reluctantly learned it through the fervent advocacy of a physician who fought to end of his life the ignorance of his colleagues in the medical profession.
This bizarre story has been reintroduced during the current day Coronavirus pandemic scenario by columnist Lindsey Fitzharris. Her article in the Wall Street Journal article is titled, “The Unsung Pioneer of Handwashing,” and was published on March 19, 2020. Dr. Al Mohler referenced this article in “The Briefing with Albert Mohler” on Tuesday, April 7.
Years ago, I wrote about this same frustrated pioneer of medicine in a Baptist Testimony column in April 2008. Here is an edited portion of what I shared in the Baptist Testimony article titled, “Wash!”