Covid-19 Risk Management Matrix

Warning: This post is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. Discuss the matrix with your doctor.

All life is about risk management. Deciding about getting vaccinated is also about risk management.

This risk management matrix says it all.

VaccinatedNot Vaccinated
The chances of getting Covid-19Very lowMuch higher
The chances of dying if you get Covid-19Very lowMuch higher

The matrix may not come out on your phone. Here is what it says:

  • If you are vaccinated the chances of you getting Covid-19 are very low.
  • If you are not vaccinated the chances of you getting Covid-19 are much higher.
  • If you are vaccinated the chances of you dying if you get Covid-19 are very low.
  • If you are not vaccinated the chances of you dying if you get Covid-19 are much higher.

Warning: This post is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. Discuss the matrix with your doctor.

Keep safe.

Remember: Choices have consequences.

A message of hope from the Canopy: Learn from the changing seasons

The forest has spoken. This weekend, this leaf, dressed in gentle shades of autumn, drifted down from the forest canopy in the Island Nature Reserve near Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The leaf’s message was clear: “Autumn is here. Winter for all of us is not far off. But remember. After the winter will come the spring and then the warmth of another summer. Learn from me, a humble leaf. Learn the lesson of the seasons. The winter of this Covid will pass too. Have faith in the passage of time. Rest assured. A new day is coming for us all.”

See picture below.

Picture: Mariska Spoormaker. Thank you.

In the darkness before dawn

In the darkness before dawn

The birds begin to sing

With you by my side I can hear


In the middle of the winter

Comes promise of the spring

With you by my side I can fly


In the depths of my blackness

I see the birth of day

With you by my side I can fly

John Bartels – Words and music Feb. 1999. Posted on 23 Jan. 2021 in the sure and certain hope that Covid will be defeated

The George Cross and Covid19

Perhaps Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, might consider awarding the George Cross to the gallant health and caring services as a whole, for their acts of great heroism and conspicuous courage in serving others during the extreme danger of Covid19.

With respect, the award could be made now. Remember that the award of the George Cross to Malta was made in April 1942, during the Second World War.

Thank you.

If you agree with this idea please pass it on.

John Bartels, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 31 December 2020

Covid closes beaches. Boxing Day 2020. Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The beach near “Something Good”, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Closed because of Covid, 26 December 2020.

Has 2020 Changed Your Assumptions?

Photo by Casey Allen on

Has 2020 been a year in which your basic assumptions have been challenged? Have your basic assumptions changed about yourself and the planet in which we live? My guess is they have – for you and for millions of people all over the world. Are you disturbed by what has happened in 2020? Should you be?

Dr. Ian McCallum of Port Elizabeth, South Africa has written about these challenges to our assumptions in a very important “must read” article.

To see the article click here.

Dr. McCallum is a psychiatrist, psychologist, award winning author and poet. He is an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela Graduate School of Business in Port Elizabeth. He is also an honorary lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town. In his youth he was a Springbok Rugby player (he represented South Africa).

Thank you.

Kept in Seasons of Danger (Part 1)

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on

We live in dangerous times. Covid19 has spread its lethal tentacles all over the world. It has silently crept in the hovels of the poor and into the mansions of the rich, powerful and famous. The virus is not a respecter of persons. Fear abounds. None can escape the touch of its cold hand.

How should a Christian live in “Seasons of Danger”?  The advice the Puritan John Flavel (1628-1691) gave to Christians in England long ago,  is relevant today.  Here is just a snippet of that advice. 

Photo by Tim Marshall

Understand that everything is in the hand of God. Get this thought well settled in your heart and it will “guard you against slavish fears.” 

Remember that God, in whose hands you are, is your Father. Christ is King and Supreme Lord. You are the apple of His eye. He loves you most tenderly. Understand this and you will quickly say, “Return unto your rest, O my soul.”


You will soon sing “in the midst of danger, “The Lord is King of all the earth, sing praise with understanding.” 

Simple yet profoundly true.

Praise the Lord


Psalm 116:7 * Zechariah 2:8 * Psalm 47:7

John Piper on the Coronavirus and Christ

Photo by Pixabay on

I have just finished reading a new book by John Piper – “Coronavirus and Christ”.

The book is clearly written and reads easily.

It is packed with Scripture and source references.

It is full of insights and teachings relevant for us during these worrying pandemic times.

You can find out more about the book here. This is NOT a monetised link.

It is amazing that John Piper got the book written and published in such a short time. I can only assume that he felt called to do this and to get the message in the book out to as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

The book certainly conveys a sense of justified urgency.

I am sure you will find reading the book helpful during the pandemic.

In case you do not know. John Piper is the founder and lead teacher of of Bethlehem College and Seminary. For 33 years he served as senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books. (From the back of the book)

Two Faith Centring Articles

Photo: Thank you Robert Nyman

I honestly believe that reading the two articles below will strengthen the faith of any Christian.

Especially now during the (lets be honest) frightening pandemic.

Remember the saying “it’s where the rubber hits the road”?

The author of the articles, Dr Kathryn Butler, cannot be closer to the “road”. She is a trauma and critical care surgeon turned writer and home schooling mom. Currently she is out of retirement and serving in the ICU of an American Hospital caring for COVID19 patients. She lives north of Boston.

I suggest you read the first article first and then the second article.

The first article is: “If God Doesn’t Heal You” Click

The second article is: “Even in the ICU – Why hope will conquer death” Click

If you find the two articles helpful, please tell others about them.

Keep safe.

Question: Will God deliver us from the Corona Virus?

Will God act and deliver us from the Corona Virus as He promised in Psalm 91:3?


May the contents of this post, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

My prayer is that nobody’s faith is damaged by this post. I pray rather that their faith be strengthened.

Photo Thank you Robert Nyman

Question:Will God deliver on His promise in Psalm 91:3?

Short Answer: Yes

Main Reason: We have Christ’s word for it.


Start with Psalm 91:1-3 KJV

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

The definition of “pestilence” in a Cambridge Dictionary is “any very 

serious infectious disease that spreads quickly and kills large numbers of people”.

The Corona virus (COVID-19) clearly falls within this definition.

Surely therefore it is reasonable to interpret the last part of Psalm 91:3  to read follows;-

Surely God will “deliver thee” from the Corona virus (COVID-19).

Is God doing that at the moment ( April 2020)? 

Many, many people in the world are infected with the virus and will become infected. Many people have died and will die.

Many of these people will be committed Christians.

This may cause many people to sadly conclude that God is not delivering on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3. 

Are they right?

It goes without saying that this is an extremely serious question which calls for prayerful consideration. .

My genuine humble opinion is that it is incorrect to conclude that God is not delivering on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3.

It may be useful to note upfront that verse 3 does not say God is delivering us, it states that God will deliver us. That is why it is not right or logical to use verse 3 to conclude that God is not delivering right now on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3. The word “will” tells us it is a promise about the future. More about this below.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on


First,  Scripture does not teach that the Lord always grants divine blanket protection for all believers in all circumstances (see website at end of post). Two thousand years of martyrs dying painful deaths confirms this. Remember: In the 23rd Psalm God promises to be with us as we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death. God does not promise to lead us round the valley.

Second, and here we come to Psalm 91:3. Lets look at it carefully: 

Consider again the word “will

“Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

“will” refers to the future. So the verse is saying: Even if you get the virus and no matter what the virus may do to you,  your eternal security remains secure. Ultimately God will save you from the “deadly pestilence”. Remember: The Psalms often “look forward to eternity”.

Note that the verse does not say when God will save us from “deadly pestilence”. It could be now, some other time during our lifetime or even beyond. 

Remember: In this life God grants us not security from all human ills, but security in (Christ).

 Hear what Jesus said about the eternal security He has given to us:

John 6:37-40 KJV

37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

This is why Paul wrote in Romans 8:35,37,38 and 39 as follows (COVID-19 added!):

Romans 8:35.37,38 and 39 KJV

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, not even Covid-19, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There is no doubt that God will save us from COVID-19. We know not when or where. However we do know that final victory is certain and secure. We have Christ’s own word for it. In His farewell teaching to His apostles He said:

John 16:33 King James Version (KJV)

33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mateus-campos-felipe-sgn2ehyy1im-unsplash.jpg

May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. 

Praise the Lord

May the contents of this post,  be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer.


An article on the UK Apologetics Website helped me with this post. \Some phrases and ideas on the website have been used in this post. I recommend that you go to the website. Click here.

Here is the link to an excellent article about God and the pandemic, written by a Jesuit Priest. It is well written, well reasoned and clear. Above all it is honest. Click here. I came across the article after I had written the above post.