Coronavirus has changed the world. So what have we learned? We hear from an Oxford respiratory researcher and doctor who has seen the impact of Covid first hand. He shares the challenges and lessons of confronting Coronavirus. A timely reflection.
Our guest: Dr Timothy Hinks. Tim works as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and is an honorary NHS Consultant. Tim is a researcher in immunology and leads a research team studying the mucosal immunology of the human airways.
This podcast episode will be available on our Monday night Facebook Premiere.
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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation
Experience of Covid
Now Tim, the world has together been deeply impacted by the Covid19 pandemic. But it seems that the UK experience of Coronavirus has been a bit different to that of ours in Australia. Can you share a bit about the UK experience of Covid?
Now Tim, you work in the area of respiratory medicine. Now my understanding of Covid19 is that it’s a respiratory virus - so have you had much to do with Covid19 since it’s emergence?
You were looking after Covid patients? How was that experience?
Research experience of Covid
You work in the area of respiratory research - but you’re not specifically working on the Coronavirus vaccine are you? Is a vaccine possible?
What has it taught us?
Now stepping back a bit, the pandemic has confronted us with lots of big questions and made us think and reflect a lot. But what sort of things do you think the pandemic has taught us?
Bible: reflecting on the fleetingness of life
Perhaps surprisingly, a number of the themes and ideas of things we’ve learned from the Covid pandemic are found in the Bible. Some of these themes are found in the Old Testament book of Psalms. Psalm 39 verses 4 and 5 says,
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
How do you think these verses have connected to the Covid pandemic?
So how is the idea that we’re but a breath make you feel? Doesn’t it make you depressed?
But does this mean that the Bible is diminishing the value of life?
You’re a scientist and a doctor intent on increasing the number of days of people. Does this mean you’re working against what the Bible describes here?
Bible: hope in Jesus
It seems that Covid has taught us many difficult lessons - this can all seem a bit depressing, where have you sought comfort?
There is good news recorded in the New Testament book of Hebrews, Hebrews 2:14-15,
Since the children have flesh and blood, he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
How has this resonated with you in the Covid world?
The Big Question
So Tim, what has Covid taught us?