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Ephesians 6:12
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Shortly after Christmas 2002, the headlines of the St. Petersburg Times read, "Virus or not, Bushes depart on cruise ship." I don't suppose the former President's vacation plans would have captured the public's attention, at least not as much as they did, if it had not been for the recent virus outbreaks on cruise ships. According to the Center for Disease control, there were 21 investigations of acute gastroenteritis aboard seventeen different cruise ships between January 1, 2002 and December 2, 2002. Of the 21 outbreaks, they don't know the cause of nine of them, three were associated with bacterial agents and nine with noroviruses.

During the same time period, there have been 26 land-based outbreaks of the disease associated with noroviruses. A person contracts the disease whether on land or sea in the same way, contact with an infected surface. To prevent the disease, the CDC says to follow "basic hygienic practices, such as frequent and thorough hand washing and avoiding contact with other passengers when ill..."

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I remember seeing news footage of workers in biohazard suits scrubbing down infected ships to thoroughly sanitize them. My immediate impression was the suits were overkill. I know the virus is bad, and that the cruise lines wanted to protect their passengers, but still, the drama surrounding the extreme measures they were taking was, in my opinion, more for the cameras than for the ship-they need to get the message out that they were taking the disease seriously and were using every possible means to solve the problem.

But then again, maybe the measures weren't extreme. Passengers who plunk down their hard earned money want to know that they aren't walking into a ticking time bomb. They want to be safe from dangers they can see and dangers they can't see.

There is a world we can see and a world we can't see with our eyes. In many ways, stealth dangers offer greater peril than those that are clearly visible. We intensify their danger when we deny their existence

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