INVISIBLE BUT DANGEROUS COVID-19 FORCES LEADERS
AND NATIONS TO PROTECT HUMANITY AND SAVE THE WORLD
THE METAMORPHOSIS By ERNIE D. DELFIN
When Charles Dickens wrote this immortal opening in his novel A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity” he was definitely not referring to our current Coronavirus Pandemic that is causing untold havoc, unprecedented fears, and sufferings to millions of people around the world today. However, this horrific is also generating “the best as well as the worst in people” as we read or hear such occurrences often. Each person who thinks, reads and understands the gravity of this global crisis has a story to tell, good news to share as well as griefs to unburden. When all is said and done, however, we unconsciously go back to our own internal thermostat and moral compass setting that we have unconsciously set for ourselves previously, to be tapped as our defense mechanism when circumstances like this Covid 19 comes to our lives.
In our daily lives, foremost is the preservation of our life and health. We, human beings, put our life the most important thing that we possess. When our life or the life of our loved ones is threatened, all things become secondary. Sometimes, man’s acts become irrational, even to his own detrimental. Preserving life and even killing someone in self-defense is even considered justifiable legally speaking. Occasionally, what is now happening however is irrational as our value system, our moral “thermostat” has been set very low whenever we witness or read about fighting for a lowly toilet tissue, — literally, the lowest paper to fight for! This irrationality or inhumanity that shallow people exhibit also extends to unreasonable hoarding of food and supplies that results to nothing left for others to buy!
World history has documented that refugees from embattled third world countries, like Vietnam or Burma put their lives at extreme danger in order to escape death from repressive, dictatorial immoral leaders who kill their enemies, real or just perceived, by competing fiercely to have a place in an overcrowded boat just to be on a risky voyage in the open seas! Contrast that to some barbaric behaviours of some people in grocery stores in the USA fighting to have more toilet tissues, disinfectants, food or supplies! Having lived in a rural area in the Philippines for the first two decades of my life, I still remember that thousands if not millions in previous generations never had a toilet tissue, in the first place, and many of them lived up to a century mark versus people in America who fight for such trivial things like toilet tissues are dying even at age 50 or even younger due to stress and heart attacks! Is that not a very sad editorial?
News of these ironies make me smile and grin. And I will never fight for these “small stuffs” and instead laugh over it and enjoy myself to maintain my sanity! I still believe that there are more things to worry about that are more relevant and important in our daily lives than that. Many newscasters, unknowingly perhaps, want us to worry and be immobilized with these sad news. For many years now, I limit myself watching the TV News and the many depressing news in the newspapers, as they add more weights to my life’s load to carry. I have realized that bad things do happen and being worried about them does not prevent them from happening. Neither do they help me to have a healthier happier life, mentally, physically, socially or spiritually.
Trying to relax and be creative especially during this government imposed community quarantine, I set my physical, mental and spiritual thermostat on a higher degree so that I cannot be immobilized or petrified by so many non-essential matters that happen around me. I decide to be more aware how to spend the 168 hour-currency that is gifted to me by God every week. Whether to do nothing or something is up to me. It’s been a healthy mental calisthenics weighing and then deciding how to invest these 168 precious hours every week.
Since I experienced the first weeks of being “locked-down” in Metro Manila last month and now undergoing another community quarantine here in California, until the end of April 2020 (may be longer!) I must be conscious how my hours are spent in order to live in peace under a “new normal” life during this COVID 19 era. For weeks now, I have put about 40 hours/week working physically (walking, gardening and cleaning my backyard and garage) sorting out (what can be donated/sent to the Philipines) or just throwing unneeded things way! Now over 60 percent of the junk-assets have left this address forever where they have cohabited with us for as long as 40 years! Miracle has happened: the 3 car garage finally can fit two cars!
Also, I have read more books/magazines in a week’s time than in any 6-months period may be, and have written at least 5 times as much in a week than in the past! There are also many non-quantifiable benefits that somehow compensated the downsides: To illustrate my point: For a couple of months now, my financial bank account has shrunk (due to almost no business activity), but there was also considerable enhancements to my personal social, educational emotional-spiritual, and physical life-quadrants. I have met almost no friends, relatives and neighbors physically, due to social distancing, but through the wonders of the internet and social media (without costing a dime) my distant and global friends has increased! Significantly, my family has spent less on food, eaten out much less frequent, hence saving time and money too. We also spent more time eating and may be enjoying the meal times more, with my wife who now plans and prepares home cooked meals much more!
My farm-yard garden too has responded well, by showing more fruits, more flowers and colors (or may be I just did not really notice them before!) Even the corner compost is even growing more yield more effectively as the green and brown things that can be composted are decaying naturally to go back to the garden as free top soil in the months ahead.
It is this writer’s wish and prayer that you, my readers will also find your personalized alternative ways to spend your more leisure time during these Corona Virus Pandemic. Along the way, I feel strongly that the Our Lord’s Prayer is quite appropriate during these challenging times as each word of supplication expresses succinctly our dependence to God, the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. Let every sentence sink into our spirit and it will surely calm your nerves. The Prayer of Serenity: “God please give me the courage to change the things I can, the humility/patience to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference “ is equally helpful this time!
With Divine Intervention (I believe) this CoViD 19 will also come to pass. Prayerfully we can become a healthier people, more connected and more compassionate people to one another after these trying times. God bless us all!
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