Coronavirus: a Punishment or a Blessing?
NEW YORK CITY: 26th of MARCH 2020: The world shakes under the siege of the deadly novel coronavirus causing COVID-19; the coronavirus disease.
Anxieties and emotions are shooting through the roof under the threat of this deadly pandemic. Here in the USA, life as we know it has changed. “Social Distancing” is the order of the day. With 100% of employer’s work force ordered by the New York State governor to work from home, New York City is virtually a ghost town, streets are empty and highways are like deserted runways. Overnight, the number of deaths in the State leaped by over a hundred as announced by the governor, this morning.
Globally, the situation is grim. To-date there are now 492,603 confirmed cases with 22,184 deaths worldwide. Death toll in Italy has topped 7,500. In the United States, there are 66,057 cases with 1046 deaths. New York State accounts for more than half of the countrywide number, with a total of 37,258 cases, 385 death. New York City stands out as a case study, with the total number of confirmed cases reading 21,393 and 280 deaths; the city is now being described as the epicenter of the disease in the USA. The virus was said to be killing an average of about 3.4% of confirmed cases at a point, making it more deadly than the common flu and still ongoing at a meteoric speed.
Who knows what awaits us? Who knows to what extent this devastation would go?
From the epicenter of the outbreak; Wuhan, Hubei Province of China to the most remote part of the World, every facet of world economy crumbles; be it the Papa and Mama stores next door to the lucrative auto, technology, tourism and travel industries, for there is no facet of the world economy that does not source materials from China or depend on travel and most often, close interpersonal interactions.
Mayhem and bedlam everywhere!
But here in the US, we began to feel the wave seriously on the 24th of February as the number of cases spiked worldwide. China reporting 77,150 confirmed cases, Italy reporting 229 infected with 6 dead, South Korea reporting an upsurge of 70 cases bringing the total confirmed cases in that country to 833 from just 31 reported the week before and the Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring the outbreak as the worst public health crisis facing the country since the founding of the republic in 1949.
The global stock market went into a free fall with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 1,031 points on a single day.
The Dow continues its rapid losses for three days, losing over 3000 points before stopping. It tumbled again by about 800 points on the 3rd of March, as the Feds attempted to arrest the losses by cutting the interest rate by half a point.
A cruise ship; the Diamond Princess was held at the port of Yokohama, Japan from the 3rd of February to the 19th under quarantine measures. With 5 deaths, a total of 634 confirmed cases and 2,666 passengers on board, the Princess became a floating epidemiological disaster; all backtracked to a passenger who disembarked the ship nine days prior, and later tested positive for the virus.
Of course, Real-time count and current situation have indeed shown us that the experience from the 24th of February through the 3rd of March as described above was “Once Upon a Time” situation; a tip of the iceberg.
The sheer scale of this pandemic is seriously unnerving.
No doubt, the world is being besieged lately by these epidemics, pandemics and catastrophes in an increasing rapidity.
In the last six years alone, the World Health Organization has declared 5 global Public Health Emergencies. These includes; an International Health Emergency on Polio outbreak declared on the 5th of May 2014, a declaration made on Ebola outbreak on the 8th of August 2014, an emergency declaration for Zika Virus in 2016 and a Public Health Emergency declared for another Ebola outbreak in 2018.
And now, we are into this outbreak of COVID-19 from the city of Wuhan, China and has spread to over two hundred countries in less than four months and still raging.
Is this a punishment by the Creator on humanity for our ever mounting sins?
God does not punish. But His Laws which issued out of His Will awaken and purify.
Punishing willfully is alien to the nature of the One Who Is and remains Love in totality. He does not punish but provides opportunities to learn and develop through experiencing.
Thus every experience, no matter how painfully sorrowful should be seen as an all embracing, automatic effect of the adamantine Laws of the Almighty which rest in His creation. Seen in that light, an experience like this cannot be viewed as an arbitrary punishment for past actions; for then man would solely focus on the past and be inattentive to the present and the actions he is being compelled to take by the current experience.
No doubt it’s wise to look into the past to tap into the lessons in it but in the present, we must live fully and consciously.
And so with the outbreak of this deadly virus we are meant to focus on the actions we are being compelled to take by the nature of the experience; learn through them, foreseeing an oncoming potentially more devastating experience and prepare ourselves adequately for it.
Be it known that man is here on earth to develop into a being whose essence is filled with supreme happiness and we are given all the necessary help here to be exactly that. When a condition causing suffering and sorrow comes, the fault cannot but be ours. And even in the ensuing suffering we are given the necessary help and tools to right the wrong course taken. Moreover, in the perfection of the Almighty Father we are also given the tools to prepare for the next potentially more devastating experience which would automatically come if we fail to change our ways.
Look at Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State and his team as they handle this outbreak! Who does not perceive the blessing and spontaneously thank the Lord for having him and his team in place at the time of need of this most vulnerable state? But this kind of formidable response did not just spring up with this outbreak. It must have developed progressively through series of incidents. And one cannot but be thankful that they learned through them.
If nothing else, we have clearly seen from the current experience that; “Man is man”; the poor, the lowly, the rich and the highly placed, none is shielded from this virus by position, wealth, ethnicity, race, religion etc. And we have also clearly seen that our activities affect each other beyond what the physical eyes can see.
Therein lies the inherent blessings.
Who knows the kind of experiences that were placed on the paths of the Incas and the Mayans in those days; each meant to warn and prepare them for the oncoming potentially catastrophic one. The perfect Justice of the Most High could not have left them without warnings and preparations. What about the inhabitants of the Atlantis? Were they left without warnings before their demise? Most certainly not; there must have been series of significant incidents, each progressively more severe than the one preceding it. They were meant to systematically warn and prepare them for the oncoming potentially catastrophic incident.
It’s always blessings lying deep within every experience, no matter how sorrowful. And no blessing can be considered insignificant; be it something as simple as refocusing us all on practicing common hand washing.
Nothing is without a purpose.
The fact that the current experience is this severely jarring and traumatic for all of us is a pointer to the depth into we have sunk as creatures with responsibilities; for the deeper a plant is rooted into the ground, the stronger the wind needed to uproot it. This runs true for the noble and ignoble. Man now needs a severely jarring experience to shake him off his lethargy.
“So precious is the gift of life, eternally must we be grateful to the One Who remains the Source.”