Updated: Dec 10, 2020
This week made me realize that the main reason I have been feeling so calm about the COVID-19 pandemic is due to my faith. However, the things I've witnessed during the last couple of days frightened me. If we are reliant solely upon other people for this thing to go away here in Miami, we are in deep trouble!
We all have our own beliefs, which is OK! I am a firm believer that we don't have to agree as long as we are civil enough to respect others and accept the fact that everyone is different and entitled to their own opinions. I have had the opportunity to get to find out who God truly is during very tough times in my life. https://kleinnanda.wixsite.com/thenandakleinjournal/post/happy-new-year-hope-new-year
During this past week while virtually chatting with a friend who happens to be a nurse, I observed a very common trait in her that I used to have; to be fearful of something and automatically neglect the existence of a superior God who is above and in control of all. The topic of our conversation made me recall the time I relied on my own strength. Not because I didn't have faith, but for not considering myself important enough to be worthy of God's time.
At one point, I just got really tired of listening to what everyone said about God and decided to reach out to Him, despite how many times religious leaders made me believe that I—like almost everybody else—just wasn't good enough to deserve His help or attention. I know that is true in some ways, but I came to learn that God's love is everlasting. It is greater than anything we can find in this world! The love parents have for their children is only a small fraction of the love God has for us . . .
I can say that because I have felt it myself. Over a decade ago I reached out to Him, and ever since, I have learned that God is extremely faithful, caring, and loving. I know He had been taking great care of me and protecting me even before I truly knew who He was. So, my line of thought currently is:
"Why would I feel any differently about Him right now?"
For many years, I experienced things I wasn't even capable of putting into words. As I started reading the Bible, I found many similar situations that I lived in—without even knowing about such stories. Nevertheless, I also came to the realization that most of the people He chose were as flawed as me. Like everyone else, they were imperfect and sinners. So, no matter how others try to make you believe you are not good enough, remember that even the ones who point their fingers at you have sins as well. Never be afraid of reaching out to God and opening your heart and soul to Him. I promise, you won't regret it!
Do I think God caused this pandemic?
"I really want to say that I don't know, but with all the honesty, I don't think so..."
But how can I to be so sure? Well, I am not certain of it. All I can do is wonder. However, if it wasn't Him, He certainly has allowed this to happen, at least. In my humble view, this is something humans are to be blamed for. In spite of everything, God gives us free will to make our own choices, so I would highly disagree with the belief that He is responsible for everything that happens. Sometimes, things simply happen as a consequence of our own choices.
I have been reading a lot of social media posts about possible reasons God's let all of this happen. It goes far beyond us becoming better human beings; it stretches a long way, toward even saving the planet. Now, if I presume this was all God's idea and those were really His intentions, I am going to have to say that I am trying very hard not to be negative here and, forgive me, but people are making it nearly impossible to believe in humanity and their ability to learn and to change at all! Sorry, but I have to be realistic.
I hope you don't misinterpret me—I do see all the stories about business owners offering products and free meals for healthcare workers active on the frontlines. There are many examples of people really being kind to others, and while those cheerful stories can bring hope, the reality is that is already part of their essence; who they are.
Meanwhile, these amazing folks work hard to make this a better place, now that we desperately need it. On the other hand, there are plenty of imbeciles trying to drag down everyone who listens to the government agencies’ recommendations and mocking whoever believes in the severity of the virus and its consequences.
According to the White House, we could be having very hard weeks ahead of us, not only with more cases of the virus, but also a severe increase in the number of deaths. Given that, even before heading out for groceries I already felt stressed and overwhelmed by it. To my despair, while I was out, I had the feeling people were acting like nothing is going on, except that now they added gloves and masks to their attire.
Streets were busy, parking lots were full, people were all over the place. This was, in fact, the most horrific experience I’ve had since it all began about a month ago. After last week’s grocery shopping, I had the wrong impression that things were about to wind down and that most individuals had already hoarded enough to stay indoors. I was absolutely wrong! As a matter of fact, things are getting even worse and I am not talking specifically about customers; what amazes me the most it is to see how unprepared and out of touch with reality employees of such places are.
Up until this last experience, I wasn't wearing a mask or gloves, but always taking the other recommended precautions. In fact, until Friday, the recommendations of the CDC was to keep practicing social distancing staying at least 6 feet away from others. On the evening of April 3, during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams informed us that the CDC is now recommending citizens and residents to voluntarily cover their faces while outside and at places such as pharmacies and grocery stores where it is nearly impossible to keep the required distance.
The changes came after data showed that up to 25% of the cases of contamination came from individuals who were asymptomatic. The request intends to help prevent the spread of the virus, and is not as a form of protection itself. It was emphasized that the best way to be protected is to keep a distance of 6 feet away, but covering mouth and nose at certain places would be helpful. And I couldn't agree more after my latest trip out.
Meanwhile, stores are placing squares and tape on the floor as a way to indicate safe distances and force customers to practice social distancing, but workers don't bother to even try to keep their distance from clients. They walk toward us like such requirements do not apply to them.
In addition, other consumers with their gloves and masks walk around like they are immune to the virus with absolutely no sense of social distancing, which was the first reason the CDC was against the use of gloves and masks because it gives the false sense of security. If someone carrying the virus talks, sneezes, or coughs within 6 feet of you, masks won't prevent others from contracting the virus unless it is a N95 mask. Other masks ideally should be disposed of after use, unless they are washable.
At this point in the United States, the daily death toll is over 1,000. Nonetheless, some out there still consider the coronavirus to be a joke. I had an unpleasant encounter with an extremely uninformed and ignorant individual who was hanging in the middle of an isle at the grocery store texting on her phone while several other shoppers tried to get around her, finish shopping, and head out of the store.
Furthermore, while I was standing on my X waiting to check out, a very polite older gentleman approached too close to ask me if I was in line. It disturbs me to see how many out there are still so uninformed and/or unaware of coronavirus prevention guidelines.
Unfortunately, I am not finished yet. That all is without the number of egotistical, self-absorbed creatures driving all around town like lunatics. In addition, if it wasn't for the fact that I decided to run on the street this past week, I would have been hit by a cyclist riding full speed on the sidewalk around a corner. Not to mention the trash being dropped everywhere. And yes! I hate to say that, but there are very rude runners out there as well!
Given that, I must say that if God is, in fact, causing all of this because He has a purpose, I am afraid to say it might not be working very well. If I know God enough I could say He would know that way ahead of time, without even having to try it. But I do hope this whole thing will bring people closer to God.
On a positive note, I am working hard to not let myself to be dragged down by all the unfortunate things I have shared today. In fact, I had an amazing time last night with my friends in something I called an "aparty" (apart + party = aparty) on Zoom. The theme was to wear a silly hat or a costume and BYOD (bring your own drink). For a minute, there was even some music playing. The backgrounds were fantastic! We had so much fun. Frankly, I don't recall the last time I laughed so much. Those were definitely three very well spent hours, in spite of some of us not having very good news to share; we still made the best out of it and we are hoping to have another "aparty" very soon! Too bad not everyone went on camera.
I know having faith doesn't mean anything bad isn’t going to happen, but I think believing in someone who is in control makes a big difference at the end of the day. It brings me hope for better days and it inspires me to get a bunch of people together to share some stories and smiles. It reminds me to live one day at a time and enjoy each moment I can. To make the best of it. That in itself takes a lot of pressure off of me because I know I am not alone. We are better together even while apart.
By the way, the dress up ideas were awesome, but the backgrounds were definitely the winner last night!
How about you? What have you been doing to recharge your batteries and to get rid of negativity?