"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.

Dr. Seuss,  I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Lessons, Reflections and Realizations

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The coronavirus grips the whole world. Many of us are feeling helpless, frustrated, angry, sad, and scared. Although there are only 8 reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria as of this writing, we’re still holding our breath because cases are fast rising in neighboring African countries. Plus, the Nigerian Diaspora is also hit really very hard. There are about 15 million Nigerians spread all over the world  mostly in countries that are severely affected by COVID-19. Many of our brothers and sisters in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, the Netherlands, the Middle East, the United States, China and many other countries are in community quarantine or lockdown. In fact, there had been calls from Nigerian students in China for the Nigerian government to evacuate them. Experts are also saying that COVID-19 could hit African countries the hardest. Click here to read more about it.

On top of that, other diseases continue to harass the country amid the coronavirus scare. In fact, Lassa Fever killed 41 people in Nigeria just last month.

A lot of us are understandably afraid, confused, overwhelmed, sad, angry, and uncertain. But the best thing we can do for now is to take care of ourselves and to look after each other. Let's fight this virus together by doing the following:

  1. Stay home if possible.
  2. Avoid close contact with sick people so refrain from going to ER unless it is really necessary.
  3. Send messages of love and hope to family and friends who are going through medical issues right now.
  4. Wash your hands properly. See the graphics below on the correct way of hand washing. It's true! Clean hands save lives!

Precautions for the coronavirus are essentially similar to the things we need to do to avoid and survive a flu. Common sense hygiene and everyday health and preparedness steps will help us get through this! 

Furthermore, we need to be emotionally and spiritually strong despite all the chaos and uncertainty. This crisis is a test of our resolve, faith and humanity. The unknown can cause us to panic but let's pause for a while and reflect. What if there’s actually a well hiding in all of these? What if there’s a blessing in this setback that we find ourselves in?

What if everything has a way of working out in the end despite our resistance to it? Perhaps, the current events are not working out in our favour but unknown to us is that pieces of the puzzle are still taking form. Whilst we shouldn’t brush off short-term setbacks, it’s always good to examine the key lessons they embody, reflect on these lessons and realize that the universe is in our favour.

With that we’d like to share with you this beautiful note from Gurpreet K. Gill.

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19. And, what if…
If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us,
that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…
That all is interconnected. What if…
The virus is here to help us?
To reset.
To remember.
What is truly important.
Reconnecting with family and community.
Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.
Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.
Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).
Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.
An invitation to turn inwards - a deep meditation - rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.
To reconnect with self -- what is really important to me?
A reset economically.
The working poor.
The lack of healthcare access for millions of people all over the world.
The need for paid sick leave.
How hard does one need to work to be able to live,
to have a life outside of work?
To face our mortality -- check back into “living” life
rather than simply working, working, working.
To reconnect with our elders, who are susceptible to this virus. And washing our hands -- how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember.
But, yes, we did.
The presence of Grace for all.
There is a shift underway in our society -- what if it is one that is favorable for us?
What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?
In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life,
to be less impactful/ more kind to our environment.
An offering from my heart this morning.
Offered as another perspective.
Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.
It was time for a change, we all knew that.
And, change has arrived. What if...