My only use of the word ‘quarantine’ was through using computer virus scanners when cleaning my computer from suspected viruses. At that time, I used to receive a message from the application whether it is Norton, MacAfee, etc., to notify me that the suspected file(s) are quarantined. It never came to my mind that one day I will be quarantined like those infected files!
Today, everybody is on lockdown; life has markedly changed as fear became the sign of the year. No mother has ever imagined that she will be scared of holding her child! The pressure is growing, and different questions are racing in our heads, like what is the cause of the virus? Is it naturally originated or manufactured? When will the lockdown end? How will our post-corona life be like? Perhaps new historians should identify time/age by the year 2020, so BC and AC would stand for Before the Corona Virus and After!
When The Pause button was pressed, we responded, stood still, and reflected. Evaluating our past lives is part of our thoughts, and many messages have been delivered through the virus.
Message #1 We Should be More Humble
Today many people believe that we comprehend all aspects of life. Anything that is beyond our minds and senses for them doesn’t exist, for our brain is enough to assess and judge. We can change a fetus's gender, are ready to clone people, and create living organisms in our labs. We fully know how we came to this world, and on our way to explore how the universe will end. We don’t need a god, as the concept of god belongs to the past. It was used to fill the gaps of missing information, but now we know everything. And for some, it was used as a crutch to help them face their calamities, but now we are strong enough to deal with our problems. Now humans with their science and technology control the world.
Ironically, people think that science is enough to answer the big questions of life while we can see that it is incapable of instantly defeating a tiny virus that can’t be seen by the naked eye. This virus is more powerful than our massive research, advanced laboratories, and unprecedented technology! The whole world has been locked at homes; our habitual life has completely shut down; commerce and production have simply ceased, and the economy is frozen in place.
Hopefully, scientists will soon discover a vaccine or medication to overcome this critical period of time. But in all cases, we have to admit that we are much weaker than we thought; we should be more humble and always remember that science cannot stop death.
Message #2 Unguided Advancement May Cause Destruction
Months ago, I asked an eminent physicist if there are theories of physics that can explain or predict how the universe will end. He said that we do seem to have a very complete picture of the universe since the Big Bang, the universe may exist for another 100 billion years. However, he added a remarkable statement which is, human species will most likely exterminate themselves, and there is no need for the involvement of an external physical factor or power to do the job. What humans already know is enough to destroy their lives.
His words ring in my ears nowadays as truly sensible. If the most technologically advanced countries in the world go to war, the technology they own would cause destruction on a massive scale, and the use of advanced arms, like nuclear and biological weapons, will eventually end our lives. Is COVID-19 a biological warfare weapon? Is this the final countdown? Even if it is only an accidental leakage from a biological laboratory, this shows that when knowledge and technology are not possessed by the wise, it will never breed power, or conquer fear; on the contrary, it will induce it. More emphatically, this may also show that science and religion complement each other, as critical fields of science should be guided by common morals standards. Otherwise, it will be ‘running out of control.’
Message #3 We’ve Lost our Humanity
We think that we are too connected, but in fact, we are so distant. The social gaps are a remarkable sign of that. We listen to the news of people who are suffering from poverty, destruction, displacement, and war, exactly like watching a movie, even with less concern; many don’t bother to give a hand to lift the needy. We mainly focus on our interests, we have become too self-centered and introvert. Indeed we are eager to send emails, write posts and blogs, but mainly to flourish our business, earn credit, or to be known and be praised.
In the past, people used to visit each other to socialize or because they simply cared, but now, we don’t bother ourselves to feel for each other or even listen to one another, and the social media turned to be a place where trumpets are blown with no harmony. Affections and feelings are expressed with just a click on an Emoji button. After the spread of the virus, we are deprived of holding each other’s hand. Do we feel the difference?
Message #4 We’ve Lost our Trust
Many conspiracy theories are massively spread since the pandemic. Governments, notable people, pharmaceutical companies, even the World Health Organization are involved in those theories that are circulating in mobile apps and social media around the world. Whether they are true or false, it sadly shows that we lost trust in all entities around us, and this is a great loss. Trust releases mercy among us freely without restraint; we refrain from helping or supporting an institution or a group of people if we mistrust them and think they are deceptive. Being guided by the materialistic life caused the deterioration of our morals, which in turn, led to being more doubtful and suspicious. Eventually, suspicions stripped us of being human. We desperately need to restore our lost trust by working hard to revive our values. Goodness is based on mutual trust between us.
Message #5 Inverted Priorities
On a public level, actors and athletes have been more honored and credited than scientists and inventors. Financiers tend to invest much more in movies, TV programs, and football players than scientific research work. Moreover, during the pandemic, in some developing countries, we saw many doctors have lost their lives when trying to combat the virus, while very good attention is paid for the safety of movie stars and celebrities. Of course, I am not against that, but I would love to see doctors, scientists, and inventors are as well-served and appreciated. I hope that every soul would receive proper care and attention.
On a personal level, our materialistic needs are disturbing our inner peace. We say things to ourselves like; I will be happy when I get that car; buy that dress; live in that house; be the leader of that company; or perhaps having younger looks completely unaware that being young is a feeling that resides in the heart, not in the face. The youngsters always have hope for tomorrow and that is all that we need to stay young. Our emotions are drained by focusing on the next materialistic goal, and the next goal is followed by another. That is how our days are consumed at the expense of our relationships, serenity, and real satisfaction and happiness. Furthermore, we used to think that we can’t live without running after a fleeting dream; now all of us are stuck at home, incapable of chasing one of those desires and we discovered that life goes on with just the basic needs.
Message #6 We Need to Appreciate More
Certainly, our freedom and our feeling of safety are blessings that we took for granted over the years. Going out for work every day, seeing friends and families, or having recreation and fun at cinemas, funfairs, restaurants, museums, etc. or even having the chance to fly to any place on earth proved to be amazing graces that we rarely considered.
I used to think that being locked at home during the pandemic is the worst thing that could ever happen to me until I was told by the doctor that the result of the rapid COVID-19 blood test which I have done twice was positive! Being a chronic bronchial asthma patient made my end to appear very near. We were seven family members who were subjected to the infected patient; all of the results were negative except mine. At that time, I started to change my perspective regarding being locked down. I saw it is a blessing as long as we are in good health, and I started to wonder why we always cry over spilled milk.
Message #7 We Are Not Neglected
Then I started to receive instructions from my doctor to stay isolated, take a prophylactic medicine and to break my fasting, as it was the holy month of Ramadan, and to drink a lot.
As much as I was petrified, shivering with terror in the middle of the night, I felt from deep inside that everything will be okay; like a baby, completely helpless, but feeling secured because it is held by his loving parent, and that’s exactly how I felt when I started to submit to the will of God.
The next day, I received the result of the swab test, which was surprisingly NEGATIVE. All of the seven family members including myself were clear and not infected despite dealing closely with the Corona patient for days before we discovered his infection! When the physical causes are not effective and stop functioning, you know that there is a greater power that is in control.
I remembered my father’s words. He was a nephrologist; he used to say remarks about his patients that perhaps every doctor knows very well. He once recollected, “sometimes I have two patients that share common symptoms, history, the severity of the disease, general health condition, age weight, and gender; I give both the very same medicine, one of them gets better till he completely recovers, while the other deteriorates till he finally dies. Indeed…we (doctors) are causes, but there is always a Causer of the causes”.
You can see God in every bit of detail, and in the Cosmos, in the farthest distant galaxy and in our DNA. This very complicated, accurate, organized, and marvelous universe cannot be created haphazardly or by chance. So, whether the Corona is deliberately or naturally originated, and whether we are sick or in good health, inflicted or in prosperity, living or struggling with death, we surely are in safe hands.
In any communication system, the message won’t be delivered unless the receiver is ready and is on, even if the signal is strong. I tried hard to set up my receiver to accurately receive the messages sent out of the pandemic and to send them, in turn, to other ready recipients. I hope this is successfully done.