OCP News Service – Fr. Alexander Kurien – 20/7/2020
U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 140,000 as the world sets daily records in new cases. COVID-19 cases rise by 1 million in just 5 days as infections hit 13 million, with more than 600,000 already dead. Experts say that there will be no return to normal for foreseeable future, with too many countries and religious establishments ‘headed in the wrong direction’! Initially, it took 100 days for the global tally to hit 1 million cases. The disease’s spread has continued to accelerate, taking only 10 days to go from 5 million to 6 million infections, and six days to go from 8 million to 9 million. The pandemic has now killed more than 600,000 people in 6 plus months.
India now exceeds 1 million infections and 25,000 deaths, based on tested and publicly known! From where I sit in Washington DC, there would be no return to the “old normal” for the foreseeable future, especially if preventive measures were neglected and no preventive vaccine is in place. Let me be blunt, countries and religious establishments are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one. Theories such as Coronavirus dies in the heat is out the window as India is experiencing a nightmare with the heat index reaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. Just use common sense – if basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way. It is YOUR choice. Take NO risks!
Positive Impacts of COVID-19:
1. Rich or poor, great or small, regardless of religious beliefs, this virus has impacted all of us.
2. Broken down the barriers between us and we no longer see ourselves as separate nations.
3. Reminding of how much our loved ones mean to us. Families are coming together in ways like never before.
4. Extravagant weddings, receptions, and parties are of the past, at least for now. Just heard a 5,000-guests wedding has been cancelled. How many homeless, poor, and hungry can be cared for with such wasteful events?
5. Postponed weddings are giving a second chance for couples to rethink of their already planned marriage (is their true love in the equation)!
6. Those sensible hearts understood that God (the creator of heaven and earth) is in total control. The world can and will function without you. Your precious life and your man-made kingdom can disappear at the wink of an eye. The world is NOT hanging on a thread of individualism.
7. Yes, religious establishments matters in our lives. We miss churches, temples, and mosques!
8. Taught us to lead a disciplined and hygienic life, be loving, caring, compassionate, considerate, and patient. Of course, few NEVER will learn or change.
Before COVID-19 we used to run around with little time to stop and think. What are your priorities? How do we move forward from here? Is our previous lifestyle sustainable? How can we arrange our time to live our best life? With these many positives, I may, I said I may, like for Coronavirus to stay with us for a while.
Fr. Alexander J. Kurien is a Senior Priest of the Indian Orthodox Church. In addition to his commitment to the priesthood and his calling, he is a Senior Management Executive of the United States Government managing 9 policies and other major programs for the Administration. He serves in various senior management roles as Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Government-Wide Policy; Executive Director of the Federal Real Property Council; Member of U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking; Member of the United States Inter-Agency Council of Homelessness; Member of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
OCP News Service