Stories of Hope & Recovery in the age of COVID-19

Grondona

Italica Grondona

With the global spread of the Coronavirus it is very easy for all of us to follow all the bad things happening all over the world. In this post I want to share a few of the happy stories.  Although I totally understand and agree with the respect we need to give to those who have lost their lives as a result of this Pandemic, I think there are enough positive outcomes that those need to be shared as well. With the majority of the people actually recovering from COVID-19, I dedicate this post to the focus on 3 specific cases. Well 3 ½ actually.  The ½ being a little more personal.

Eli Beer-46

EBEER

Eli Beer

Miami resident Eli Beer is the Director of United Hatzalah, volunteer emergency medical organization.  He was hospitalized with COVID-19 on March 18th.  On Friday, March 20th he was put on a ventilator.  Here is part of the statement issued by his family as of yesterday.

“As you may be aware, Eli was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of last week. He was put on a ventilator last Friday evening. Eli is showing signs of improvement. His vital signs continue to get stronger and the level of fluid in his lungs is decreasing. If Eli continues to improve they will start the process of waking him slowly in the coming days.”

Here’s hoping and praying his health continue to progress in the right direction.

 

Lawrence Garbuz-50

LGARBUZ

Lawrence Garbuz

Having the unfortunate distinction as being the first American to contract the COVID-19 virus, Lawrence Garbuz of New Rochelle went into the hospital on March 9th.  On March 11th he was put into a medically-induced coma. On March 18th,  his wife Adina posted that Lawrence was “awake and alert and seems to be on the road to full recovery.”

We wish him a full recovery as well and are happy to hear of his good news.

 

Italica Grondona

 

Leaving out Naples resident Italica Grondona was not an oversight.  Her amazing story has to do with her age.  Grondona is 102 years old. That is not a typo.  Italica Grondona, born in 1917 was alive during the time the Spanish flu as well. In the beginning of March she was admitted to the hospital with mild heart failure.  She subsequently tested positive for the Coronvirus.  Although the average age of those who were diagnosed and later died of COVID-19 in Italy is 78, Grondona has recovered from the virus, and on March 26th this remarkable woman was released from the hospital.

Hoping she keeps going on for quite some time and inspires us all.

 

Susie

About 10 minutes before I started writing this, I found out in a text from my friend Jeremy, that his wife Susie, who was in the hospital with pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus has been released and his resting comfortably at home.  She is doing well and all indications are that she is on the road to a full recovery.  May she continue on a good path and have a complete and speedy recovery.

 

It is so important, if we are going to spend our time following everything that is happening regarding the Coronavirus that we take the time to talk about the good news as well.  Although there is more bad news than any of us wants to hear, there is plenty of good news as well, and I will try my best to share it with all of you over the course of time.  If there are stories you wish me to share, please email me at hollandsheroes80@gmail.com.

Stay healthy and safe.

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An Open Letter to Earth’s Angels, the Nurses

thank_you_card_maker_app01Dear Nurses of the world,

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine who is an emergency room nurse share a few minutes of  her time to chat with me on Facebook messenger.  The things I said to her, clearly made a difference, even if only a small one.  So with that in mind I write this following letter to the people I like to refer to as, Earth’s Angels, the nurses.

I have great appreciation for all medical professionals.  They are all indeed the front  line in this war against the Coronavirus and even in the best of times people on who we critically depend on .  Back when I was married in 1992, the woman I was married to spent 5 months in the hospital.  The first 2 1/2 months of that time she was in a private room in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  During that time in which I was able to sleep in her room, I learned something I believe to be true to this very day.  There are many wonderful doctors out there and the work they do is often awe inspiring, but it is you, the nurses that determine the greatness of a medical institution more than anything else.  You are indeed angels.

They say that you should write what you know.  As someone who sits here with immense appreciation for the sacrifices made by you, our nurses, having had the benefit of having a mother who worked as a nurse during the worst of times, I will share something with you I hope will provide you with some added strength during this very difficult time.

It is human nature to look to history to provide a perspective  that helps us understand and navigate not only the present, but the future as well.  However, with every offering of past perspective we must also be aware of the different challenges presented by each situation.  In 1943, my mother, then a 21 year old woman, was working and living in a hospital in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.  Although she dealt with a different threat and fear than the one facing all of you, had she been alive today, knowing her as I did, I am sure she would have been more than willing to share her perspective and support.  This is not a competition.  So many of life’s challenges and difficulties are different.  I know from my conversations with my mother that she never tired physically from helping someone to who was ill.  The mental exhaustion was a much greater challenge.  During the time I am referring to in 1943, she cared for and comforted the sick, fully aware of the fact that on a regular basis Nazi thugs would raid the hospital and incrementally take patients away to be murdered.  On August 13, 1943, as the last of the patients were removed by the Nazis in their final raid on the hospital, my mother’s first instinct was to go with them. I sit here able to write this letter to you today because frankly, on the insistence of the man who would turn out to be my father, that is not how things turned out.   Had she gone with them, she too would likely have been murdered, and would never have been able to help anyone ever again.

As a child I remember at least 2 instances in which my mother cared for a terminally ill individual by going to their home and caring for them in their final days.  She later became a Director of  a Senior facility in the city of Arnhem in Holland.  When she referred to the war and discussed all that she lost and her sadness during that time, it was always clear to me the strength she not only acquired, but was able to access from the help she gave her patients.  Yes she saw terrible things,  but the lessons she learned from that time were of enormous value to her for the rest of her life.  But, as any mere mortal would, she needed those who would support her, love her, and give her purpose during the course of her life.  When she passed away at the age of 95 she was a happy and fulfilled woman. She faced tragedies and difficulties most of us could never fathom, but she faced them and lived a good life.

So this is my message to all of you angels out there.  No one knows what our worlds will look like when this crisis ends, but we all need to do our part.  You are all already doing more than seems humanly possible and yes, from what the stories seem to already tell us, making an enormous difference.  What I and people like me need to do is to offer you that support, encouragement, love, and mostly gratitude for being there when we all need you the most.  I want you to know that the main reason I shared part of my mother’s story with you today is to help you realize that God willing you all stay healthy, the exhaustion, frustration and sadness you feel today, that you sometimes replace with numbness, will not endure.  There will come a time when you will look back and know that what you did meant the world to us.  To those who got sick, and to those who stayed healthy.  And you once again will move on to live, love and enjoy your lives as you so deserve to do.

Lastly, I don’t think that the words of gratitude and encouragement I share with my friend yesterday make the difference in her abilities to move forward in her very difficult task, but I do know it helped a little. When I thanked my friend on a thread for all that he does as a nurse, I am not even sure he had the time to even read it, but I know if he does it can only help.  All of us can only try to understand the challenges and difficulties facing those who are working so hard under these terrible conditions.  Of course by now we should all know that we need to do our part in helping to not spread the virus.  But what I encourage everyone to do is to take the time to give words of gratitude, support and encouragement to all of those in hospitals on the front line of what many are referring to as a war.  Like anyone else going through trying times, the support they get will be critical in keeping them going. Take the time to offer that much needed help to those who are giving all of their time to help us.

So today I am thanking those who I refer to as Earth’s Angels, our nurses.  Thank you for all that you do and may you be blessed with all the strength and health you need to get us through this and to a time when life can return to normal, and when you can enjoy the time you cherish with those you love and all that makes you happy in life.

With thanks,

David Groen

 

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Open Letter to Congress: Please share this post.

Congress

Dear Members of Congress,

Today is a day to do your job. Today is a day when the American people will not see the D. or the R. next to your name.  What they will see instead is whether or not you came through when we needed you most.  For years you have been members of this overly entitled institution that has often looked more like a social club designed to give their members a better life than one designed to provide a service to the country.  To those of you who have gotten away with that till now, be very aware of the fact that today is a day you can no longer do so. Today is a day when we are all watching and waiting.

No one, myself included, needs to go over the details of the crisis we are in as I write this letter.  That may be the most despicable thing about your collective behavior.  You know what is happening in your country.  People are getting sick and dying.  The economy faces what is likely its biggest challenge in modern history. What all of you need to know is one very simple fact.  Listen to this carefully, understand it, and maybe then you will realize why you need to be scared as well.  Many of the American people believe, and today’s actions do nothing to dispel this fact, that what scares a member of Congress the most is to lose their job.  I guarantee you, that if you as a group fail the American people, then many, if not all of you will ultimately lose your jobs over this catastrophic failure.

Each one of you, those obstructing a bill and those not working like your future depends on passing a bill, will be held accountable by the American people.  This is not one of those, “they’ll forget all about this in a few months” moments.  Today is the day to get your acts together and do what the American people elected you to do.  Today is the day to actually be civil servants. People that care.

This unprecedented crisis can not be blamed on any individual or political entity, but today is the day that all of you realize that all the benefits you have as a result of your position come with the responsibility to take care of your constituents.  As of 5:00 PM, EST on Monday, March 23, 2020, the Congress of the United States of America is failing every single one of its constituents like no other time in history.  I am certain that we, the American people will hold you all accountable for not helping us with what comes next.  Maybe when you think about that you will realize how this will impact you as much as it will impact the people who you are failing today.

DO YOUR JOB.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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During the Coronavirus crisis, the lives of Holocaust survivors can offer us some much needed perspective

benchdg2

Make no mistake.  The Coronavirus is a serious problem and one that the larger percentage of people recognize as being something that needs to be taken seriously.  Everyone reacts to things differently and everyone is frightened by different things.  Some more than others.  Fear or lack thereof in a situation such as this one is not what distinguishes cowards from heroes. It is the actions in light of those fears that speaks more to a person’s character.  Part of my reason for saying that is because despite my relative lack of concern for my own well-being, my behaviors are more out of a communal sense of responsibility and decency towards others, I say without any degree of false modesty that I am no hero.  But my lack of panic or fear has made me ask why I feel this way.  Although there are many others who share my approach for different reasons, I believe mine comes from an education I received at home from a young age from my parents.

There is a difference between scaring people and giving them perspective.  I attempt to do the latter.  To consciously try to sensationalize and scare people at a time like this is not only destructive, it is unethical.  So the lessons I learned I pass on in the hope that it helps people deal better with this situation moving forward.

As someone who has studied and written about what my parents experienced in Holland between 1940-1945, I’ve learned to look at things more as they are than how I think they could be or how I would like them to be.  Yes, it is great to dream.  The best line from the movie Flashdance, in my opinion, was the line, “if you lose your dreams, you die”.  That being said, looking at things as they truly are and understanding the reality, is critical at a time like this.  So first I look at the aspect of isolation and the true extent of the discomfort or inconvenience that it causes.  Once when I was about 16 years old, I found myself depressed over the silly nonsense that is likely to depress someone of that age.  And back then, as someone who was living in London away from my parents who were in Holland, much of my communication with my parents was through written letters.  In one letter my father wrote to me one of the most poignant and helpful things he would ever share with me.  He told me that even though I may see my problems as not that large compared to “real” problems, since they were my problems they were the most serious to me.  I share that because that comfort and understanding given to me by my father, someone who had survived the Holocaust, needs to be understood by those who might say to you, relax, it could be worse.  Whatever it is you are going through today, and I hope and pray it stops short of health issues for you or your loved ones, it is your most serious problem.  But that still doesn’t have to stop any of us from using the experiences of previous generations as a perspective check, one that might just make it easier for us to handle during these difficult time.

I live alone.  I am not saying that out of self-pity or in search of attention.  I say that because I consider myself fortunate.  I have electricity, heat, running water, enough food, contact with the outside world, and as long as my actions do not put others in jeopardy,  freedom of movement.  I also say that because the isolation people are asked to apply to their lives, is, assuming people respect it and with God’s help, a relatively temporary measure.  So I look to a 16 month period of my mother’s life for perspective.  The last 16 months in Holland, at the end of World War II. During this time my mother slept every night in a small room underground and probably in a space no bigger than many  people’s bathrooms.  She had a candle and a bucket, and when the weather turned bad, rising water that she had to walk through and a damp unpleasant room that she slept in.  Every night, Lubertus te Kiefte, the righteous man who together with his wonderful and equally righteous wife Geeske, gave my mother a relatively safe environment and food to survive, would take my mother to the back of his workplace where he had built her this room.  Once she was in the underground, he would put sandbags on top of the entrance to hide the room’s existence.  This was necessary because on any given day the possibility existed that the Nazis would raid people’s homes.

We all would love to go to work, go to gatherings, eat at restaurants, go to school or pray in our houses of worship. I get it. But perspective helps.  And considering what my mother dealt with for 16 months in cold, dark and unhealthy conditions, conditions that when relieved were replaced with the constant fear of being caught by the Nazis, maybe those us who need a perspective check and are miserable over having to stay home in conditions that offer us most of our basic needs over a time period that has not even hit 16 days, need to consider what my mother experienced during that time.  But maybe most importantly we all need to know that, even with the losses she suffered and the pain she experienced, she went on to live to be 95, build a family, and other than missing her husband, my father, died a happy woman.

The uncertainty we feel, the feeling we feel is so devastating, I put into perspective by understanding, to the best of my limited abilities, my father’s 5 years in Nazi-occupied Holland.  Before the war my father was on track to live a life as a Judaic scholar. His knowledge of Judaism and his involvement in the community were the core of his upbringing. Then came the war, and a 5 year period in which he was an active member of the Dutch resistance and someone constantly on the move, living through that time with a false identity, and, for lack of any other way of saying it, putting his Jewish life on complete hold.  For 5 years. Let’s use that as a perspective check before we panic about having to put our lives on hold for 5 weeks or even 5 months.  Why? Because when the war was over, my father married my mother, became a Rabbi and went on to live a rich and fulfilling life.

Everyone has their stories.  Some worse than others, some better.  This is not a competition.  This post is not designed to belittle anyone’s pain or fear.  What it is meant to do is offer some added perspective. Not just as to how much worse things can get in life, but more importantly as to how we can not only move on, but if we are fortunate enough and resilient enough, maybe even restart the lives that we have.

I have often said that the basis for my personal happiness is the teaching from Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Fathers, about who is a happy person.  It is someone who is happy with their portion.  That lesson has never been a more important one than it is today.  When things are going the way you would like them to go it is easy to be happy with what you have.  But during times of struggle and hardship, that teaching becomes even more important.  Look to what you have in life and be grateful for it.  Let it make you happy.  If that doesn’t work, than hopefully some of these lessons on perspective will.  The reality is what the reality is.  Your way of looking at it is entirely up to you.

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With such important lessons to learn, the world has been given the time to learn them.

 

benchdg

A short time  ago a good person I know posted these words on Facebook regarding the current crisis caused by the Coronavirus. “I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime”. Well the truth is that none of us ever have.  What the entire planet is experiencing is unlike anything anyone alive today has ever seen.  As bad as it is on so many levels, I can’t stop but think that in some ways it was inevitable.

Despite what some of the words I am about to write might imply, I am an extremely  positive person.  I spend my life looking at the bright side of things, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and far more often than not I find myself to be an optimist. However, being a thinker and observer I see a lot of what is wrong in the world.  The bigotry, greed and selfishness around the globe, things we often aspire to what we call human nature, are already indications of how the human race needs improvement.  However they all pale in comparison to the worst things prevalent on our planet.  Hatred, killing, and war. Even the decent among us, the vast majority who do not hate or kill, are at best powerless against the forces of evil.  Others are at worst complicit.  We either go through our days working to keep the negative out of our lives, or we pray to God for protection, and in many cases an ultimate redemption for the planet earth.  But make no mistake.  The fact that the world has been a mess for quite some time is far from a mystery to most thinking people, and in many ways it would not be far fetched if we thought for some time that eventually something had to give.

Regardless of how the Coronavirus started, if the world was as all decent people would have it be, void of hatred and killing and rich with concern for the well-being of others, a combination of the the global cooperation and resources available would have made this crisis far more manageable.  But a world where so many are distracted by their hatred or distaste for someone based on their religion, nationality, color, sexual orientation, financial worth or any other ridiculous reason, finds us in a world where we have mastered fighting, but struggle with curing.  I am not saying we deserve what is happening, partially because I would have no right to make that type of judgment and because so many of the innocent will suffer, but I do look at this and hope that when the dust settles and the world resets itself, all of us learn the lessons we need to learn.

Our world tends to call the hope that people will recognize the need for love and understanding to be idealistic nonsense.  That generosity and patience is nice in theory but to expect it from people is naive innocence, or even worse, childish stupidity. We are made to believe that looking at all human beings as equally important is nothing more than weak ignorance.  We are told that is just not the way the world works.  So to that I ask the following question.  Is this world working now?  Could the entire world have been brought to its proverbial knees if we all saw each other as human beings rather than segmented creatures divided by borders, ideologies and physical features?

I believe if we were getting it right in the first place, it would not be going so wrong today.  I often call myself a citizen of the world, and seeing as I am genuine when I say it, by definition I believe that everyone else on the planet is as well.  To feel that way we all need to learn and understand, and I mean understand to our very core, that we all are born and we will all die. We all need oxygen to breath and food to fuel our bodies.  We all bleed red blood and are on this earth for a reason, be it a small one or a substantial one.  The time has come for us to learn this if we are to survive and thrive as an entity in the universe.  That is more than just an opinion.  With the world coming to a halt, with more human beings’ lives shut down than probably any time in earth’s history, people have time to reflect, to think, and hopefully to learn the right way to treat their fellow man. We are truly being given the time to learn. Let’s use it wisely.

People will never be perfect.  That is an unfair expectation.  But with a disease that does not discriminate in any way, shape or form, maybe people will start to understand deep in their hearts that when it comes down to it we truly are all the same.

Like I said, I am a positive person and more often than not, an optimist.  I believe the human race is capable of coming around to the right place.  I have faith in humanity.  Why? Because when it comes down to it we really are all the same and we all want a world that works.  Imagine how much hardship we could overcome if we actually did it together and for each other, rather than battle each other for dominance. That’s the kind of world we should all want. Maybe the lessons we learn now will teach us how to make that world come to fruition.  Maybe once and for all the human race will get it right.

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An Open letter of comfort and encouragement

benchdg

Dear People,

Thanks to a conversation I had earlier with one of my brothers, I write this to you with less emphasis on melodrama and more emphasis on having a positive impact on how you feel and how you move forward in this difficult time.  Although many of you are scared or anxious about what is happening today, I want to share with you some thoughts and ideas on how I feel we can all get through this and move forward with our lives in a positive manner.

It begins with gratitude.  Understanding that every day we wake up is another day that we have been blessed with an opportunity to do something good or be with someone we love.  Our lives are all different and everyone has had good and bad things in their lives long before we ever heard of the Coronavirus.  All of us try to manage the various emotions we have to deal with daily.  Some are better at it than others, but with the correct approach we can go into every day recognizing what we have to be grateful for in our respective worlds.  It is all a matter of perspective.  Being scared for the well-being of the people we care for also means that we have people for whom we care.  Being concerned that we will lose some of what we have also means that we have something to lose.  More often than not we have no control over what happens to our loved ones or whether or not we have less or more tomorrow than we have today.  What we do control is how we look at things.  And how we look at things will determine our feelings and actions more than any outside force could ever do.  At a time when people may need to isolate physically, they may be even more aware of how connected they are to others.  I do not enjoy worrying about the people that I love, but I would not change having those people in my life for anything.  There is a price to pay for everything in life, and if the price I need to pay for having friends and family that I love is concern or even heartbreak, rather than focusing on the negative, I will focus on how fortunate I am to have them in my life in the first place.

Many years ago I was married to a woman who developed Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer less than 2 years into our marriage.   Skipping ahead without going into the details of her illness and treatment, she recovered and went on to a live her life.  Although our marriage would end about 4 years later, I learned a wonderful lesson from the time she was ill.  When things in life are most difficult, nothing gets you through it better than taking care of someone else.  Self indulgence or self pity not only do nothing to help anyone or anything, they do nothing to help the individual feeling them. If you want to feel better during these times I urge you to extend kindness to as many people you can find.  Be the person that someone, anyone remembers and says, they were there when I needed them most and they were wonderful.  They gave me some joy, some comfort and even love.  You will find that in doing so you do not only help them immensely, you help yourself as well.

Focus in on the joys in life the current circumstances still allow you to experience and partake in those things.  Control what outside things you allow to stimulate your mind.  If you spend your entire day watching the news, I can almost guarantee you will be far more stressed than if you find something that moves you, excites you, or makes you laugh.  I would go as far as saying I do not recommend you let a day go by, no matter how trying that day may be, without being moved by beauty or amused by comedy.

And lastly I urge you to have faith.  To some that means faith in God, some it means faith in the universe, and others faith in their fellow man.  I am not trying to persuade any of you to  believe in what I believe in, but whatever it is you do believe in, let that drive your faith.  Bad things will happen in this world. It is just the way things are and always has been, but ultimately the last line of defense is not something you can touch or even see.  It is what you feel.  At a time when the powerful have never been more powerless, look into yourselves and I assure you that you can find all the power you need to move forward.

Earlier I mentioned how reaching out and helping others can make such a difference in how you feel and how you handle a bad situation.  In case any of you wonder what I mean by that, if you’ve made it to this point in the letter, by allowing me to provide you with some comfort and encouragement, that is exactly what you helped me accomplish in this letter, and for that I thank you.

Wishing you all strength and peace in the days ahead.

All the best,

David

 

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Is the Corona Virus as much a message to humanity as it is a virus?

benchdg2

I am a simple man.  Some might say to a fault.  I believe that to its core, life is not that complicated.  If you are blessed to do so, you get up each day and do your best to make the most of the waking hours ahead of you.  You do some things right and some things wrong.  You get some of the things you want to get and fail to get others.  You feel joy and pain.  You are healthy or sick.  There is a word to describe what this makes every single one of us.  The word is human.  I also feel that whatever it is you believe in is so personal that to judge others for contrary beliefs is only justified if those other beliefs are designed to, or clearly will cause harm to others.  So when I say that at the core of everything I believe is a belief that there is an all powerful God, I quickly and I feel fairly add that if someone reading this does not share that belief, I do not feel I am better than they are as a result.  That being said, I will continue to share my thoughts with that very clear and certain belief, dare I say knowledge that there is indeed a God that watches over us and causes events to occur.

I’ve heard the rebuttals.  What kind of God is it that causes suffering?  Anyone who thinks that is a question I haven’t considered is clearly unaware of the information and history that was in the forefront of my life from as early as I can remember.  Being the son of Holocaust survivors I was taught to have not only an understanding of the overall horrors of what took place, but a personal account of what it was like to be alive, scared and devastated by personal loss as a result of what took place.  So again I understand that you may ask, what kind of God does that?  Maybe the answer lies in the message being sent to the human race.

One of the first things a true belief in God should do is teach humility.  As certain as you may be that you do, you do not have all the answers.  You may be a leader in your community, am expert in your field, the most educated person among your piers, or the strongest person physically, mentally or spiritually anyone ever has ever had the  pleasure with which to interact.  Any of these qualities or statuses are wonderful achievements and they are to be appreciated and respected.  That being said, to try to understand God on a human level, to think however great your achievements are you can know what God is doing and why, may very well indicate a basic misunderstanding of what or who God is.  So we theorize.  Mostly everyone feels it is acceptable to do that, but to apply our personal or the current world’s standards to God’s purpose and actions is not only futile, it is often dangerous.

With all this in mind, I still sit down and write this with the basic belief that with what is happening in the world today, God is sending a strong message.  I feel this way for a number of reasons, but the one reason that is most prevalent is that in my lifetime I have never seen the powerful more powerless than I do today.  There are scientists working on a cure and governments taking actions to slow down the spread of the disease, but when you listen carefully to what experts and politicians are saying, it sounds a lot like a glorified version of throwing things against the wall and hoping something sticks.  All of that would be quite terrifying unless you go back to that core belief that God has a purpose and reason for all that is done.

Do I know that what I am opining here is the truth?  Of course I don’t.  I am neither deluded or that conceited to think my answer is absolutely the correct one. However, I do feel strongly about what I am about to share with you.  First of all, the one thing I feel that making the powerful powerless should teach them all, is that as much as high or lofty a level as they have achieved in the world, they are not the ultimate power in the universe.  If they were to truly comprehend and feel that I believe they would be better leaders.  Let’s wait and see, but not hold our breaths and find out if that is a positive result that comes from the current crisis.

The second thing is the message I feel this is sending to mankind, and it not only goes back to that simplicity I referred to in the beginning of this piece, it also does not require you to believe in anything other than humanity.  The message as I see it is as follows. Do your true best to be decent to living creatures,  treat your home and planet with respect, and most of all, be nice to your fellow human being.  We will all make mistakes.  We will offend people we care for, we will be selfish when we should have been selfless, and we might put our personal ambitions ahead of what is the right thing to do.  But the God I believe in knows when our intentions are pure.  When we wish well on others, find more sadness than joy in the pain of others and truly care for our fellow human being.

There are many who say that a good mental state of a cancer patient helps to advance their health in a positive direction.  It’s far fetched and out there to say a world in which we show more care and affection for each other will help to cure the virus, but no can dispute the fact that it certainly won’t hurt the situation.  None of us will get it completely right, but if we all try we might just be getting the message, and maybe once we do things will begin to get a lot better.

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