I had a whole other topic I was going to publish, but in the back of my mind, the COVID-19 virus kept popping into my head. I wanted to deal with it from the perspective of a person over the age of 50, but I also wanted to be sure that I was encouraging, not sensationalizing, and also, truthful.
After a sleepless night and much daytime thought, I finally decided how to write this blog on the COVID-19 virus that says what I want it to say.
This virus has changed our lives so much in such a short time, but it is temporary. Finally, I narrowed the points I wanted to make and hopefully, I have chosen the right words to use so that you understand my message. The COVID-19 virus topic is a hard one to discuss.
Here are the points and at the end you will find my overall message to everyone over the age of 50:
First - There has been much discussion on the name of this virus. It is not unusual for the United States (and other countries, as well), to refer to a pandemic/epidemic/virus by the name of the country of origin, creature of origin, or area/region of origin. For example:
Hong Kong Flu Pandemic (AKA: Category 2 Influenza) 1968: First case originated in Hong Kong (July 13, 1968) and in only 17 days outbreaks were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months it had spread to the Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While short lived and resulting in a low mortality rate, it still killed over a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong which was at that time 15% of it's population.
Asian Flu Pandemic (AKA: Influenza A) 1956-1958: Originated in China and within two years it from it origin of the Chinese Province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. The World Health Organization estimates the final death toll at 2 million deaths, with 69,800 of those in the United States.
Asiatic Flu or Russian Flu Pandemic (AKA: Influenza A, subtype of H3N8) 1889-1890: First cases discovered in May 1889 in Central Asia (Turkestan), Northwest Canada, and Greenland. It claimed the lives of over a million people in the short period of its existence.
Ebola Virus 1976: Originated in the Ebola region of Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan). It moved across the globe in such places as England, Zaire, Italy, Uganda, Philippines, and the United States. It is still on-going with the death count at 1676 as of 2018.
As you can see, calling a pandemic/epidemic/virus by the name of origin is nothing new and not meant to insult anyone, only to identify the strain. (In the 16th century, we had the American Plague; and the Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1793; just FYI)
As far as our President driving the name of this virus as the Chinese Virus... yes, he is doing it to irritate the Chinese government - NOT the Chinese people or Chinese Americans. The Chinese government tried to cover this virus up, as they do a lot of things they do, that hurt their own people and people of other countries.
But the history of naming these events by the origin is nothing knew and not meant to be insulting.
Second - With each pandemic, epidemic, and virus, we have learned something new and developed better methods of dealing with each. We still make mistakes while trying to avoid nationwide panic.
No matter how our government handles such events, we can still do better. We learn with each event.
The big thing to remember is this: Everything is temporary. Life is temporary, no matter what we do to delay death, we will all die one day. Sorry, but that's the truth.
It is a fact, however, that people can increase their chances of survival in these events if they stay calm (not panic), stay positive (no doomsday thinking), and devise a plan to stay safe.
Third - As people over the age of 50, we have experienced our share of pandemics, epidemics, viruses, and other such events. We have knowledge, wisdom, and skills. Our age group is better prepared for this type of event because of our experience.
The key is to remember those experiences, remember they are temporary, and remember what we learned from each.
The MESSAGE is this:
listen to the guidance provided by the government and health officials,
remember this is temporary,
remember we have been through similar events before,
and above all remember, God is still in control and he hears our prayers
(lean on your spiritual beliefs,whatever they are)
Don't be taken in by those who make a big deal about the name of COVID-19,
instead concentrate on what you need to do.
Are you fearful of COVID-19? Do you feel helpless or in control? Do you have faith in your God? How has this event affected the way you look at life now and in the future?