I had decided earlier today to cease following the updates on coronavirus except for a daily summary; one dose of mass media psychotic injection is more than enough to heal my curiosity for the novel strain of coronavirus. I’d rather concentrate on my usual daily routine and prayers than compulsively consulting my phone for updates.
So, this evening while going through an article, I had a deep persuasion in my heart. A persuasion to ask the Lord to stay His hand. To tell the angel that it’s enough. That we’ve learnt our lesson. That He should forgive and have mercy upon the entire nation for His name’s sake.
Several thoughts informed my persuasion to pray, and I hope they’ll move you to spend five minutes of your time to raise up a lamentation as Jeremiah did.
Now, I know that some Christians sometimes choose to pray for Goshen only, while leaving Egyptians to kill themselves or be killed by plagues from God. But this more than just asking for protection in Goshen
GOSHEN IS STILL IN EGYPT
When the time was fully come for the deliverance of Israel from the captivity of Egypt, the Lord wanted to demonstrate His power to Pharaoh and to Egypt. This He did through many signs at the hand of Moses (See Exodus chapters 7 through 12).
But God’s aim was to deliver Israel from the fangs of her oppressors; she was not to remain in that geographical Goshen forever. Her preservation from the epidemics that plagued the rest of the land was a sign of division between the people of God and the Egyptians.
Had the Israelites stayed in Egypt for several years, they would in the long run feel the impact of the failing economy and natural disasters devastating the land. So, the plagues were not only limited in location but also in time.
I say this because several times as Christians, we only pray for ourselves or for people in our groups. We willfully ignore the bigger picture – that even when we aren’t directly affected by a given pestilence, we eventually feel the pains of its effects through those around us.
Like I explain below, if the economy of the land fails, the economy of believers will be affected. If there isn’t peace in the land, we won’t have peace. If there’s a health emergency and the government releases decrees/orders, as a church we are affected as well.
So, it’s good to pray for Goshen’s protection, but it’s better to pray for the land, that the hand of the Lord be stayed from the evil He has determined to unleash. Also, for the love of humanity, of sinners. We were all in sin until the time Jesus met and cleansed us.
Sometimes, we tend to write off others who haven’t come to the awareness of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, forgetting that we were once as they are.
I doubt Noah was altogether happy that only his family was entering the ark before the deluge; just like Moses wasn’t excited at God’s desire to wipe out all Israel and create a new nation from him.
Whether we are citizens or foreigners, we live here, work here, school here, marry here and raise kids here. Let the Lord stay His hand. It is enough O Lord!
TRANSPARENCY AND RIGOROUS PROTOCOLS
Besides my inestimable regard and profound appreciation to the health professionals handling this emergency, transparency is one thing that I’ve appreciated so far in the Italian government’s handling of the emergency.
I wonder how many countries would have been that transparent in making public every single case of death (even when the patient had serious comorbidities) and positivity to the PCR test.
In many cases, before a second, confirmation test result could arrive from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, these patients are declared positive at the regional level. Of course, some eventually are false positives, but the news has been given and some dose of panic injected into the people.
I just pray other countries take these rigorous measures to identify and quarantine her citizens. Else, after it’s contained in those taking these measures, new cases spring up from those who never did, and we’ll “be back to square one.”
Hopefully, by then we would have developed antibodies anti-Covid-19 or some vaccine or even a well-defined functioning medical therapy that’s no longer experimental.
Like I said above, the transparency of the Italian government is something I appreciate. However, seeing the number of infected people increase every single hour constitutes a trigger for panic, anxiety and certainly serious economic consequences.
The panic in the nation was so much that when you visited the drugstores last weekend you wouldn’t find even a single face mask nor hand gel/sanitiser. People practically ‘consumed’ these products that even the chemists had to put a notice that they hadn’t any left in their stores.
And of course, insensitive and inhuman beings on Amazon and other online retail stores hiked the prices of masks and sanitisers to high heavens.
If you visited the supermarkets last Sunday, you’d find entire rows of shelves empty because people swooped in and bought groceries as though famine was imminent. You’ll just wonder if the end had come.
SEVERE SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE CORONAVIRUS
The three most affected northern regions (Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna) alone account for about 40% of Italy’s GDP because that’s where the majority of the multinational companies and SMEs are located.
If you add Piemonte, Liguria etc then you might be well above 50% of Italy’s GDP.
As the central and regional governments rolled out decrees and orders, with rigorous medical protocols, the news spread like wildfire.
Universities, schools, museums, religious and cultural gatherings, some world-renowned trade fairs, carnivals, football matches, shops, industries were closed, suspended or postponed in the affected regions.
Obviously, these measures have alarmed several neighbouring and distant countries who in turn took measures to limit entrance into and access of Italians coming from these regions. Italy is a country that thrives majorly on tourism – that’s her petroleum.
So, anything that affects that industry is a blow to her economy. Many countries have cancelled flights to Italy and restricted access to Italian vessels and/or aircrafts. The number of passengers in the northern Italian airports has significantly reduced.
The Italian foreign affairs minister wants to start a sort of counter-campaign asking tourists to still visit Italy, but you’ll agree with me that if you heard that there’s an epidemic in any given country, it’ll take faith and unpostponable appointments to still fly to such places.
Kuwait is sending a flight to return her citizens home and the US will evaluate blocking flights from Italy. At least five American universities have suspended their programmes in Italy and the American army base has warned her citizens from visiting the red zones. Israel will prohibit entrance to Italians according to her interior minister.
Hotel, restaurant and other bookings in the tourism sector have seen the cancellation of about 40 per cent, reaching even up to 90 per cent in hotel and restaurant cancellations in some major cities; trains and flight bookings cancelled or empty; some road deserted; even the catholic churches in these areas are streaming their activities online – not that people were trooping to her before now anyway, but this has worsened the matter.
Even some seaports and those working in retail and large-scale distribution firms are experiencing several problems. Industries in the affected municipalities are under lock and key and the inhabitants quarantined or under isolation in their houses.
Before now, Italy was expected to grow by 0.3 per cent this year according to the EU. The governor of the Bank of Italy a day after the discovery of the index patient said that the coronaviral crisis might cost about 0.2 per cent of Italy’s growth, leaving just 0.1 per cent growth.
Now, when you add other unforeseen circumstances and the shaky global economic growth beginning from China where Italy exports to a lot, the future of Italy’s economy has never looked gloomier.
A technical recession according to some experts might be inevitable. Ref Ricerche, a consulting firm based in Milan, estimates a decrease of -1 to -3 per cent of Italy’s GDP. That is, between 9 and 27 billion euro.
This health emergency comes also at a time when several industrial crises are still on the table of the government. Air Italy recently went into liquidation, ArcelorMittal, Whirlpool, Alitalia, Unicredit, Banca Popolare di Bari, UBI Banca, Auchan, Mercato Uno, Bosch, Mahle, Blutec to mention but a few are serious biting issues.
And all these involve thousands of workers that could be laid off if no reasonable agreements are reached. Now, if additional companies fail during these weeks of lockdown, more people may likely be laid off, and this time for the right reason (giusta causa).
On Monday, FTSE MIB closed at -5.4%, losing about 30 billion euros in one day. Although the government has announced measures like tax-free zones and all, the Northern industrialists consider them grossly insufficient to stop the haemorrhage that’s going on.
Another factor that will also affect many young Italians seeking greener pastures abroad is Brexit. This is because the new rules that the British prime minister is supposedly going to roll out from January 2021, according to some estimates will automatically block about 70 per cent of these young Italian citizens who would have had the opportunity of going there for unskilled or partially skilled jobs.
THE AGING ITALIAN POPULATION
Italy is without mincing words an old country, having about 23 per cent of its population made up of 65-year-old adults and above.
The natality (birth rate) is very low, seeing a total live birth of just 439,747 in 2018, the worst since the unification of Italy in 1861. The unemployment rate is also high, reaching up to 29 per cent among young people.
Now, we’ve seen that all the deaths so far have occurred in this fragile old age group – all of them had serious comorbidities. Some cynics might rejoice because they’re old, but these are most likely, or rather certainly, pensioners, so there’s no replacement with a young person.
But most importantly is that you’re talking about humans who aren’t simply some figures for some statistical computation. These are grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, friends.
A nation is not only judged by what future it offers its young ones but also by how it takes care of its fragile ones, especially those who have spent decades of their lives contributing to the economy of the country.
ANTI-IMMIGRANT SENTIMENTS AS THE CORONAVIRUS SPREADS
We’ve read of cases of people saying hurtful things or acting strangely when they see Chinese citizens, although the patient zero hasn’t been identified yet. But even at that, does the origin of a disease justify generalised racism on an entire group of people?
Discrimination might seem tolerable to you until you’re the one that flies to Mauritius and you’re asked to either be quarantined or return home. Or until you’re on a cruise ship and never allowed any port by other countries to dock.
Or until many neighbouring and distant countries block flight to and from your country. Or until you begin to trend on social media as an infested country. Or until as an expat all your colleagues at the office directly or indirectly demands an explanation from you because you’re Italian, although you haven’t been to Italy in the past year or so.
At the moment, no black African immigrant has tested positive. This is not to buttress the fake news making rounds on black skin resistance to the coronavirus; it’s ‘just a detail that’s of enormous importance in a country like Italy where immigration is a top political issue that swings voters to the right or left.
I won’t be surprised to hear of certain political parties that are impatiently waiting for a black immigrant to test positive for the virus. That will simply be manna from hell for them, a fuel in their political propaganda machine. And this, irrespective of whether the individual is legal or illegal.
If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7 verse 14)
This isn’t the time to pray for just Goshen, it’s time to pray that Nineveh be saved and be spared the imminent destruction. It is time for man and animal to lament in fast and prayers. It’s time to put on sackcloth and ashes.
It’s time to weep on behalf of these nations. It’s evident that we have sinned and come short of God’s glory. Using Europe as a case study, there was a time when young Christian men and women flooded the shores of Africa to bring the glorious light of the gospel.
I’m not talking about those that came in with an evil agenda of exploitation and divide-and-rule system, but genuine children of God who came to the African continent with the sole objective of turning the hearts of men back to their Creator.
These missionaries took their lives in their own hands, not minding the risk of dying along the way or at the hands of our ancestors. A risk that paid off and transformed the lives of many millions of people, abrogating deadly observances that had hitherto held sway.
Today, Nigeria for example is a stalwart of true Christian living. Of course, we still have our portion of false prophets and soothsayers who have continued to rip off the people with false religious doctrines and evil practices.
But we also have Christian generals in Nigeria, whose lives speak holiness and true discipleship. But most of Europe has abandoned the God of heaven, resorting to pleasure, so-called freedom and other strange deities.
The pews are always empty; churches are yearly shutting down – then transformed into monuments, sold to other religions or even transformed into places for the basest things.
The average young European can’t quote three Bible verses off by heart – not that the quoting of scriptures is the only sign of true Christianity – a symptom of a society on the brink of a precipice.
How will the young people know God when no one ever opened the Bible to teach them? They went to the big cathedral just for infant baptism and afterwards never stepped their feet there. God is so far removed from their minds that you wonder if they have a moral reference, a compass, something that pulls them to its core whenever they stray.
And decay is seen everywhere every day. You can’t attempt to eliminate the concept of God from society and think you’ve eliminated the activities of satan as well! Satan’s strategies evolve with your advancement in IT and he imprisons every nation/people according to her desires.
Someone might bring up the several atrocities the catholic church committed here and elsewhere. That’s true and I really understand how that has impacted negatively the faith of many people. But those acts do not in any way negate God’s existence, His salvation plan by Jesus Christ, neither will they serve as an excuse when you stand before God after death.
Moreover, if one truly prays and seeks, places of truth abound. What Europe needs is Jesus. We need to return to God again, else this won’t be the last epidemic that will hit our generation, and with globalisation and the free movement of people, no village on this planet can be considered 100 % safe.
Also, pray for Africa. Some virologists posit that with the advent of summer, the transmission will dip because of the heat. Maybe that’s why there are no recorded cases in black African countries? Anyways, that’s only a hypothesis that will be verified in the coming months.
If this strain of coronavirus gets to some regions of Africa where the health system is very poor, thousands or even millions may pay with their lives.
Make sure to follow the protective measure of the WHO and those of the ministry of health in your country.
Share this article with every person on your contact and ask them to join you in prayers.
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God bless you. And thanks for praying with me.
This is undiluted truth. I will join you in prayers. God's hands will be revealed and all flesh shall see it.
Amen. He will answer us as we pray.