There is no question, flattening the curve is the need of the day. It is a critically important action on the part of every individual, inside and outside the medical system, to slowdown the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of flattening the curve is to ensure that we can deal with this outbreak within the current medical system capacity we have in place.
Flattening the curve, however, has flattened the economy by shutting down businesses, industries, mobility, education institutions and, extremely concerning, taken the ability from people to make a living. It is relatively easy for a small percentage of privileged folks to go in a lock down mode and work from home… but not for the first responders, the healthcare community, grocers and folks required for critical systems and industries. COVID-19 has created a crisis scenario for a vast majority of Americans who were already living paycheck to paycheck – many of whom would find themselves in a crisis mode should they run into an emergency requiring mere $400/-.
One of the hardest things you may have to do over the next few days, weeks and monthsis to BE the Leader that holds the light and strength for everyone around you.
You have all learned by now that certain people have special spirits, and people are drawn to you for your leadership, your courage and your inner strength.This will happen even more right now, when there are so many searching for answers. In order for you to do that, you need to understand that these experiences will cause you to blossom into the leaders you are meant to become!
All of us at the American Diversity Report express our hopes for our readers’ safety and well being. See their diverse thoughts of the ADR Advisors on the pandemic situation.
Dr. Carlos Cortés, ADR Advisor
Dear champions of diversity,I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and weathering the economic storm.When this siege is over — as long as it may take — we’ll all have lots of work to do in the pursuit of a future of greater justice, equity, and inclusivity.
Dr. Elwood Watson: ADR Peer Review Team
Dear ADR readers, The nation is undoubtedly experiencing a significantly challenging moment. While it is important that all of us aggressively acknowledge the gravity of the current crisis directly facing us and astutely adhere to the crucial, if not possibly, life saving advice being dispensed to us by medical expert from across the globe, it is also imperative that we not allow our feelings and emotions to be overtaken and paralyzed by fear and despair. This nation has always, sporadically endured dramatically transformative crises and each time, we have emerged out of the temporary period of darkness stronger and in some cases, wiser after the fact. We as Americans are a resilient people and there is no doubt that we will survive this current setback. In the meantime, use common sense, stay safe and remain psychologically strong.
Dr. Beth Lynne: ADR Peer Review Team
I would like to express that we are all in this as a society. We need to keep our sense of humanity and watch out for each other. Although we may not always agree with the lawmakers, we need to heed their recommendations and requirements to stay put and not put those who are disabled, compromised by health, or elderly at risk. If you are bored or just wish to help others, assist those with children at home virtually by helping educate with engaging activities, simply to aid parents with some variety.Those of you with children, keep them home so they are not putting themselves and others in harm’s way. Ask older people who are alone and housebound if they need help ordering groceries and essentials. Consider how lucky we are, to have so much technology at our disposal—try to spread the word that everything will be okay once again, that we are strong and will come out of this stronger and more aware.
Mauricio Velásquez: ADR Advisor
What I know about Stress Management – you should only stress about what you can control. I know these are trying and extraordinary times but we need to be vigilant about taking care of ourselves first. I am eating better, sleeping more, exercising more (all help with stress and anxiety). Trying to finish a book I had started and I am definitely catching up with all of my past or pending reading. Wishing all calm nerves, quality time with family and friends (virtual). I am also praying a lot. I also try to see the bright side – less pollution, more quality time with my family (my son is home from college) and dog Max. Had a fire in my fire pit last night. Do the things you have always neglected not to do because you did not have the time. Oh yes – don’t watch a lot of news (you will go crazy).
Best to all!!!!
Howie Comen: Coordinator ADR New Beginnings
I am a 32 year veteran of recognizing the need to defeat hate and bring all segments of society onto the same team to work for the common good. I see the evil virus as a personification of what is wrong with humanity. This evil attacks humanity regardless of age, sex, faith, economic level, or any identifier of differences. This evil attacks at the very heart of nations, and stops the flow of economics, It attacks this lifeblood of nations without regard to the economic, political, or faith system prevalent. This hate has infected the hearts and minds of humanity since the time of Adam and Eve. In this age it appears to me that God dwells locked away within the dark recesses of most of humanity’s hearts. This evil will unleash a team that crosses borders, and every geopolitical division on the face of the globe to defeat it. If it is to be defeated. God created man and woman to procreate. I feel this applies to everything on earth. If we want to defeat this evil virus it will take enough of humanity to agree to let God out and create a New Beginning with teams led by men and women equally on this defense as well as to develop humanity’s next steps.
Dr. Cynthia Jackson: ADR Peer Review Team
To our American Diversity Report Readers: I’m thankful and grateful for your continuous support, especially during these uncertain times of inevitable change that COVID-19 pandemic has presented to us all. As uncertain as the nation appears to be at the moment, we will preserve and as an organization, we’re committed to safeguarding business continuity to best serve our community partners and readers. We’re confident that the impact of COVID-19 will not affect our obligations to you. It’s imperative that we continue to support and encourage one another, while following the latest advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the local Department of Public Health to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the virus – together we will overcome this. Again, we thank you for your trust in us and support.
David Grinberg, ADR Advisor
As we meticulously wash our hands to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus, we must also be mindful to cleanse our hearts of hatred during this period of pandemic. Unfortunately, as history has shown, discrimination, blame, hate speech and stereotypes are too easily cast by some sinister elements of society at groups from diverse backgrounds and/or vulnerable populations. But fear mongering and blame shifting cannot be tolerated, especially during a national and global crisis in which civility and kindness should extend to everyone — regardless of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or other factors.
Marc Brenman: ADR Advisor
If this pandemic is as threatening as some “experts” say, we probably want to take some steps that have worked in the past. There’s now an overemphasis on testing. Does anyone remember mass “testing” for any other viral disease? There should be more emphasis on treatment and amelioration of symptoms. This means building up hospital capacity, many more ventilators, calling back retired medical personnel (A newly retired MD friend tried to volunteer to rejoin her hospital, but never heard back), using the US military’s capacity for chemical and biological warfare response. Don’t believe the Department of Defense claims of not having this capacity. They’ve had it since the Cold War: mobile hospitals (hospitals in containers), hyperbaric units, clean rooms where electronic chips are manufactured (they have negative air pressure similar to hospital isolation units), and radiological facilities as well as moon suits and personal protective equipment (PPE). There’s no excuse for not vastly ramping up production of PPE including N95 masks. There are also some old-fashioned responses, like killing the virus in situ. Soldiers, prisoners of war, and displaced people in and after World War II were sprayed with DDT to kill lice and other vermin, vectors of disease. I lived in the Middle East in the 1950’s and 1960’s when men would walk down the street spraying DDT or whatever they used to kill mosquitos. Airplanes sprayed chemicals on agricultural fields to kill plant diseases. Today, it’s the coronavirus that we must kill. Instead of leaping to steps that restrain human interaction, we need more imagination and marshaling of resources to do so.
John C. Mannone, ADR Poetry Editor
I am thankful for venues like ADR who appreciate their readers and continue to connect with them, especially in times like these. What kind of times are these ? Adrienne Rich tells us in a deeply moving poem by that name. It is in times like these when we are self-isolated that we need all the more to connect. And though it can’t be done with hugs (and kisses), we can still touch each other’s minds with words on a page. This will connect us. It was C. S. Lewis who said, “We read to know we are not alone.” “So read, my friends, read and know that you are appreciated and cherished.
Terry Howard, ADR Advisor
As much as I enjoy writing, that joy pales by comparison to our readers who inspire us to both rant and rave, cajole and console, to stretch comfort zone, to take them to the edge before reeling them back in. My words of wisdom? Just keep on reading the ADR and the great work that Deborah Levine continues to do for our community.
Soumaya Khalifa, ADR Advisor
The last couple of weeks have been unprecedented in just about everyone’s lives. We are seeing shutdowns, lockdowns, grocery stores with empty shelves, no toilet paper or sanitizers in stores, keeping a physical distance, kids are staying home from schools and joining their classmates via Zoom while parents and sometimes grandparents in the same household are also doing their work through the same platform, most non-essential stores and services are closed until further notice and the list goes on. It is not an easy adjustment since there are a lot of unknowns. One silver lining for me to rediscover what is important in life. For me, I am very grateful to so many people – many I don’t even know. I want to start off by thanking the readers of the American Diversity Report and the organizers as without you we would not be here. There are many many unsung heroes that I also want to thank and that including our healthcare providers, first responders, scientists, grocery store workers, delivery folks, and so many many more. The silver lining for me is increased gratitude for all the amazing people around us. Thank you!
Real life, as we all know, is full of polarities: mountains and valleys; highs and lows; peace and war; happiness and loneliness; success and failure.
Though we, Earth’s human beings, are considered to be the wisest and the most powerful creatures on planet, there is a domain of control that we are incapable of. That domain is the control over the physical world. An Earthling like you and I can only control his or her inner self but not external dominions such as the direction to which the wind blows and where the current underneath the oceans flow. When the Earth sways and quakes rig off houses, when the sun blows its fire onto barren lands, we humans get physically hogtied and pushed to derangement IF WE ARE NOT WISE.
On March 19th 2020, Warwick Marsh and Kurt Mahlburg, Coordinators of National Day of Prayer Australia, sent me an invitation wake-up call saying, “Join us tonight and every night for the next 11 nights as together we cry out for God’s mercy for our nation. against COVID-19 Virus.”
Although I could not connect through the live-streaming webinar, I did connect with my Prayer Generals from Africa, marshaled by Missionary Protas Bulinda, Coordinator of American Diversity Report NEW BEGINNINGS in Africa and Apostles Khassim Nyundo and Rev. Joel Ndunde, Intercessory Prayer Warriors who lead Intercessors of Prayer in Kisumu and Kakamega Counties respectively.
Before I got up for my Morning Prayer Watch on Saturday, March 21st, I was woken up with a Voice that told me to audibly tell all Nations to Put Away All Idolatry & Destroy Global Pestilence COVID-19 and Hate by applying Ezra 10:1-19.
We live in a world that is adversely affected by another virus more lethal than COVID-19, called HATE. For the past 15 years, Deborah Levine, President of American Diversity Report, has been addressing this enemy of humanity called HATE. Together with the Mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke, they established the Council Against HATE, that I believe can be adopted by every state, religion, culture and nation worldwide to overcome our biggest enemy today, called HATE, through Global Interfaith Harmony that is celebrated every year in February.
In her very recent email to me, Liz Scrayer, the CEO of the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) raised her great concerns for the Corona Virus and said, “But it also isn’t lost on me that in the era of COVID-19, the USGLC’s message of America’s global leadership is mission critical to our nation’s interests. So we are trying to track it all: the global impact of coronavirus from the legislative to the diplomatic front to the developing world to the economic uncertainty. The magnitude of issues for U.S. interests and the world is daunting.”
As I am writing this message, Apostle Khassim Nyundo based in Kisumu City (former Nyanza Province) in Kenya is spearheading National Day of Prayer in line with the Prophetic Word that the LORD gave me on March 9, 2009 while in Mbale in neighboring Uganda after 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Revival. At the same time the President of the Republic of KENYA, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Vice President William Ruto, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are leading the Nation of Kenya in the National Day of Prayer and Repentance in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capitol.
Through this short but urgent message, I am calling on us all, as respective leaders in our respective fields, to join Australia for the rest of the days left in this month of March to PRAY every Day and/or Night, for not only Australia and Kenya, but for their nations and cities as well, wherever they are located. We need a synergy of different capacities to address the common challenges/ opportunities confronting Humanity.
I’m not the only soul who’s discombobulated by the coronavirus pandemic. Heck, it’s got me twisting, turning and loading up on toilet paper without the foggiest reason why. But on the upside, it’s made me reflect on the inconveniences the virus has heaped on us and, strangely enough, how we should perhaps “relish the inconvenience.” Case in point is a trip to Germany years ago.
You see, it took me 25+ hours to go from Dallas to Germany, double the time it took me on previous flights. But, inconvenience aside, that trip turned out to be one of my best ones ever. That’s why I suggested then and suggest now that we make “relishing the inconvenience” a health and wellness priority, a core competency in a global economy.
Editor’s Note: Two of the Interfaith Advisors of the ADR New Beginnings project offer inspirational words during these difficult times. All of us are praying for the health and well-being of so many and for better times around the planet.
A Light in the Darkness – by Robyn Lebron
Fear of the unknown is very common; something we’ve all experience, I’m sure. I remember when my daughter was leaving a 200-student middle school, and going to a 2,500-student high school. She was terrified that she would be “lost all the time” until I reminded her that her favorite mall was twice that size, and she was never lost there!
The “little child” in us rears it’s head when situations arise that we feel unprepared for. But as we pass through the eye of the storm, something miraculous happens! When human beings are faced with difficult situations, they rise to extraordinary heights! The spirit inside us blossoms and we become the beings we are meant to be. The sight of another person or community in need erases all those childlike fears, and we expose our “superman” uniforms!