Pray for Italy

 

The number of deaths due to covid-19 in Italy has now surpassed that of China. Hard to believe. This is one of the earliest nations where the Christian church had its origins, including the nations in the Asia Minor region (modern-day Turkey). May we pray for Italy and all the people who live in this vibrant and beautiful country.

Lord our God, we pray for Italy and your people there. Bring them comfort and pour out your peace upon all your holy people. May you lavish your grace and healing upon this nation. As they call out to you, hear their prayers, O God.

Coronavirus and domestic manufacturing

When we don’t have a need for things, they just sit there on the shelf. When we do need them, everyone is going after them. Hospitals have been asking for medical supplies. Everyone is going after the same supplies and there’s not enough to go around—at least for the present time.

Here in Canada, the Prime Minister just announced that thousands of manufacturers are offering to manufacture medical supplies. What is coming soon are test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, including 30,000 ventilators. Hopefully, there will be a glut of supplies after this whole Covid-19 ordeal is over and done with.

Since President Trump announced that N95 facemasks would not be leaving the United States, we realized that we would be in a hugely weakened position. Canadians just realized that we cannot depend on American manufacturers for supplies. We cannot depend on anyone to supply us when we are in a bind. Same goes for every country in the world.

This crisis has forced us to understand how important a domestic manufacturing industry is to our own country. One huge benefit to any country is to have its own manufacturing industry. We need to be self-dependent. We need to produce what we use, and use what we produce. Self-reliance is good for our country.

We also want to have our own natural resources. In Canada’s case, we have lots of oil, minerals, and natural resources. in a worst-case scenario, we can rely on our own resources.

The downside is that we would have to shut down our borders and not allow anything to come into our country. Doing so would shut off the supply valve from other countries. Then we would be forced to purchase our own Canadian labels. This is a closed-system, which would not be good for the country. A closed economy causes inflation. In the end, it would mean higher prices for everyone. Do we want to pay higher prices? No way.

Another way to get around this would be to slap on huge tariffs on imported goods coming into the country. This is protectionism. This is the way of the Trump Administration. It is a counter-measure to open borders and free trade in order to boost up a country’s manufacturing industry and produce more jobs.

I don’t think Trump is against free trade. He is also for fair trade. Fair trade will produce more Made in U.S.A. labels. Perhaps this is the type of environment our world needs right now. We need to be more self-reliant when there is a crisis.

If there are a few good things that will come out of all this are new manufacturing jobs, plus a greater pride in our country’s products. Made in Canada… and greater patriotism. May God bless our nation’s people with ingenuity, technology, and manufacturing.

I wanna wash my hands

Top ten things to do in self-isolation

During this time in self-isolation, I will try to not watch too much news, but still keep up with world events.  Seems like the only event going on is the coronavirus issue.

Other than working from home during the day, I’m putting together a list of my top ten things I will try to do in the evenings while in self-isolation?

1/  Play board games or puzzles with family.

2/  Plant indoor flowers and vegetables. Spring is around the corner.

3/  Fix some things around the house.

4/  Read a book I’ve always wanted to read.  Books have been collecting dust.

5/  Journal or do some writing.

6/  Do some art, paint or draw.  Something artistic that inspires me.

7/  FaceTime or call old friends or relatives.

8/  Cook a meal I’ve never tried cooking before.

9/  Plan a trip I will take after this whole COVID-19 thing has blown over. 

10/ _______ I don’t know ?????? 

I need more ideas for my 10th thing-to-do. Feel free to add some of your ideas in the comments.

Wang Fang spoke the truth relentlessly on Wuhan’s Coronavirus outbreak

Wang Fang, an accomplished author of novels, keeps an online diary and is followed by 4.2 million people in China on Weibo.  During the middle of Wuhan’s coronavirus lockdown, CCP authorities were repeatedly censoring her WeChat account.  As a response, she would repeatedly update her followers to her new accounts every few days.  Now, that’s dedication to speak the truth–true journalism and real news.

Chinese people have found solace in her voice that spoke truth to the devastating situation in Wuhan. Below, she courageously declared who the government is for and who its master is:

“The government is the people’s government; it exists to serve the people,” wrote Wang Fang, a Chinese writer better known by her pen name, Fang Fang, in a social-media post. “Please take back your arrogance and humbly show gratitude to your masters—the millions of Wuhan people.” (quote from WSJ).

Applause and thanks to Wang Fang.  Keep it up.  I pray that you will be safe from the government in Wuhan.  Fang Fang concludes: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  May God bless you and watch over you as you keep fighting the good fight.

Links to articles: Alice Su, LA Times; and Chun Wong, Wall St Journal (paid).

Talking could transmit coronavirus

Woman wears facemask outdoors

When someone exhales a big sneeze, they’ve found that viruses can travel up to 8 metres (or 26 feet). Talking can also transmit tiny molecules. Sounds scary? The only thing that can prevent tiny molecules from traveling through the air is a facemask, and an N95 is even more effective.

Early research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health suggests that droplets expelled while talking may transmit the virus that causes COVID-19. Findings show that a facemask is very helpful in preventing particles from traveling through the air (videos below).

As I blogged about this before here, and here. I still believe the public is not being rightly and properly informed that facemasks are helpful in this area of coronavirus prevention.

man in black coat holding book

When I’m shopping for groceries and observe how people react to others with facemasks, I get the impression they feel that they’re the ones who are sick. The irony is that those who do wear facemasks are most likely safer than those who don’t.

Our public attitude toward this needs to change. Personally, I’ve already started using a facemask in public and I still don’t feel comfortable with something sitting on my face. I’m finding that I’m subconsciously keeping my distance from others who do not wear a facemask. A change in my own attitude is gradually happening. In Canada, we have been extremely slow in making this change. I’m glad the Trump Administration has already encouraged wearing facemasks in the United States.

In Asia, even before coronavirus pandemic, they’ve been wearing facemasks habitually in order to prevent catching the flu. They’ve already gone through the cultural change due to lessons learned during SARS in early 2000s.

Prepare for a lock-down

This whole Covid-19 scare really got me thinking about what I would do if we were in a crisis situation. I’ve heard about preppers get ready if the SHTF ever becomes reality and I’ve always looked upon this from a distance but at the same time, with some interest. Why? Not because of economic and social bedlam and chaos due to a post-Armagedon apocalyse.

The more real possibility would be natural disaster. This Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic might be considered a disaster of some sort but not the same as a natural disaster.

Where I live on the west coast by the San Adreas fault line. There are occasional warning signs about tsunamis. Tidal waves could suddenly come in after an earthquake. What they call “the big one” has been over due for a long time.

Where you live, there might be prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, or drought.

Preparing for a disaster is not so much about yourself, but it’s about your family’s survival and those around you. Although some preppers are concerned about possible survival situations due to Covid-19 ordeal, I am still doubtful we would ever come to that point; nevertheless, it is good to prepare, just in case any disaster might befall us.

If I were to prepare for a lock-down, long-term isolation, quarantine, or God-forbid, an SHTF situation, I would rather be prepared than ill-prepared.

I will put together a list of items to gradually stock-up on. Stocking up all at once and clearing the store shelves is not fair for others. A gradual approach is best.

Foods to stock up on that can last on your shelf:

white rice (brown goes rancid)
dried beans
dried pasta (e.g., mac & cheese, instant noodles)
canned meats (e.g., tuna, salmon, chicken, ham, etc.)
canned fruits
canned vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, pickles, etc.)
canned soups
cereal
oatmeal
peanut butter
pancake mix
jam
pure maple syrup 100%
honey
spaghetti sauce
salt
sugar
cooking oil
distilled white vinegar
pure vanilla extract
100% corn starch
coffee and tea / instant coffee
spices, condiments,
raw wheat
nuts
dark chocolate 70%

Of course, besides this list I also bought:
toilet paper
pet food

While we are not in panic buying, of course we are buying our usual groceries like fresh fruits, vegetables and meats:
sausages, meats
yogurt
bananas, fruits
cheese
broccoli,
———
Plus:
plant a garden
water storage
water purification
have a place to store food

=====
survival items to keep
duct tape quality
fire starter (stormproof matches, lighters)
batteries (duracell)
flashlights
candles
lantern, lamp oil, lamp wicks
unscented bleach
plastic bags (heavy duty contractor)
tarps
paracord and cordage
socks
salt (iodized)
seeds plant veg.
propane Lg & Sm (extras)
medical kits & supplies
first aid kits

Wearing face masks in Asia


A health official checks temperature of incoming passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand on 9 March 2020 (AFP)

When Asia was in the thick of Covid-19, to not wear a mask in public was seen as inconsiderate. It’s like how we might see others who fail to sneeze into their own sleeve if we’re not quick on the draw, and just letting the germs fly in the middle of a crowd. Disgusting right?

Personally, I have never been one for wearing face masks but I’m noticing more people wearing them in public these days. We are being told to wear face masks only if you are sick or if you are a frontline worker like a nurse or a doctor. We regard this practice as socially unacceptable.

Face masks: socialized in Asian societies

In Asia, people are expected to wear a mask in public at all times–both adults and children alike.  The wearing of masks has almost become a sign of public courtesy. It heightens our awareness of germs and sends out the message that one ought to be cautious of not spreading or contracting germs.  Regardless of whether masks are effective or not, it’s seen as a symbolic gesture of social courtesy at the least.

I was surprised to learn that in Asia, to be seen not wearing a mask in public, one might get odd stares. A person shopping for essential items might be viewed as an exposer of germs.  He or she will not feel welcomes to shop there.

A Starbucks barista wearing a mask in Taiwan (Changhua county, 2017).

Asian people are deadly afraid of the virus. When Asia had the SARS and the MERS outbreak, thousands of people died, it didn’t much affect the rest of the world. The rate of fatality was close to 10% for those who did contract the virus (vs Covid-19 at 1-2%). Asians have become extremely sensitized.

For Asians who have come to North America, they have carried this practice over from Asia. It has been deeply socialized in the culture and has nothing to do with whether one has the virus. Should we fault Asians in North America for wearing face masks in public?

In Taiwan, the wearing of face masks is the norm and is highly encouraged by health authorities. It is more than just a social courtesy but also a health precaution for the healthy, and not just for those who are ill. 

A person not wearing a face mask while shopping for groceries might be barred rom entry. Some shopkeepers and local businesses take it very seriously. That’s why everyone will carry a face mask or even two with them. Wearing a face mask is a duty and a social responsibility for everyone.

Travelers at Hong Kong Int’l Airport at sanitizing station.

Do more widespread testing

Since the start of the outbreak in Wuhan, Asian countries have been treating the Coronavirus with war-like mentality. Nations and jurisdictions like Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong have done a very good job in warding off high infection rates. The wearing of face masks is only one of the contributors to their success.

They also do mandatory public temperature screenings at airports, schools and large public spaces. I know it seems somewhat draconian to have to check everyone.

Public health workers doing temperature screening will wear protective clothing. It gives the impression that the deadly virus could be lurking anywhere and could hit at any moment. It strikes fear in the public psyche. Some might opine that we need to increase this awareness and alertness to the dangers of the coronavirus.

These hardline measures are a stark contrast to our culture where social freedoms and liberties are highly valued and protected. Can we do this kind of thing in Canada and the United States?

Will we get to the point where a wide spread infection of coronavirus will require mandatory or random public check points, and if the donning of masks might become socialized in the western world?

We might be seeing a change very shortly. Rumors have it that the CDC has been considering a change in public directives regarding wearing face masks in public. A change might come after production of face masks gets ramped up in the United States. Is there a reason why we are being fed the line that face masks are reserved for frontline workers and the ill only? I think there might be.

Coronavirus ignition to a spiritual awakening

What I’m about to say in this blogpost will sound very spiritual so you’ve got to hold on. I’ve been blogging lots on our current situation with this Coronavirus pandemic. It has affected every single person. As long as you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure it’s affected you in some way too. This virus has brought us to a new level, at least within my lifetime and possibly yours too.  I don’t remember having ever experienced such a devastating event.

[ In China, the real number of deaths due to Covid-19 is far higher than what’s been reported. People in China no longer trust the Communist CCP government to tell the truth. They have blatantly lied and covered up the real numbers of deaths to the people and the world. Countries suffering from this epidemic today are left to deal with China’s dishonesty. People can no longer trust their governments, nor their health care systems, nor their savings, economies, nor markets to save them. People are now questioning everything about society’s protectorates. They have now been awakened to seek for truth outside established sources. ]

The spiritual landscape today

Spiritually-speaking, there will be a spiritual awakening in the midst of the Coronavirus. It will not be the cause of it but a sort of triggering point. This event will cause many people to seek deeper to look for answers in their lives. I have had this feeling inside me during the last week that there will be a sort of renewal in faith, spirituality, and religion in general.

If you’ve noticed that in the last ten years, the larger part of western society has turned away from established forms of religion (like the church). In doing so people and families have lost their religious traditions including their spiritual roots. We have become a very secular society, which irreligious society and it has removed and numbed our sense of spirituality.

In the east, namely China, the CCP has tried to control the Christian church. This will no longer be possible. God the Holy Spirit will start a sovereign move to breakout of its shell. Chinese people in the mainland have lost faith in the integrity of their once beloved CCP government. They will be seeking outside the regime to a higher power for salvation. The Christian church in China will begin to rise to become that Christian nation it is destined to become.

The spiritual landscape has been very dry, such that even a spark can ignite a fire. To use this analogy, it will be like a fire that cleanses and renews us–almost like a purification. To use another analogy like a dry parched land, rains will be coming down upon us.

I don’t believe this is merely coincidence. An opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal also spoke about such a spiritual revival: “A Coronavirus Great Awakening?” (article here). The author’s point was that sometimes the most important ingredient for spiritual renewal is a cataclysmic event. Another article I came across was from First Things. Pope Francis is calling for repentance (article here).

A coming awakening of spirituality

The heart of God has been hurting and saddened in our neglect of him. Can God feel hurt? I think so. Like the prodigal son who has run away from home, his parents are reaching out him to calling him to return home. God will be calling us to turn our hearts back home–even during this Coronovirus pandemic.

The Holy Spirit will begin moving to renew societies and cultures worldwide.  What is coming in the future will be a spiritual revival of hearts, minds and lives like we have never seen before. From God’s perspective, God can take a bad situation and turn it into something good.

Those whose hearts had been cold toward God will return to him again. People you might have never expected will begin to seek after spiritual things. There will be a big return back to God. The Holy Spirit will be calling people into repentance and return to God, to come to Jesus the Savior, and experience peace.

This pandemic has shown us that control over the events of the world does not rest in our own human power. It is not our call and it never was. We might be rich, powerful, strong, healthy, smart and intelligent, funny, beautiful, but ultimately we are all the same like everyone else who are not these things. Human power will not be enough to overcome the evils that have impacted our world today.  As peoples and nations, it will be a humbling thing to come to this realization. It is what God wants us to realize.

A spiritual revival or renewal is on the horizon. It will bring a spiritual peace to entire societies and cultures around the world. At last, people will be free to live for God again, so get ready.

Get ready for God’s sovereign move

1/ There is still hope. This hope will not be found in ourselves. This hope rests solely in the love of God.  The peace of God will be freely given.  The gifts of God will be poured out into your life and cover all your disgraces, all your poverty, your losses, and yes, even the sins you have been keeping disclosed.  That is the amazing love of God that Jesus came to give us. 

2/ Another thing we can do is to pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness and be reconciled with God again.  Christ the Lord will come into your life and give you His peace.  The Holy Spirit will live with your family and give your spouse and children a peace that cannot be found anywhere else. Jesus is about love, peace and joy. So pray.

3/ This is just the start, but God is moving in this world to change, renew, and align our hearts and minds to that of God’s heart and mind (God’s will) . A new wave of revival will cause our cold and hardened hearts to return to God. This will be a sovereign move of God’s Spirit to soften our hearts, renew us and ultimately, renew society and culture. Then we will have hope of liberty and freedom to live in unity with God.

4/ Each of us, each of our families, each of our places of worship, will do well by preparing our hearts for this future coming. Be open to what God is about to do in our lives. Jesus Christ may be looking at you and desiring to have your heart and spirit re-awakened and re-aligned to be in tune with God’s Holy Spirit. If so, get ready. It’s starting soon.

Korea’s top expert on Coronavirus/Covid-19

This video is a must watch. Stephen Park, YouTube Vlogger at Asian Boss, did an invaluable interview recently with Dr. Woo-Ju Kim, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Korea University, College of Medicine (one of South Korea’s top experts on the Coronavirus). It’s already gone viral. He’s gone through SARS in 2002, and MERS in 2015.

He’s convinced me about the benefits of wearing a facemask in public. I have decided to wear a facemask in public beginning now (when I can get my hands on some). I’m predicting that Canada, the U.S., Europe, and the world will begin changing our policies and attitudes toward wearing facemasks in public.

Despite what we’ve been told in Europe and North America, I believe we’ve been misinformed due to our ignorance and inexperience in dealing with infectious diseases. The truth is that government-policy stakeholders already know that we do NOT have enough masks for everyone. That is why we are being told to not wear facemasks.

My advice to readers here is to listen to the advice of this South Korean medical expert and start wearing facemasks in public. Do it. It will save lives. You’ll need to read the English subtitles. Very informative.

Note: English subtitles. Language: Korean. Length: 35 minutes. Will require patience to sit through its entirety

Dr. Woo-Ju Kim, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Korea University, College of Medicine (March 27, 2020).

I hope more of us can learn from Dr Kim’s experience and knowledge. If you learned something from this interview, feel free to share it with your friends.