It is not gainsaying for me to say we are in a volatile, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous world right now filled with fear, worry, doubt and uncertainties. I have been around for over 3 decades and in my journey so far, I’ve not seen this level of uncertainty and fear across the world.
I see it on people’s faces, I hear it in their voices, I read it on social media and I feel it in panic buying from citizens in various cities of the world. Schools are shut down, airports have become a desert, businesses are closing their doors, Wall Street is bleeding, Broad Street is now a ghost place and family members are isolated from one another. Indeed, we are facing a difficult time in our world today.
Despite the giant strides we’ve made in science and technology globally, this difficult moment had shown us that we are first emotional being before operating as an intellectual being. Despite the differences in our culture, tradition, religion, belief and ways of life, this global pandemic has revealed to us that we are one united nation and our faith are intertwined and interconnected. We must rise together as humans or fall in division if we fail to realise that we are in a global village and we are more connected as a human race than any other time in history.
The truth of the matter is coronavirus is real, dangerous and deadly. Covid-19 can kill not just the elderly, but anyone regardless of age, stage or place in the world. According to World Health Organization, as at Monday 23 March 2020, 4:29 pm as I write this article, 353,358 coronavirus cases had been reported globally, 15,409 deaths had occurred and 100,608 patients had recovered or discharged. We currently have 237,34 infected patients, 95 oer cent (226,043) are in mild condition and 5 per cent (11,298) are in critical condition. The bitter truth is the effect of this pandemic will still be with us for months if not years. Therefore, responding to this extraordinary global challenge with fear is normal.
By the way, fear is a natural human instinct. It is our own way as humans to protect ourselves against danger, pain or harm for the sake of our survival. While fear is a human instinct, it is counterproductive and not the best way to respond to uncertainties, challenges or tough times. What you need to do is to be informed and stay calm. Protect yourself, your family and your community by having the right knowledge and understanding about the pandemic. Do the opposite of fear which is faith by being calm, cool and collected.
Since coronavirus was first reported in China in December 2019 till it became a global challenge on 22 January 2020 till date, various facts and insights have emerged. However, Thursday 19 March 2020, marked the worst day of the coronavirus pandemic so far globally. People around the world wake up to 20,584 new infections and 973 new deaths recorded the night before – marking a new record either in terms of death or infections. Health authorities typically released these numbers at the end of the day. Iran, Spain, Italy, Malaysia and Unites States of America all reported their worst day so far on Wednesday. Despite these shocking facts, more deaths occur on a daily basis globally by cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mosquito bite, suicide and homicide than coronavirus.
According to World Health Organization International Agency for Research on cancer, there were 9.6 million deaths from cancer in 2018. That works out to around 26,000 deaths per day worldwide. 17.9 million People died from all cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease) in 2016 according to WHO, this works out as 49,000 death per day globally. In 2016, WHO estimated that 1.6 million people annually die from factors relating directly to diabetes, this is about 4,400 deaths per day globally. The WHO estimated that there were 800,000 people who died by suicide in 2018, equivalent to around 2,000 deaths per day.
The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime estimated in 2017 that 464,000 died globally from homicide, which is about 1,270 deaths per day. WHO also estimated 440,000 mosquito-borne diseases related deaths in 2017, which is about 1,205 deaths per day. Interestingly, approximately 3,200 people die daily worldwide due to car accidents caused by drunk and reckless drivers among other factors, which lead to 1.4 million deaths annually. And yet we still get into our cars every day and drive because we have faith which is stronger and more powerful than any fear. My point here is, there are many factors that lead to more deaths in our world daily than coronavirus, and despite that we live each day of our life with faith and certainty in spite of our uncertain world.
This too shall pass. The world had survived various wars, pandemics and crises and this coronavirus pandemic will not be an exception. And after each episode of setback recorded in the history of the world, we come back stronger because of the resilient of the human spirit. The human spirit had overcome and will overcome any and every tough times and difficult situations it finds itself. This is the time to awake our individual and collective human spirit to embrace faith and work together to protect ourselves, our family, our community and our world. The human spirit is adaptable. It can flow with any situation and cope under any circumstance it finds itself. You are a human spirit.
In this difficult time, it seems we are in the deep darkness of the night and it feels like there will be no light at the end of the tunnel. However, the truth of the matter is for over 2 million years of human existence, the day will follow the night; the light of the day will overtake the darkness of the night. The dark night always has its uncertainties and when it is filled with fear, worry and pain, it often seems quite long before the day breaks. Alas! No matter how long the night, the day will break. The light of the day will shine forth on all of us and our life will come back to normal again.
I also firmly believe that this challenging time is the right time to reflect on the quality of our life; ponder on our relationship with people that matters to us and make some adjustments to improve our relationship with them. This is the right moment to ask sincere questions about the state of our wellbeing and health as a life and make necessary changes to improve them. You can use this uncertain time to reflect on your business or career and make new decisions that will take you to your next level of achievements. You can also use this period to work on your finances; make plans to be out of debt, find ways to raise money to grow your business or find another sources of income to enhance your financial stability. Above all, this precarious time is the best time to look inward and ask yourself the most important life question, “Am I living a life of purpose?”
I am challenging you to also use this difficult time to prepare yourself for the day after the night. In other words, this is the time to be conscious about your personal growth and continuous development. Read books that inspire and equip you for greatness, do online video conference with a mentor or a coach, sign up for online course that will help you build your confidence or grow your skill set. Do something to become better this period. And if you want to fast track your achievements without sacrificing your happiness then we had you covered, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and my team will get in touch with you on how you can become MORE and get more out of life. We also have a WhatsApp training on Emotional Intelligence during difficult times coming up soon. To be part of it send a WhatsApp message to +2347065335797
So, stay strong. Stay Calm. Stay Hungry. Stay blessed.
Sesan Kareem is a renowned motivational speaker, life coach and pharmacist. He writes from Lagos.