New COVID-19 strain: 2nd notice from God

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - January 4, 2021 - 12:00am

When the coronavirus first reared its ugly head in China in December 2019 and swiftly consumed the world in a crippling pandemic by early 2020, I wrote without a shade of doubt in my mind nor any equivocation in my heart, that were being punished by an exasperated and angry God. People by then had simply forgotten God. Any time set aside for God had mostly become mechanical and perfunctory.

As early as December in many years past, people were already booking vacations for succeeding Holy Weeks, using Lent as a springboard for the stretching of limbs rather than for the bending of knees. Human relationship with God has become nothing more than the making of an unthinking sign of the cross before diving into some beautiful holiday getaway somewhere in this beautiful world made by some forgotten Creator.

An angry God finally felt things would get too unwieldy for salvation if Man succeeded in driving Him to irrelevance. Man needed to be reminded. Man needed to be put in his proper place. And so God unleashed the virus that literally shook the world at its very foundations. People dropped to their knees. They beat their breasts. They cried pools of tears. They burned the air with ardent prayers.

Despite the punishment, God was not random. He was not profligate. Many of those taken were due to be taken. While everyone was reminded, the young and able were designed to carry on. God did not intend to wipe away the future. But things needed to be shaken for lessons to be learned. But were lessons learned?

The question becomes basic and fundamental. Did we learn our lessons? A loving, kind, and merciful God requires not too much of us. Had He meant to demand all of our time and attention, He would not have made the world so beautiful for the pleasure and enjoyment we cannot share and experience. He gave everything in exchange for so little of our time.

Despite the still astronomical numbers, the world is in agreement that a corner is about to be turned, that things will eventually turn up, that the pandemic will eventually be tamed. But where was the thank you God? Where was the minute of our time to say grace? Instead, it was the same old pre-pandemic air that descended upon the unrepentant December 2020 air.

Without the face masks and the face shields, a visitor from Saturn would never know a pandemic was still very much on. There were more round fruits being sold than prayers being said. We forgot again. We dropped the ball again. And so, to make the displeasure of God even more symbolic, He chose, of all the months, no less than the month of December to introduce a new strain of the virus.

That there is now a new strain of the virus even before we have completely licked the first only shows we have not fully atoned. We have not given the little time God is asking of us. How quickly we forget, given some slack. A vaccine is of no moment if the virus keeps mutating and evolving. But we can beat it by ourselves by simply becoming who God meant us to be. Knowing God is knowing what to do. That is all there is to it.

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