Dear Dr Shabbir
I am fortunate never to have experienced war on home soil but the Covid-19 virus appears to be a human catastrophe on an even wider scale.
Sometimes I feel Mother Earth is saying, 'Enough! I have been abused for too long and now I am fighting back with a vengeance.' But then, this virus is mainly attacking those who are not responsible for the damage humans have been inflicting on the earth. It is the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and the poorest of this world who are suffering the most. Today's Guardian newspaper gave a grim report on the situation in Ecuador.
I do not believe in a God who would punish the feeblest. I believe in a most compassionate and merciful God who has told us that there are signs all around us for those who have the sense to see them. And surely we have been seeing the results of earth exploited and abused for too long. We simply cannot deny the increasingly worrying effects of climate change and the consequences of over-exploiting the natural world. If we could leave the wild animals where they belong, they would not afflict us with their viruses.
That might sound a bit simplistic but I do believe we need to better care for this wonderful planet which we all share and depend on.
When this is all over, and indeed it will pass, I just hope that we will be kinder and gentler with each other and the planet, with a renewed sense of what is important in life. People are already more aware that it is those who are often looked down on in society, the cleaners, the refuse collectors, the supermarket shelf stackers, the truck drivers and so on, who keep society going. Here in the UK it has become a bit of a tradition for people to stand at their front doors at 8.00 pm on a Thursday evening and clap their appreciation of our National Health Service staff and other key workers. Whilst this is all well and good, I would like to see them all paid a decent wage!
This has become a bit of a rant so I will close. I sincerely hope you and your family are safe and well.