How Can You Feel Hatred?

Sitting dog surrounded by flowers by a lake at sunset. Canva.com

How can you feel hatred
without being angry?

How can you be angry
without placing blame?

How can you place blame
without passing judgment?

How can you pass judgment
without being deceived?

How can you be deceived
without yielding to pride?

On the other hand . . .

How can you offer love
without also being patient?

How can you offer patience
without showing kindness?

How can you show kindness
without feeling empathy?

How can you feel empathy
without having compassion?

How can you have compassion
without being gracious?

How can you be gracious
without being humble?

How can you humble
with yielding your will
to God?

Michael James Fitzgerald

My COVID-19 Story

COVID-19 spiky virus. Canva.com

I got COVID-19 in mid-March 2020. I haven’t mentioned it here before, but I keep thinking I should, so here I am. Maybe my story will prompt others to tell theirs.

It’s evident that I don’t have a spunky immune system. I eat a lot of vegetables and handfuls of supplements. I try to exercise regularly but I haven’t felt up to running or other exercise in last few months.

If you’ve had COVID, has it taken you a while to recover? I’m struggling. I don’t have “long COVID” but probably a cocktail of illness, old and new.

Diagnosis

So you’d expect I would have had a tough case of COVID, but I didn’t. To me, it was really like a bad cold. My fever and cough were slight. I was off work about a week and a half, but I was still able to keep up with my work email every day. Compared to some of the viruses I’ve wrestled with over the last five years, this one was on the light side. I feel blessed.

I thought I had COVID, but I needed a test to prove it. I have one of those apps where you can see a doctor online. I had to wait for several hours, but in the end (near midnight), the nurse practitioner didn’t think I had it. The following week, I went to the my regular doctor, but my symptoms were all but gone, so the nurse practitioner there didn’t believe me either.

On a follow up visit, I begged for an antibody test which my doctor finally approved. Within a few days, I got my diagnosis not from the doctor’s office but from a Salt Lake county contract tracer.

I called my doctor to give her the news. We can all use occasional moments of vindication.

Recovery

I recovered fairly well at first, but my running times were way off. I only ran two 5Ks in 2020, and my times were slow. Since last fall, fatigue has completely dominated my life. I don’t know if the fatigue is residual from COVID-19, or if I’m suffering from other maladies too—a cumulative effect. It’s been a trial of faith when you try so many things to feel better and nothing seems to work very well. Except sunlight.

In any case, I wasn’t well this winter, at least not until we started to get more sunlight in May. Since my big yellow friend arrived, time outside with natural doses of vitamin D have seemed to help and now I have a few semi-normal days each week, but I am still not out of the woods.

Masks

While wearing a mask has been a bother (I get nauseated after about 30 minutes), I caught the fewest viruses last winter than in recent memory. Working from home and not riding public transportation may have contributed to a healthier season for me too. So in spite of the negative press on masks, I think they have helped me. I’ll wear them on the train next winter, COVID or no COVID.

That said, I never have had to wear a mask for longer than an hour or so. I feel bad for those that have to wear them all day, every day, at school or work. I especially feel bad for the kids.

Vaccines

I am not against vaccines, but I’m cautious about them. Sometimes they seem to do more harm than good. I have taken plenty of vaccines in the past, but when your toxic load is high like mine, you have to weigh risks.

First off, since I have had the disease, shouldn’t I have immunity. Some doubt that immunity from COVID will last, but a study from the Washington University School of Medicine (also see this article in Nature) indicates that those antibodies could last a lifetime. Isn’t natural immunity better than a vaccine? Why would a medical professional go against the history of medicine to try to get me to take the vaccine?

I try to do my homework on issues. I like facts more than theories even though theories can be fun. I do my best to listen to both sides of an argument, though it’s tough to listen to propaganda (from both sides). In a word, I try to not be an ideologue.

I also try to tune into motives. I’m constantly analyzing motives. I constantly ask myself why a person, particularly a public person, takes a certain stance on an issue. Will they or their political posture profit from their stance, or do they genuinely care about people? Are they telling the truth? Why or why not? You can’t judge a person fully, but you owe it to yourself to use your best judgment to discern what their motives likely are.

There are a lot of things about COVID vaccines that concern me (that’s an understatement), but I’ll only mention one here.

When I use MedAlerts to query the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS) database, as of May 14, 2021, there have been 4,021 deaths due to COVID-19 vaccines. That caught my attention. And an older Harvard study reports that less than 1 percent of vaccine adverse effects are reported (see page 5). That is something to really think about, especially if you go to the trouble of doing the actual math.

Have you heard about these vaccine-related deaths on the news? I’d guess you haven’t. Is this information suppressed? If so, why? Who profits from suppressed information? I don’t feel guilty for asking these questions, but I make some people uncomfortable when I ask them because it goes against the standard narrative.

All I’ve offered are facts and questions. I have always bucked the standard narrative since I was a child.

What’s Next?

The overall cost of COVID-19, personally, has been more than I bargained for. The cost to the world has been catastrophic. I don’t know what the new normal will be for me or for our nation or world, but I comfort myself by recognizing that I have no idea what normal is anymore and that my eyes have been opened.

I don’t believe everything I hear, but I weigh most everything I hear. So I won’t be surprised if the origins of COVID-19 are more sinister than any of us have imagined. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Whatever the case, I trust God. He is ultimately in charge. He has definitely gotten my attention over the last year. I am more careful about my thoughts, words, and actions. I ramble prayers day and night. I want to stay connected to Him and to the many good people in my life. And I have every reason to be confident in the future because I know God is listening and is with me.

Near-death Experience Aftereffects

Clouds, sky, and sun. From Canva.com

I recently discovered the following lists of near-death experience aftereffects based on the research of P.M.H. Atwater. They also seem to hold true for those who have had deep or remarkable spiritual experiences, but that’s just my opinion. These lists were developed from more than 3,000 adult research sessions plus 277 with children.

I’ve adapted and formatted the lists (original format). They come from Atwater’s book Beyond the Light. I think the aftereffects are fascinating.

Psychological Aftereffects of Near-death States

Most Common (between 80 to 99%)

  • loss of the fear of death
  • more spiritual/less religious
  • more generous and charitable
  • handle stress easier
  • philosophical
  • more open and accepting of the new and different
  • disregard for time and schedules
  • regard things as new even when they’re not (boredom levels decrease)
  • form expansive concepts of love while at the same time challenged to initiate and maintain satisfying relationships
  • become psychic/intuitive
  • know things (closer connection to Deity/God, prayerful)
  • deal with bouts of depression
  • less competitive

Quite Common (50 to 79%)

  • displays of psychic phenomena
  • vivid dreams and visions
  • “inner child” issues exaggerated
  • convinced of life purpose/mission
  • rejection of previous limitations/norms
  • episodes of future knowing common
  • more detached and objective (dissociation)
  • “merge” easily (absorption)
  • hunger for knowledge
  • difficulty communicating and with language
  • can go through deep periods of depression and feelings of alienation from others
  • synchronicity commonplace
  • more or less sexual
  • less desire for possessions and money
  • service oriented
  • healing ability
  • attract animals
  • good with plants
  • aware of invisible energy fields/auras
  • preference for open doors and open windows/shades
  • drawn to crystals
  • laugh more
  • adults: lighter afterwards
  • children: wiser, more serious, bonding to parents lessens

Sunday Will Come

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. . . . But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or  he next, Sunday will come. . . . [T]he Resurrection is not a fable."  —Joseph B. Wirthlin