Letter to God, praying for Him to end the COVID-19 pandemic
On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) named a newly identified variant of the COVID-19 virus as Omicron, and designated it as a variant of Concern. One month later, the Omicron variant quickly spread from 7 to 115 countries. Clearly, the huge global response to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of public health policies (shutdowns, lockdowns, quarantines, and vaccines) has not been enough to stop the virus.
As a result, many people around the world are turning to religion to cope with the pandemic. Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging at a time when 4.32 billion people (59.5 percent of the global population) are on the Internet; 92.6 percent of them using mobile devices. The Internet thus provides a global platform to bring people of varied faiths together to express their sentiments about the COVID-19 pandemic, and pray to God for its end.
One initiative in this regard is a letter to God, recognizing His dominion over us, human beings, and our world. The symbolic letter is unique because it enables people from all faiths to join a universal submission to God, and express their faith in His compassion toward humanity and that He will answer our prayers.
The letter is posted on Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform with more than 450 million people from 196 countries. However, the letter is NOT a petition, but a supplication, in which signatories humbly submit to God, and pray that He ends the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter is in the six United Nations official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian), and Portuguese.
Visitors are also requested to kindly share the link to the letter and encourage their friends to sign it. The letter is as follows:
We are writing from planet Earth, a tiny rock orbiting our Sun, the center of our solar system itself a small neighborhood in the Milky Way Galaxy. Light, which travels 9.5 trillion Km or 5.9 trillion miles a year, takes about 200 thousand years to cross our galaxy. Ours is by no means the largest of 2 or more trillion galaxies which contain more stars than all grains of sand on earth!
From six billion kilometers away, our earth is a pitiful pale blue dot as small as a pencil tip. But it has supported us since time immemorial. Our population increased from 2 billion in 1930 to 4 billion in 1974 and is estimated at 7.7 billion in 2019. We speak over 7,000 languages in 193 countries that belong to the United Nations. We are not alone, but one of a trillion species on our planet.
We have made enormous strides in science, technology, and other fields. We have sent people to the Moon, found cures for many diseases, cracked the atom, invented the Internet, and deciphered the human genome. We have also adversely impacted our planet causing global warming, pollution, and the extinction of some species.
We invented writing over 5,000 years ago, and had over 4.7 billion active Internet users, and 6.4 billion smartphone users around the world in 2021. People are now traveling more than ever, with over 4.5 billion airline passengers in 2019.
Despite these achievements, we still have many and deep divisions. In 2019, 54 conflicts between states raged around the world. Some conflicts have dragged on for decades, and they all have injured and killed millions of people.
We have suffered countless natural disasters, pandemics, and epidemics throughout our history. Among these pandemics are the Black Death (1347 to 1353) which killed 17–28 million people in Europe, and the 1918 flu pandemic which infected about half a billion, and killed around 100 million people worldwide. Recently, we have been ravaged by cholera, influenza, and HIV/AIDS.
The latest and perhaps most devastating of all pandemics in our history is the COVID-19 pandemic. Nations big and small are on their knees. Economies, schools, factories, hotels, airlines, and all other human activities have come to a virtual standstill. Although vaccines developed to fight COVID-19 have been helpful, the virus and its variants have destroyed families, deprived people of their livelihoods and, as at December 23, 2021, killed 5.4 million people (and counting). Although hundreds of millions infected people have recovered from COVID-19 infections, many of them face debilitating conditions caused by the so-called long COVID.
To make matters worse, the COVID-19 virus keeps changing. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic about two years ago, some 33 variants of the virus have been found. However, only 13 of these have been designated as a Variant of Concern (VOC), or Variant of Interest (VOI), and named by the WHO using letters of the Greek alphabet. It seems there is no end in sight because the WHO is considering naming new variants after the 88 constellations when the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet are exhausted.
Dear God, COVID-19 has reminded us of our frailty on our tiny planet, Mother Earth. Now, more than ever, we know that despite our nuclear weapons, we are not omnipotent; You are. We are not in charge; You, God, are. As such, we again reaffirm our trust and confidence in You, and express our gratitude to You, for all You have blessed us with.
God, we humbly pray that You end the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pain it is inflicting on us. We know God, You can, and have faith You will out of compassion for us, answer our prayers.
We thank You, God.