World War III?
Over a Cup of Tea
Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin
COVID-19, the enemy that we don’t see, is killing humanity

My late mother used to tell me that my generation, the Baby Boomers, is a very lucky generation, because it didn’t
experience the horrible destruction to life and property and the beyond-the-ordinary fear of all people, during World
War II. According to Wikipedia, WWII (1939-1945) was the deadliest military conflict in history, involving more than
30 countries, and killing about 70 million people (or 4% of the world’s population). In school, I learned some more
from my World History teachers, including the Holocaust in Europe (perpetrated by Adolf Hitler) and the raping of
Asian countries by the Japanese Army (a member of the Axis Group--Germany, Italy, Japan). These countries had
their expansionist interests in the 1930s leading to their military alliance that occupied much of Europe, Northern
Africa and South East Asia. Undoubtedly, that war created a kind of fear that humankind doesn’t want to again ever
experience in life.
Today, however, several generations are experiencing a new kind of War all over the world, and it is so frightening because no weapon is now
available to combat the enemy--a viral disease called COVID-19 that has been spreading so fast and claiming thousands of lives in many
countries, regardless of location or economic situation. It started in China’s Wuhan Province according to reports, and quickly spread to other
parts of the globe. As of this writing, Italy has become the epicenter of COVID-19, forcing the country to totally lock down its borders, to try to stop
the further spread of the disease.

Imagine a worldwide war with everybody on the planet on one side, and an invisible enemy on the other side that is so vicious and evil who came
without warning and left all of mankind unprepared for its invasion! There is yet no cure nor vaccine to fight the enemy, and the elderly are the ones
first to perish, because their weak immune systems and existing preconditions make them ideal candidates for inclusion in the statistics for
“soldiers” who lost the battle.

I wish I could tell my late mother today how unlucky my generation is, as well as those who were born after me, because of this World War
launched by an unseen but powerful enemy. It is a war that instills fear to humanity, regardless of where they are located in, which economic
strata they belong to, or which age, gender, faith, political affiliation, and race, they identify themselves with. In so many ways, this present crisis
makes every human being equal.

It is interesting to note that the COVID-19 crisis is happening during this year’s Lenten Season, and to believers like me, this is telling us that we
ought to now talk to our Creator sincerely and ask Him why are we experiencing something like this, something that is unimaginable in our
lifetime, an experience that makes us shudder in fear, not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones. Bombs, guns and knives are not weapons of
choice nowadays. Neither are police powers and military strategies even thought of to ward off the enemy of every state and every household, in

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Let us face it. Talking to God has become an obsolete gesture
for many people who have become engrossed with the addicting
influence of money, political power, celebrity status, and other
social categories that have divided people instead of uniting
them. We have focused our time and energy on making our lives
comfortable, pleasurable, and full of enjoyable moments that we
have become oblivious to the needs of others and most of all, to
spend a little time for our spiritual growth. We have been living
for today and could care less for tomorrow and for the life
beyond. “Drink and be merry today, for tomorrow may never
come,” seems to be the motto of the world prior to COVID-19
invasion. And Italy paid a very high price for doing so, for ignoring
repeated warning from the government to stay home and avoid
mass gatherings, Italy has surpassed the death statistics of
China where COVID-19 started.

There is only one weapon we can rely upon to help us fight evil
that is invisible to the naked eye -- an equally invisible weapon
that comes from our hearts -- prayer. I am sure that this crisis is
bringing together people from all creeds in prayer. Everyone is
asking God for His mercy. We are all called to evaluate our lives,
renew our faith and trust in God, seek forgiveness for our sins,
and be once more children of God.

It is only God who can help us defeat this horrible enemy.
Nobody else can save us but Him. Let our prayers reach the
heavens, and I am sure, God will listen and send His army of
angels to combat our evil enemy.