When the world wobbles in the face of a ruthless pandemic.

 The year 2020 will go down in history as a year when the Coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic, let loose its fury upon humanity and spread panic, confusion, fear, deaths, and an unspeakable sorrow all over the world. Considering the massive disruptions to human activities and the enormous pain caused by the deadly virus, 2020 will best be described as an annus horribilis. Yes, a horrible year that completely upended our way of life; a horrible year that will forever be remembered as one of the worst years in human history. The social cataclysm caused by the pandemic will undoubtedly remain indelible in our memories for a long time.

We all began the year with our individual hopes and dreams laid out for realization during the year. Little did we know that we were about to embark on a difficult journey with paths all covered with thistles that threaten to choke those dreams. Everyone had a calendar of plans to execute and goals to accomplish during the new year. Many people, businesses or corporate entities started the year with high hopes of improving on their previous year’s performance scorecard. But COVID-19 struck and threw a spanner in the works. Millions of people lost their jobs. The travel and hospitality industries as well as the restaurant business were particularly hit hard. Most of the businesses that closed due to the pandemic may not come back.

The pandemic, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019, quickly spread like wildfire in January 2020 to Europe, the US and other parts of the world. Between January and June 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic had already infected well over a million people around the world while the number of casualties within the same time frame ran into hundreds of thousands of people. The trend continued until the fall season which was also the beginning of flu. This was the period which health experts predicted to be the advent of the second wave expected to be more deadly than the first. But could we have prevented the situation from getting worse and spiraling out of control? Has the world been plagued with this kind of terrible disease before?

The Coronavirus Predecessor.

The last time the world experienced a pandemic similar in nature and ferocity was in 1918. The pandemic of that year was called the Spanish Flu which reportedly killed a whopping 50 million people around the world within a period of 2 years and 2 months i.e., between February 1918 and April 1920. An estimated 675,000 Americans were killed in that deadly pandemic. That was 103 years ago when most of the people alive today were not born. Even if there are people who were born in 1918 and are still alive today, it is highly unlikely that they will have vivid memories of the events that happened when they were just 1 year or 2 years old. This means that all of us alive today heard or read about the pandemic of 1918 to 1920 in history books.

How did we allow a smoldering fire to become a conflagration?

In the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak, leading up to March 11th, 2020 when the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and gave it a new name of COVID-19, the global organization and the relevant health authorities and disease control agencies in every country had provided education and mitigation guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the dangerous virus. These guidelines included wearing a face mask, social distancing, frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizers, and isolation or quarantining. Part of these initial measures also included total lockdown of cities and communities in many countries. Although the WHO advocated a strict compliance to the above-named mitigation measures, the degree of compliance varied from one country to another.  

But how did the US miss the opportunity to extinguish and prevent a smoldering fire from becoming a conflagration when the deadly virus reached its shores? Could we have stopped this dangerous virus from engulfing the whole world? The United States as the leading country in the world also led the world with the highest number of deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic. It failed to rise to the occasion when it could have launched an all-out-war against the virus at its first appearance in the state of Washington. The noncompliance with the mitigation guidelines by the country’s leadership actively encouraged most of the citizenry to do the same. This was how the Coronavirus spread like an uncontrollable wildfire in the US.

 How can you recklessly refuse to comply with a simple measure of wearing a face mask that can prevent the spread of the virus and save your life and those of others? It is sheer display of unnecessary machismo and foolhardiness for an unarmed man to confront a gunman who is ready to rob and kill. Anyone who does this is simply trying to commit suicide. There is nothing to be macho about when you swagger stupidly and defenselessly before a dreaded monster called COVID-19. The general lackadaisical attitude and noncompliance of some people with the mitigation guidelines in the early stages of the pandemic contributed mainly to the astronomical increase in the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19, particularly in the US.

The WHO, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control Prevention), a US agency and the equivalent agencies in other countries, and the infectious diseases experts around the world represent our war commanders in the war against COVID-19 pandemic and we are the troops. The commander studies and knows the terrain of the battlefield better than the troops. He plans the movement of troops and logistics for effective results. Any troop on the war front who disobeys the commander’s instructions does so at his or her own peril. Those who refuse to wear face mask, practice social distancing, and comply with the other preventive measures disobey the instructions of the war commanders. And they risk being captured or killed by COVID-19.

The Second Wave.                                                                                                      

True to the experts’ prediction, a high-octane second wave did arrive with unprecedented viciousness and ferocity. The virulence and ruthlessness which the pandemic unleashed on the people since the beginning of the second wave caused a significant spike in the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The world heaved a sigh of relief when Pfizer (USA) and BioNTech (Germany) jointly announced a COVID-19 vaccine in November 2020. Shortly after this announcement, widespread vaccinations of the people began in earnest. But it appeared as if, sensing an imminent defeat, the monster pandemic decided to race against the vaccine in December 2020 to inflict the most horrific devastation yet before being subdued by the vaccine. And it did just that. That is probably why the highest number of casualties in the US was recorded in December 2020. The trend has continued in 2021 as the deadly virus rages on unabated. Sadly, on February 22, 2021, the US crossed over 500,000 mark in the number of deaths from Coronavirus pandemic and counting.

The COVID-19 Variants and the vaccines.

 We now have three variants of the virus that have surfaced in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. They were said to have the potential to exacerbate the already bad situation created by COVID-19. Fortunately, more vaccines from Moderna (USA), AstraZeneca (British-Swedish), and perhaps a few others around the world have also emerged in addition to the one from Pfizer-BioNTech (US-German). As of now, it remains to be seen if the vaccines will be potent enough to ward off the danger posed by these variants. A third vaccine to combat the deadly pandemic has also been produced in the US by Johnson & Johnson. It was released to the public in the first week of March 2021. A combination of these vaccines and a strict and sustained global application of the recommended mitigation strategies enumerated above will hopefully see the demise of the COVID-19 pandemic sometime this year (2021) and confine it to the dustbin of history.

How will history look back on 2020?

When the dust settles and the historians around the world begin to chronicle the events of 2020 and 2021 for posterity, they will describe the years as variously as follows: The years when multiple millions of people were infected with COVID-19 and millions more also died of the pandemic. The years when death became a “cheap commodity” peddled and foisted upon the people by a deadly agent called Coronavirus. The chroniclers will describe the years as a period when cases of coronavirus infections spiraled out of control in the US leading to over three hundred and fifty thousand deaths for five consecutive days in December 2020.

The years will be recorded by the historians as a time in history when the lachrymose mourners and the bereaved hardly had any tears left in their lachrymal gland, having cried their hearts out over the loss of their loved ones. The fact that the bereaved never had the opportunity to bid their loved ones a farewell before their death made the situation more painful.

Interestingly, the historians will look back on 2020 and 2021 as the years when the advanced countries of the world were completely rattled by COVID-19 pandemic. They will describe 2020 as a year when the US, the World Superpower became the World Super Weakling and a giant with the feet of clay in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic considering the slipshod manner it handled the whole crisis. These years will be remembered for decades to come as a period when the world not only turned topsy-turvy but also wobbled in the face of a ruthless pandemic.

Why you should not whine but work hard and wait for your time to wine and dine with well-wishers.

 “There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting”-J.G. Holland.

From pixabay.comSource: Pixabay.com

God created the universe in six full days and rested on the seventh. The creation of the universe was not only an exemplary display of orderliness by God but also a masterful demonstration of his organizational skill. With His awesome power, He could simply have made a single pronouncement and everything would fall into place. But He chose to do the job in stages spanning seven days. He did not do the job of two days in one day. He did not rush to finish the job he planned for four days in two days. Rather, He created all things one day at a time. He did this to stress the importance of planning all activities in a structured manner and execute them in an orderly fashion.

Here are 4 reasons you should never complain or lose hope if you have not yet achieved your goals in life.
1. Your life is designed to evolve in predetermined stages: A baby has to first learn how to crawl before walking. As a toddler, he learns how to take a few but unsteady steps one at a time. When he grows older, he no longer toddles but walks as a boy or an adult with a perfect and balanced gait. No scientific knowledge or manipulation can magically transform a toddler into a man without passing through all the necessary and developmental processes.

In the human journey of life, you cannot brush aside certain phases that you are destined to pass through despite your best efforts to avoid them. There are periods of failures and successes, sadness and joy, weeping and laughter, planting and harvesting and so on. Whether you have a growth mindset personality or a fixed mindset personality, you are bound to experience some life adversities. How you demonstrate resilience over time to get over those adversities rather than whine about them is what will get you to the next level.

2. Giving up on your dream is self-defeatist and self-destructive: Are you currently positioned on a ledge trying to jump off to your death because you think your dreams of making it in life are shattered? Committing suicide is not the answer to your problems. Perhaps your efforts to land your dream job are yet to come to fruition and you feel like giving up hope altogether. Giving up will never get you the job; persistence will.

No matter the pain and suffering afflicting you right now, rest assured that it only represents a bend in the journey and not the end of your life. Anytime you fumble or stumble along the way to achieve your goal, get right back up and continue rather than whine. This kind of unyielding spirit is what will guarantee your success.

3. Destiny has assigned us different times to reach our goals in life: What I mean here is that we cannot all be millionaires or achieve our life goals at the same time. Some will hit their goals in the morning. Others will get there in the afternoon. There are others still who are destined to reach their goals in the evening time. That is why there are people who attain financial freedom in their 20s or 30s while others only get there when they are in their 50s or 60s.

The race runners in an Olympic event do not reach the finishing line all at the same time. If you consistently invest your time and energy in any worthwhile venture of your desire, your chances of achieving success at your appointed time are bright. God has assigned to every one of us specific times to shine and flourish in life. If you are not there yet, never whine, work harder and wait for your time.

4. Give thanks for the gift of life: Do you know that no matter your current situation, a lot of people out there are still trying to match your level of achievement just as you too are looking up to emulate the achievements of others. As long as you are still alive and able, Providence has given you the considerable latitude to attain excellence in any profitable activity you lay your hands on.

But always give thanks to God for the abundant opportunities of life that are available to you. When you give thanks for the little you have now, you are paving the way for more to come. Remember, you do not own your life. Your life is like a property leased to you for a limited amount of time. Before the owner asks you to return it, why not make the most of it and stop whining?

For you to achieve success in life, you have to plan your actions meticulously and embrace hard work. Even if you experience some ups and downs, do not whine, quit, or think of taking your life. Just continue to be conscientious in whatever you do, realizing, however, that the path to success is laced with thorns and thistles.

When success eventually comes your way, give thanks to God and whoever is instrumental to your achievement. If you commit all things into God’s hands, you will see God’s hands in all things. And your friends, relatives, and well-wishers will subsequently rally round to “clang silverware on drinking glasses” in your honor.

You can find me at http://www.isaacolat.com and Facebook.






If Your Private Life In 2016 Were Captured In A Video, Will You Be Bold To Watch It In Public?

Monitoring, Safety, Surveillance

Since 1942 when the first CCTV was developed and used by the German scientists in the middle of World War 2, the use of CCTV, otherwise known as surveillance video camera, has expanded and gained worldwide popularity.  The surveillance video camera has undoubtedly enhanced the security of lives and property and revolutionized the way we handle the issue of security in the modern society. It is used by law enforcement operatives for monitoring or surveillance purposes and to establish the true identities of crime perpetrators with a view to eventually bringing them to justice.  Some hundreds of millions of security cameras are said to have been installed mostly in big cities around the world today.

For the purposes of this post, I will put all video surveillance cameras into two categories. The CCTV which we are all familiar with is the one that is installed in offices, homes, public places and cities. It is the first category and what I call the visible camera. It captures human activities in all targeted areas. The second category captures human activities in all areas but it is not installed anywhere. I will discuss this later in this post. But in the meantime, take a long, hard look at your private life in 2016.

How Was Your Private Life In 2016?

It is not my desire to pry into your personal life with this question. Rather, I intend to provoke you to take some time to ruminate over those things you did last year when no one was watching you. There were certain things you did in secret in 2016 which you will NEVER want to share with the public for fear of retribution or because of the social stigma they will bring upon you. Your preference would be to keep them permanently under wraps. Here are a few examples of the crimes committed during the year and most of their perpetrators were never caught.

Armed robbery: Are you an armed robber whose robbery escapades in 2016 went unnoticed? You dispossessed others of what they have toiled for all their lives. You left them reeling in agony while you smiled to the bank with your loot.

Murder: Were you a ruthless murderer in 2016? Your uncanny ability to cover your tracks was amazing. It was circulated in the social media that you orchestrated the murder of your own brother and his wife when the couple traveled home last December to celebrate Christmas with you. You reportedly committed this egregious crime in order to cover up your embezzlement of the funds that your brother had sent to you over the years for the purposes of executing some projects on his behalf.

Political assassination: You are not only a shrewd politician but you also employ those Machiavellian principles that enabled you to have your way at all costs at the detriment of your constituents. Those secret plots which you executed surreptitiously to eliminate your opponents were never discovered because you wield enormous power.

Adultery: You are a pastor and revered by members of your church as a man of God. But in reality, you are a man of Jekyll and Hyde personality living a double life as an adulterer in the dark and a “saint” before the congregation.

Rape: Is it your hobby to commit rape for joy? And in 2016, you were at your best. You are a philanderer with an unquenchable desire not only to rape women and children but also to liquidate your victims in order to destroy evidence. You escaped justice because your criminal acts were never reported or caught on tape.

But Why And How Do Criminals Still Avoid Being Caught Despite The Presence Of Millions Of Security Cameras Installed At Strategic Places In Cities Around The World?

The “Visible” Surveillance Camera.

The first answer to this question is that it is fiscally and practically impossible for governments, corporate entities or private individuals to cover all areas with CCTV cameras. The criminals are aware that they are in the full glare of security cameras and so they avoid the areas targeted by the cameras.  As a result, many of these criminals have a way of beating the system by committing their crimes far away from the view of security cameras.  Moreover, the cameras cannot physically stop them from committing crimes.

These cameras are not designed to capture, control or change the evil intentions in the human heart and mind. The intent or desire to carry out an evil act comes from the abyss of the human heart while the execution of the act is controlled by the human mind.

As long as we do not yet have the CCTV that can penetrate the dark chambers of the human heart or change human mind in the positive direction, surveillance cameras will mainly be useful for crime prevention, (not in all cases though), monitoring traffic and human activities, and unraveling identity problems arising from the investigation and litigation of certain cases before a court of law.

It is because of the limitations of the “visible camera” that the perpetrators of the above crimes were able to evade justice. This brings me to the second category of video surveillance cameras earlier mentioned above. It is what I call the “invisible camera”.


The “Invisible” Surveillance Camera.

The evil doers who circumvent the CCTV camera are able to do so because the camera is visible and man-made.  But do you know that there is an “invisible surveillance camera” that captures all human activities in darkness or daylight? This special camera is divine, invisible and indestructible. It is not installed in one place. There are as many invisible cameras as the number of human beings on earth. Everyone is assigned an invisible surveillance camera that goes everywhere with him/her.

Whether you are lonely in your bedroom, in the shopping mall, at the workplace, or underground, this camera follows you around and monitors every bit of your actions. It is so powerful that it can even capture your thoughts not yet put into action.

One important point to note is that the “operator” behind the camera is also invisible! He does not need your permission to monitor your activities because he is not bound by any human privacy laws. Even if you are as fleet-footed and energetic as Usain Bolt or endowed with the flying power of an eagle, you can only run but will never find a place to hide!

You may have escaped the law enforcement and the CCTV camera because of their limitations but no matter how clever you are, you can never escape the invisible camera. If your acts of evil committed in secrecy were captured in a video, will you be bold enough to watch it in public?

You can find me at isaacolat.com and on Facebook.

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

In 2016, slough off your old vices and replace them with new good habits!

Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2016. With 2015 gone and confined to the dustbin of history, you and I need to first of all give thanks to the Creator of heaven and earth for giving us the abundant blessings of life and divine protection throughout the year. Continue reading “In 2016, slough off your old vices and replace them with new good habits!”

How to activate your greatness and leverage it for humanity.

There is greatness in you right from the moment of your birth. It is a seed that God has implanted in an obscure part of your body waiting to be found either by you or someone else. All you need to do once this seed is found is to water it consistently until it germinates. It is now up to you to nurture the seedling and allow it to grow to its full potential. Greatness is not an exclusive preserve of a rare breed of human beings. It is an attribute that you and I can achieve if we make deliberate efforts and remain focused.

Everyone is born with potentials for greatness but not everyone has the ability to tap into those potentials provided by nature for human benefits. When it comes to the pursuit of greatness, human beings can be categorized into three groups in terms of their approach and level of commitment.

The first group, through sheer hard work, courage and steadfastness, nurtures its seedling of greatness to fruition and full potential. They are the go-getters. The second group consists of people who are not persistent enough with their nurturing activity and their seedling of greatness grows up but never reaches its full potential. There is yet a third group of people who either fails to locate the seed of greatness in them or simply refuses to water the seedling due to laziness, lack of strong will or commitment of purpose. The seedling therefore dies off in them.

Greatness can be found in various professions and careers. We have great teachers, great philosophers, great physicians, great scientists, great industrialists, great custodians, etc. You can be great in anything you set your mind to and for which you have the capabilities. Only you have to be ruthlessly determined and deliberate in order to unearth those possibilities lying dormant within you. And remember that your dreams are pointers to the direction you want for your destiny and greatness in life. Here are 5 ways to tap into your hidden talents and activate them for your greatness

Identify your God-given talent:

The first thing for you to do is to identify one thing you are naturally good at and in which you are likely to excel if you find yourself in any competition. God has deliberately hidden at least one talent in you when he created you. But he wants you to discover it at some point in your life. We discover our talents at different stages of our lives.

Whereas some realize early in life what they are naturally capable of doing, others, for one reason or the other, discover their talents only in their early or middle adulthood. These are the people who probably have experienced several failures in life before they finally found a way out.

Be proactive:  

You have to be proactive. Without action, there can be no reaction. Now that you have identified your area of strength, take the leap of faith and go after it.  The action you need to take now is to begin to nurture and develop that talent until it matures. No one will take the initiative for you. You have to. You don’t expect greatness to land on your laps on a platter of gold. A farmer who is provided with an arable piece of land but refuses to plow it for cultivation should never expect a high yield of harvest from nothing! You can only reap where you have sown.

Work harder:

Look around you and study the history of the great men and women who have made their mark in life. You will find out that nearly all of them worked very hard before they got where they are.  I say “nearly” because I agree with Shakespeare that some people are born great, while some have greatness thrust upon them. But I believe that only very few great people fit this description. And they represent an exception to the rule. The golden rule is that you have to work very hard to achieve greatness in life.

Hear what the legendary Mohammed Ali had to say on the need for hard work before greatness: “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believe in myself and in the goodness of others”.

Stay focused:

When you stay focused and develop your talent, you are sure to attain the level that God has set for you. All you need to do is believe in yourself and create time to consistently develop that which was given to you. Staying focused is a key component of success which can also lead to your greatness.

Have a positive role model:

You need a positive role model to look up to for guidance in your chosen career, profession or vocation. The person must be someone whose achievements you can emulate. He or She must be able to guide you every step of the way and where necessary. James Brown was a good role model for the young and burgeoning Michael Jackson. Michael tapped into his God-given talent, emulated James Brown’s mesmerizing dancing steps, worked and practiced hard until he eventually became a superstar and a musical genius.

What steps are you taking to activate your greatness? Which of the three groups above do you belong to? Is it the group of go-getters, the lackadaisical group, or those who lack the commitment to take action to develop their talents?   Try the following and change your life for the better: Identify your hidden talent, take action and work consistently and tirelessly to develop it with the help of a good mentor. If you remain focused, you are definitely on your path to greatness for the benefit of humanity.

Isaac Olatunbosun is a contributing writer for Huffington Post and The Good Men Project. Follow me on Facebook or connect with me at http://www.isaacolat.com

Please share your views by leaving a comment below.

Welcome to my new domain name.

Hello readers, I now have a new domain name called isaacolat.com. It replaces defeatlifechallenges.com under which the old posts appeared. With the new name, I have changed the focus and direction of my blog. Whereas the old blog was mainly devoted to education-related issues, the new one is focused on inspirational and motivational topics.

You will now find me on http://www.isaacolat.com which will also take you to my old education-related posts. My username is still lawmarisa.The major changes are the domain name and the focus of the blog.

Please stay tuned for my upcoming posts in the coming days.

Financial education leads to financial discipline.

It has been established that one of the biggest drivers of the debt for the US economy is the staggering amount of student loans that have continued to grow exponentially in recent years. Over the past decade or so, students in colleges and universities amassed huge amounts of loan debt that contributed to the federal budget deficit. Continue reading “Financial education leads to financial discipline.”

Why school discipline is ineffective.

Sometimes when I ponder over the issue of school discipline and the best way the teachers and school administrators should handle it in today’s modern society, I often think of the murky waters of severe administrative and legal limitations through which they have to waddle. A lot of indiscipline on the part of students is going on in schools and teachers are helpless because they dare not ‘touch’ the unruly students for fear of losing their jobs.

There is a limit to which the school principal or school administrators can implement disciplinary measures. Even the school district officials sometimes do not want to stick their heads above the parapet and assert full authority because they do not want to face unnecessary lawsuits. Any attempt by teachers and administrators to mete out discipline to badly behaved students is viewed by some parents as a ‘trespass’ by those teachers. Continue reading “Why school discipline is ineffective.”

Time to spring into action!

Welcome to the season of the daffodils and the tulips when the entire fauna and flora relish a new dawn of refreshing brightness, energy and an amazing beauty of the world around us. It is the season that symbolizes new beginnings, a rebirth or rejuvenation of new ideas and a resuscitation of moribund projects. It is a period of the year when everything comes alive once again with a pulsating energy and vitality. A case in point is the dawn chorus often beautifully rendered in unison with remarkable synchrony and renewed gusto by the songbirds at this time of the year.

This year’s long lingering and “greedy’ winter, one of the coldest ever recorded according to the meteorologists, overstayed its welcome and took more than its fair share of the seasonal pie. When it was finally the turn of spring to take over, winter reluctantly left the scene leaving behind “relics” of its brutality that lurked around for a while. Remember polar vortex and its devastating effects? No wonder our dear spring arrived in fits and starts and only a few days ago began to gain a strong foothold. As the winter passes on the baton to spring season with all their peculiar characteristics, so must we humans move from hibernation to vibrancy. This is the time for us to spring into action.

To all readers of this piece who have one project or another either partially abandoned or awaiting execution, tarry no further for now is the time to spring into action. Are you a writer or a blogger whose blog posts appear once in a blue moon? Did I hear somebody say…”But this seems to be a perfect and fitting description of you”. Unm… well, my reaction to that observation is simple. I consider this post as a big rod with which a man hits the surface of a puddle sending in all directions splutters of muddy water to all bystanders in the vicinity. Since no one is spared from being bespattered  in this situation, everyone has the responsibility to rise up and contribute to the good of the society.

Now is the time to awake from a state of lethargy into action. Whatever is holding you back from performing your role of putting smiles on the faces of the underprivileged, break yourself loose of that stranglehold today and spring into action by doing the right thing. Let all arbiters of standards including parents, teachers, religious leaders, judges and all other agents of socialization combine efforts and attempt to rectify the ills of the society and leave a good legacy for posterity. We should all  make hay while the sun shines.

Adieu Nelson Mandela the great!

With the passing of Nelson Mandela on December 5th, 2013 the whole world has lost a rare gem and an amazing personality. Nelson Mandela, a man whose mere mention of his name reverberates around the world has finally passed on to glory. When the news of his demise was beamed across the globe, the whole world literally stood still in honor of a man whose extraordinary qualities and achievements will forever remain indelible in the annals of history. For the past two days, this great man has been showered with encomiums and tributes for his service to humanity and the positive change he engendered in his lifetime. But I think Nelson Mandela’s personal sacrifice for mankind is so legendary that no eulogistic exercise in his honor would be easy to encapsulate. Continue reading “Adieu Nelson Mandela the great!”