The Beauty of Diversity

My mother is black. My father is white. My mother is a from a small caribbean island. My father is from Switzerland. I was baptized Catholic as an infant, raised as a devout Latter Day Saint (Mormon), in a Jewish neighborhood, while I went to Catholic school. It was an interesting childhood to say the least. I love diversity in all its forms. There is a beauty to this melting pot we call the human race.

Homogeneity is a bore. Believe me, I’ve lived in some very homogenous places and it is tough to endure. Homogeneity of appearance, speech, religion, and thought is not a good thing. It encourages fear and hatred of anything or anyone that is different.

Diversity of Race.

I love the variation of skin colors and faces in the world. I love the fact that no two people are exactly the same. What’s even better is that our world is becoming even smaller day by day, providing more opportunities to interact with each other. Sure we are all on lockdown for the next few months. This too shall pass. In the history of our human experience this will be a minor setback. Eventually we’ll get back to traveling to see each other, and we will continue the blending of cultures, languages, and our differing experiences.

What makes cultures like America so great is that it is a hodgepodge of people from all over the world. The vast majority of Americans are not native to this land. We all came from somewhere else, except for the Native Americans of course. That is heartbreaking story to discuss for another day. Our country is one big social and racial experiment. Sure it’s been turbulent, slavery, social injustice, prejudice, and continued discrimination. That being said, things are getting better all the time. Is it perfect? Of course not. But the times they are changing. Little by little.

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt that the differences in our racial and ethnic backgrounds are what make this country so strong and innovative. We’re not a feudal nation, we are a meritocracy, where it really doesn’t matter the color of your skin, or where you come from. As long as you’ve got something the market wants or needs, there is an opportunity.

Diversity of Religion.

I love the Bible. I love the Quran. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the Vedas. I love the Talmud. There are many other modern and ancient texts that I love as well, too many to write. The point is I love all people of faith, and I am genuinely fascinated by how people practice their faith. I even love the faithless, because although they might not understand or know it, they too have a faith in something, beit science, technology, or even the unknown.

Is it just coincidence that people have an innate sense of something higher or greater? It’s in our DNA. It’s something that we were given from before we came to this earth. This longing to believe in something more. We are something more than just an evolved organism spinning extremely fast on a rock hurtling through nothingness.

I think the fact that we all have these various beliefs, even though we are separated by time and place, point to deity, and is a testament to me that we are all one. We are all the children of a loving Creator and our minor differences are insignificant.

Diversity of Ideas.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit with someone I don’t know very well and hear their life’s story. I love to hear their ideas, their background, their experiences. The way they string thoughts and sentences together, and the lens through which they view the world. Everyone has ideas and they are worth learning.

No one has a monopoly on all of the ideas that are out there and there is something to be learned from everyone. We can learn how to succeed, how to fail, what to do, and what not to do. We can learn from the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the wise and the foolish. We can learn from the faithful and the non-believers, from the loving and the hateful, from the prideful and the humble.

It’s a beautiful thing to be surrounded by people that don’t think like you and to learn from them. It is human nature to want to hang out and be friends with those who agree with your worldview. It makes for a peaceful and uncontentious life. We don’t need to contend with those who see things differently. There is no need to resort to tribalism. We should extend an olive branch of understanding and seek to see from their view of the world. If we are seekers of truth we need to seek it in all its forms, and accept it from whoever it may come from. We must also be willing to accept that we are often wrong.

We live in a beautiful world of many different races, beliefs, and ideas. May we accept these differences and the people they come from. Not only do they make the world a better and more interesting place, but they help us to become more loving and compassionate beings.

Top 10 Coronavirus Myths and Truths

First, before we start, my disclaimer. I am not a medical/healthcare professional or an infectious disease expert. I have compiled information for you from leading experts and credible organizations, and their websites. Please use this information at your own risk and as with anything in life, be prudent, and apply your own common sense. Do not use this information as a recommendation or advice to your particular health or medical situation. When in doubt, seek the advice of your trusted medical or healthcare professional. Said otherwise, don’t be an idiot. Be safe. Protect yourself and others around you.

All information below is from the following sources: https://www.cdc.gov/ https://www.who.int/ and https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/. Each fact is a link that you can click on to take you to more information from these three websites.

Myth # 1 – Exposing yourself to higher temperatures prevents the COVID-19 disease.

FACT: Exposing yourself to higher temperatures DOES NOT prevent the disease.

Myth # 2 – The coronavirus only affects older people.

FACT: Everyone is susceptible, both the old and the young. Those who are older and/or have pre-existing conditions are at higher risk of severe complications or death. Young people with pre-existing conditions have died from this disease.

Myth #3 – There are treatments for the COVID-19 disease.

FACT: As of now there is not a treatment or medicine that can prevent coronavirus.

Myth #4 – There are antibiotics that can treat and prevent Coronavirus.

FACT: Antibiotics are used for treating bacteria, not viruses.

Myth # 5 – The coronavirus is only spread through the air.

FACT: According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. It is also detectable in the air for three hours.

 What’s getting a lot of press and is presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours—which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.

Myth # 6 – The coronavirus was man made.

FACT: Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.

Myth # 7 – Any face mask will protect you from COVID-19.

FACT: Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients. For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected. People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.

Myth # 8 – Ordering or buying products shipped from overseas will make a person sick.

FACT: Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. As of this writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19 from a commercial package is low since it has likely traveled over several days and been exposed to different temperatures and conditions during transit.

Myth # 9 – You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by swallowing or gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.

FACT: None of these recommendations protects you from getting COVID-19, and some of these practices may be dangerous. The best ways to protect yourself from this coronavirus (and other viruses) include:Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water.Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing.In addition, you can avoid spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.

Myth # 10 – I don’t need to practice Social Distancing or Stay at Home.

FACT: Everyone should be practicing safe measures to prevent the spread of the disease. According to the CDC, here is a list of the most at risk. Please prevent the spread to yourself and those around you, especially the high risk loved ones in your life.