97% of the American people are instructed to “Shelter in Place.” These orders are designed to prevent and/or slow the spread of Covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, which has affected all of our lives. Certainly, as a follower of the Messiah, I respect laws that contribute to the protection of human life. However, Shelter in Place presents many of us with a new reality; that is, to actually spend nearly 24 hours a day inside of our homes.
Many counties, states, and national government officials are advising that everyone should only leave their homes only when it is for essential purposes. In addition, if you must leave your homes, be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself, and others, by minimizing exposures.
However, one of the great challenges facing many families is.... how to make the best of your shelter in place.
Here are just a few tips
Make our homes worthy as a place of worship. Clean, sanitize and disinfect your homes. Many evangelicals have presented the false notion that if you call on a prophet of God, that illness can not touch you. Wrong. Graveyards are full of people whose tombstones bear crosses, a Star David, or star and crescent. It is certainly not good to advise parishioners to ignore public law, as if going to church will protect you without exercising discernment.
Take advantage of the modern technology and watch your worship services, conference call with your congregations, and fellowship in modern means until we are able to return to our worship centers.
Bring the family out of their rooms for prayers and services. Eliminate distractions such as laptops, cell phones, pets, toys and other things. Focus on the delivery of the Word as you if you were at the Mosque, Church or Temple.
Make your children take education seriously. For years, school offered your children hours of instruction, moral guidance, athletic activity and friendship with peers. Many parents even left primary discipline to teachers and deans. If your children are still under instruction, get involved today. Find out their assignments. Assist them by providing an orderly place for learning and study such as a dining room table or desk. Communication with their schools are essential to understanding this period of transition which is certainly taxing on parents, students and teachers. Remember, with the help of Allah, we can get through this.
Study and practice proper eating habits. Bring your family back to the dinner table. Eliminate TV trays and bedroom meals. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in the current edition of the Final Call Newspaper writes an article called, Eat Properly Prepared Foods. It is full of wisdom for our family.
Please note that the markets are hard to enter, and exposure to viruses are real; therefore, we need to learn, and follow, the best practices for our daily meals.
This Shelter in Place has seen people rushing into stores to acquire massive amounts of water, tissue, hand sanitizer, and ....chips, crackers, ramen noodles and junk foods. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad guidance to us is this: “Allah wants us to live longer and the only way that He can lengthen our lives is by us obeying Him and eating right.”
Now is a good time for us to read How to Eat to Live by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and practice what he has preached for years as a remedy for the pre-existing conditions that have made the Covid-19 virus an existential threat to Black life in America.
Remember: Shelter is Place is NOT jail. Don’t serve time; let time serve you. This Shelter in Place is likened unto our Passover. Allah will absolutely take us through. On the other side of this Shelter in Place, we pray to love each other better, to become stronger, wiser, and more united.