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Hi there. I’m Sarah Neufeld, and welcome to today’s podcast.
So COVID-19. Are you sick of hearing about it yet? You know what, I am, too! But I hate to break it to you, that’s what we’re talking about today because there’s so much going on right now. We don’t recognize our world, and we’re living through such uncertain times.
But you know what? The Bible says that we’re supposed to “be innocent as doves but as wise as serpents.”[1.]
I know that all of the information that’s coming to us through the media, whether it’s a press conference, whether it’s a commentary, whether it’s a tweet, it is all overwhelming what we’re hearing; especially today.
It’s so heavy. But we shouldn’t lose our faith despite everything going on. We need to be diligent. We need to know what’s happening. We need to hold people and government to account, if it’s appropriate. But we should not lose our hope.
We should not stop looking to God as our source of help above all things. He is our salvation, not the government and no other organization out there. He is our salvation. He wants us to be looking at Him exclusively.
Today we’re gonna sort through some of the most recent news of the day. We’re going to put it into context. We’re going to talk about some things that we should be looking out for. But I’m going to encourage you that you have a purpose during this time and it is such a good purpose. Thank you for joining me. This is a Christian podcast for Canadian women.
Hi there, friend. I am so happy that you are tuning into today’s podcast. Today is April 9th, 2020 and the last six weeks or so have been record breaking not just for Canada, but for around the world. And I feel like we need to take a moment and just sift through everything that has happened recently.
So we have this global pandemic going on right now, this virus, coronavirus, that originated in China [2.], and it has slowly permeated through basically every single country.
I started following this story back in late January, early February. I was following this story before it was really a huge concern in Canada, and I started preparing myself for what was coming.
I wasn’t just preparing for the virus itself, but I was preparing for the economic implications that would come from a virus that had the potential to put a lot of people out of work, and even claim lives.
And that’s where we’re at today between Statistics Canada and Public Health from Canada and Mr Trudeau. Canadians from west to east were delivered a lot of heavy information today, so let’s go through that.
Statistics Canada said that over one million Canadians are out of work. It’s around 1.1 million and we know that over two million people have been affected economically.[3.]
I had heard two million people applied for unemployment benefits. I don’t know if that’s strictly people who have been laid off or people who have had a significant reduced income as a result of the closures. But that number is over two million and our unemployment rate has shot up to 7.8% which is high now.[4.]
United States just announced their numbers, which is I believe, around 14%.[5.] So, you know… that’s something to make us feel a little better.
Also the models were released today and I feel weird every time I say that, because I immediately think of Milan. But it is not those kind of models.
Between Dr. Tam and Mr. Trudeau, they said a lot of things today. They told us that we should expect that this first wave (note FIRST wave) could take us into summer.[6.]
You know, there’s so much uncertainty for everyone right now. Business owners… parents who have kids out of school… When are we going to go back to normal?
As of today, when I did the calcs, it is 0.5% of the population of Canada who has contracted COVID-19, that we’re aware of. I know not everyone’s been tested. Ontario’s really behind on that.
But that’s not subtracting the people who have already recovered, and that is not all of the critical cases. The critical cases are much smaller. So 0.5% of Canadians have contracted this, either currently or they had it in their over it, but 7.8% of the country is now unemployed and an even greater number than that are in a very precarious financial situation right now.
So when you see that distinction between numbers, you have to ask yourself, how much of this is an overreach? And how much of this is something that is legitimate?
Perhaps all of this social distancing and the closures of so many institutions and businesses are what’s really helping, and that’s why our numbers are down. I mean, there’s there’s no way to know while we’re living it today.
In Dr. Tam’s press conference, she said, we won’t know that we have “peaked until it has already happened.”[6.]
And thats fair.
We aren’t going to really understand what our government’s been doing yet. Did our government make the right choices? Did they not? Were we too cautious? Should we have resisted, or should we have been more compliant?
We won’t fully understand much of what’s happening right now until we’re past it.
That is incredibly frustrating.
For those who have qualified for the CERB (the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit), that’s not the worst news. It’s not great though.
It depends on what your income was. It’s a flat rate of $2000 a month. For some that’s a sweet spot; for some that’s more than what they were making. And for others, that’s nowhere near what they were making.
So you know to hear that, this is how long it’s going to be, that is very hard news to hear.
I’m gonna give you a little a little side note here.
He and Dr. Tam said a lot of things today, that to me opened up so many more questions!
There is a lot of ambiguity, and a lot of questions I have. There’s no way we would ever get the answers. This particular government really knows how to sidestep questions better than most.
So these are just questions that we’re just gonna have to hold on to, and more importantly, for me, anyways, I’m gonna have to take them for the Lord.
But what does that actually mean? “Life doesn’t go back to normal.”
Does that mean that until there’s a vaccination, businesses stayed closed? Children will not return back to school? What happens in the fall for especially for High School students? What about the students that were supposed to graduate this year, or those who were supposed to start High School?
He said that a vaccination is far off, so this isn’t something that they are going to have soon.[6.] And so he said, life isn’t going to go back to normal, and we need to accept what’s going on.
Because we’re a bilingual country, all of these press conferences are given in English and French. Fortunately, I am fluent in both, and I absolutely hate listening to the translator talking over, whether it’s him or anybody else.
This is because I want to know what they’re saying specifically as things get lost in translation. That’s not just a title of a Bill Murray film; that’s legit.
And so what I found interesting as that he gave a timeline of a year to 18 months in French, but not in English.[6.] Now, obviously there are translators, so if you’re listening, you would have heard it.
But I find that interesting that something that that is as troubling as this timeline is something that he chose to say in a second language that unfortunately, most of the country doesn’t speak outside of Quebec.
Anyway, so it was hard news that we heard today. There were some other things that I found troubling, guys.
He talked about aggressive [contact] tracing. I believe it was the word tracing, not tracking. And he was referring to contacting people who get COVID-19, and tracing where they contracted it from. But this term, “aggressive [contact] tracing,” is troubling if you look what’s going on around in the world.[7.]
There are measures being taken by governments that are very totalitarian. And some of that is not shocking because China, where this originated… I mean, they were literally welding people into their homes so they couldn’t leave![8.]
They were given QR codes through a phone app. If they were given a green light than they were allowed to leave their house and go wherever they wanted.[9.]
If they had yellow, it meant they were restricted to their homes I believe for two weeks, or they were restricted to where they could go. And if they got a red, then they couldn’t leave their house for a much longer period of time.
This is tracked and the authorities have this information.[10.] So if someone who has been given a yellow or red code is not abiding by that and they leave their house, then they could get arrested. Now, that’s an extreme because it’s China and they’re communist.
This is unfortunately what we expect from those governments, but we’re seeing this in the United States and even in Canada as well where people are being tracked.
We know for a fact that Google has been assisting governments per state, I believe. But I don’t know if it was municipalities as well. [Also in Canada][11.]
Either way, they are providing the government with what they said was anonymous information to show them if people are staying home.
Are they staying within the certain limits, or are they disregarding the guidelines? And they said, no one’s name is being given.
It’s just a general through tracking people’s phones, and that’s if you believe that.
There are drones that governments are clamouring for.[12.] I’ve seen video footage of it, perhaps you have too. There are drones flying around, telling people to get back in their homes.
You’re hearing of people being fined up to $100,000 depending on what the violation was.[13.]
There’s a video of a guy who was surfing [correction – paddle boarding] in California. No one was near him for miles and two Coast Guard boats came and basically chased him down, handcuffed him and arrested him.[14.]
We’re seeing some very extreme responses.
So when our leaders are saying that we’re going to continue with aggressive [contact] tracing measures, that doesn’t leave me feeling that great.
I’m not trying to read into anything, but we need to be aware of what’s going on, and I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist. God forbid, I ever sound like Alex Jones!
There is precedent for governments taking advantage of of situations to obtain more control. We have already seen that happening in Canada.
I read today about how Canadians are developing tools and habits that will be beneficial for the resiliency of Canada and the future. We’re being told that what we’re learning right now to stay away from each other and certain other things.[6.]
You know, if you weren’t in the habit of washing her hands, then you know this was not all in vain. That was a good habit to pick up!
Spending more time together as a family, forced or not, maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea.
However, where we are starting to be obedient… We’re told where we can go; how often we can go there; can you go to work; your business can stay open; your business can’t…
Under this circumstance, it makes sense up to a certain degree.
We had the incident back in March when the Liberal government was trying to pass through legislation. Everyone was unanimous. All the parties were working together. It was so great to see such bipartisanship effort taking place.
There’s a lot of hostility that was lingering from the election in October between the parties; especially between any party that’s left and the Conservatives. I mean, I don’t want to say bad blood, but kind of…
There was a lot of tension. There wasn’t much cooperation. And so seeing all the parties coming together was wonderful. This legislation that they were trying to pass was to bring aid to Canadians, which, let’s be honest, we need it right now.
And the government tried to throw in a few extra clauses, giving them a lot more power and free rein to not have to answer to the opposition to any kind of scrutiny until December 2021 which everyone agreed.[15.]
Even the CBC, God bless them. It was so hard for them, especially Rosemary Barton, to admit that this was an overreach. They chose their words ever so carefully, which makes sense because they’re funded by the government.[16.]
But even they agreed, and they weren’t the only ones. There was a lot of liberal journalists and commentators who agreed, and again we saw this unity between the opposition parties, whether it was the conservatives, le Bloc and the NDP.
They all agreed that this couldn’t happen and they had to work together to find an alternative solution.
And so we’ve seen examples where our government may take advantage of the situation.
We really don’t know what to believe. Who’s telling us the truth? Is the WHO telling us the truth? Well, I don’t trust them implicitly.
Can we trust these models? Should we be favouring to protect our economy? Should we just say,
“Screw it? Let the economy go… What happens, happens. We will recover. We have to just shut everything down because people may die.”
Where do we find the middle ground? Who do we believe? And for me, I find this incredibly frustrating because, as I’ve said to my husband, I honestly don’t know who to believe anymore!
I don’t know whose statistics to believe anymore. There’s so much corruption and collusion at high levels involved here. And I don’t trust my government to always make the best choice.
I think scrutinizing one’s government, whether it’s the party you voted for or not, is always a best practice.
I voted conservative. If Andrew Sheer had become Prime Minister, I would be scrutinizing his choices as well; I don’t agree with everything that he does either.
So I think it’s very healthy for us to step back, look at the scenarios that we’re in and scrutinize them.
Look at history.
There’s precedence for a lot of bad things that could happen right now, and we shouldn’t fall into a state of complacency and think it won’t happen to us.
So I’m here to provide a Christian biblical perspective.
I’ve given you a very detailed summary. But what are our takeaways?
Well, first of all, if you’re a believer, our faith should be in God first.
We should be looking to God to provide for our needs. And for some of us, that’s gonna take a whole lot of faith.
And if you’ve been following me, and my writing at Sarah Neufeld Co. or on social media, then you know a little bit of my story. When I talk about financial struggles and having to live by faith, I’m I’m not speaking flippantly. I am speaking very seriously.
We have to put our trust in God. We have to know who we are in Christ and that we are heirs of a promise. I’m not saying that Christians won’t get sick, because, of course, they’re going to.
We have to monitor how much we listen to the news and to social media because too much can become “too much!” It’s not very uplifting news right now.
At the same time, we cannot divorce ourselves from being informed and for not trying to ascertain what is true in a time when, I’m sorry to tell you, a lot of people are going to be lying to you.
We need to be paying attention to what our government is doing, and this isn’t to create mistrust of the government. I would be saying this no matter who’s in power.
There is a long history of people who are in leadership, when there’s a crisis and people are vulnerable, that this is the time for governments to assume more power because people are willing to give it over.
And this is why I’m saying we need to put our trust in God.
Don’t look to the government to be your saviour; whether that’s your mayor, your Premier or a Prime Minister. Don’t look at them to be the solution.
My husband is laid off and we are benefiting from the CERB, and we consider ourselves grateful for that. So it’s not to show a lack of appreciation for the aid that we’re receiving.
Now, I’m going to give you some practical advice for those of you who are going to be receiving some unemployment benefits from the government. This is not tax free, so put money away when you can.
This isn’t a time to go spending it. This is a time to be very, very careful. You will want to spend the next year making sure that you have money set aside to cover the tax bill that you’re going to get from the government next March or February.
Depending on whether you’re an early bird who likes to get your taxes filed away, that would be February. If you’re someone who likes to avoid it, as much as possible, it could be April or May.
Either one, you’re going to want to put money aside.
The other thing I want to say is this is a time to be generous when we can.
Now some of us cannot be generous with our money by much. Some people have no idea how they’re gonna pay all of their bills. But if you could be generous with your time or with your skills to help someone else who’s really struggling, I encourage you to do that.
If you do have some ability to be generous, I strongly recommend you keep tithing to your church. I recommend that you make donations to the local food bank or any other organization that you know is on the ground somewhere helping vulnerable communities.
We should do that as Christians. We should be looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Not to undercut the spiritual principle I’m trying to impart, a side note is, if you are going to be met with a tax bill next year, charitable donations can come in handy. I’m just putting that out there. Some practical advice.
Be wise. Budget. Save. Be generous.
Make sure that your faith is in Jesus and not in human sources of help.
The other thing, and this is some advice that I’m giving myself, just as much as anyone who’s going to listen to this, is make sure that as much as you’re listening to the news or you’re listening to press conferences, (which to some degree, I think we should) make sure that you are meeting that with time with the Lord.
You know, there’s that principle that for every cup of coffee you need to drink so many glasses of water.
The fact that I don’t know that answer tells you that I don’t follow that principal very well. Although I have given up coffee. So there you go. I’m sipping on a mint tea right now, and I’m enjoying it.
But that principle should follow here as well. For as much as you’re listening to things from the world, double up on how much you’re spending time in the word.
Listen to things that are going to encourage you and edify you.
Another thing that I’m I’m going to tell you, and I’m going to keep saying this, I’m going to be saying that ’till people are sick of tired of hearing it, and then that I’ll say it again.
We need to be praying for our country.
And we need to be very diligent in that.
I have a newsletter, a prayer letter that goes out every Saturday. It’s called, Women Praying for Canada.
You go to www.sarahneufeld.co, an you’ll see it in the menu bar, Women Praying for Canada. You can sign up. You receive an email every Saturday evening with current relevant prayer requests for whatever’s going on in the nation.
Right now, I hate how much it’s about COVID-19, but this is what we’re living through right now. Before this, it was other things that were going on in the country.
I am someone who pays very close attention to the news. And it irks me that not everyone does this. And as much as we can pray for our country in a general sense, we can pray in the spirit if that’s how we are lead. There’s also something to praying about things specifically.
We’re told to pray continuously, and we are instructed to pray for our governments and for our leadership. That’s actually one way that we can be assured that we will live in peace.
Did you know that?
You want to live in peace? Be praying for your leaders.
I mean, that’s powerful. That’s Paul’s writings right there.
So if you haven’t signed up for Women Praying for Canada, I invite you to be a part of this ministry to keep praying.
We are limited to what we can do right now. You know, you look back during wars at the past, how women got involved. I mean, everyone has seen that iconic picture of the woman with her flexing her bicep against the yellow backdrop.
Women went in the factories; they rationed in their home; they sewed. They did all kinds of things.
And for us we can’t go out of our homes, for the most part, but we can buy groceries for elderly neighbours and relatives. We can maybe pick up their laundry if they don’t have their own units.
But for the most part we are confined to our homes.
So if that isn’t proof positive, that our role, our first line of defence, our position that we should be assuming as Christians right now is to pray, I don’t know what else is!
Because there’s very little else we can do.
It shows us that this… this is what we should always be doing.
Let’s not become dependent on human sources of strength. You know, we have access to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within us.
And one of my favourite things that Christine Caine has ever said is how the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, lives in you!
You don’t need to pray for a revival to come from somewhere. You are it, my friend!
We need revival in Canada. And you know what? You’re part of this.
Whatever you’re looking for, you have it. And if you’re looking for what your role is going to be in this time of crisis, this time that our grandchildren are gonna ask us about someday if we’re not raptured first, this is it.
We are Jesus’ hands and feet.
We are the temples of the Holy Spirit. So let’s not get distracted.
Let’s not look for a source of help anywhere except God. Let’s be diligent at watching what our government is doing. And let’s not be afraid to use our voice if we have to; I really hope we don’t.
I am someone who hopes for the best, but plans for the worst. That’s my personality. That’s where life has brought me.
Let’s be generous. Let’s be wise. And let’s not forget to pray for our nation. Thank you so much for listening today. I appreciate your time. My prayers are with all of you. Until next time, thank you so much. You’re listening to Woman to Woman. God bless.
- Matthew 10:16
- The origins of COVID-19
- Unemployment in Canada
- 2.13 million Canadians apply for EI Benefits
- Unemployment in the United States – April 9, 2020
- Public Health Canada Press Release & Mr. Trudeau’s Comments – April 9, 2020
- Aggressive contact tracing
- Chinese communist government welds coronavirus patients into their home.
- Communist government controls quarantine in China through QR codes.
- Communist China’s detection app shares info with the authorities.
- Google is sharing Canadians’ location data with the government.
- Ways governments are using drones during the pandemic.
- $50,000 to $100,000 fines for ignoring social distancing in Brampton.
- Paddleboarder arrested for violating stay-at-home order.
- Liberal government puts forward “overreaching” legislation, described as a power grab.
- Government funding for the CBC