Is there a covid-19 “curse”?
Sometimes it appears that way.
It seems like this thing has a mind and ego and spookiness of its own, call it a gremlin quality.
One might say: take prudent precautions at the same time as not allowing fear to be the victor.
Be humble. Be brave. Be assured. But make sure courage is accompanied by humility.
Is it strange? This virus is strange. A radio host and political activist calls it a hoax and dies from it last week, after declining to wear a mask at a large indoor event. Let us pray. The leader of Brazil made fun of it until he and then his wife contracted it. He is still under treatment for “mold” in his lungs. Beguiling, this thing. The leader of the U.K. likewise dismissed the virus, then contracted it himself and watched his nation bolt to the top in number of cases. He ended up in an I.C.U. unit and thanked the nurses and doctors for “saving my life.” He was courageous but perhaps not cautious enough. Make sure to balance the two. Don’t cower, but also: don’t invite things. Avoid the sciolisms of the world. A well-known priest in Washington D.C. urges folks to go out and in a way defy it and comes down with the illness, leading to a quarantine of much of his parish. Are we defying a virus, or a chastisement? There is a fairly impressive list of evangelical preachers who have fallen to it — have even died after disregarding regulations and publicly dismissing the menace. Again, prayer need. There was perhaps a lack of discernment. Maybe it was just “their time.” We can’t judge that. Other priests also. One had been distributing Communion without face-covering, apologizing to the public after he contracted it, causing his parish also to semi-quarantine. In another instance, twenty people became ill with the coronavirus after a single weekend Protestant retreat. A congressman who refused to wear a mask now has it. The governor of a Midwest state tested positive after dissuading the public from certain restrictions thought to be too economically cumbersome.
Here is the challenge and the contradiction: we are dealing with a pathogen not to be trifled with, a pathogen that sometimes seems like no more than the flu (if anything at all) and in other cases is straightforwardly and quickly deadly. Unlike most cases of regular flu, it can cause permanent damage. But also: a pathogen that should not to be allowed to take us over with trepidation. The spirit of fear is not the Spirit of Christ. It is a bully virus, SARS-CoV-2. But it is wise to be circumspect, and to engage in the humility of precaution, when dealing with it.
Humility puts a bubble of protection around us.
Yes, this too shall pass, especially if, as urged by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, we pray and declare a fast (as at Nineveh). He suggests this every Friday. Lent never did end. Therefore, proclaim!
With prayer and fasting, said the Madonna of Medjugorje, we can “suspend the laws of nature.”
Ask God to send the Holy Spirit around you and everyone in your family each day as a bubble against this nefarious invisible beguiling insidious relentless enemy. The Holy Spirit will direct you as far as to if and when and where you should venture out. He certainly knows much more than scientists, not to mention bloggers, Youtubers, Tik-Tokers, and political commentators of all stripes about precautions, potential cures (there are probably a number of these), and other solutions. If you approach this thing with bravado, with ego, that’s a breach in your shield. It will find you. If you are bold in the Lord, and obedient to those with proper authority, in all likelihood, “going forward” (as they say), you and your loved ones will be protected.