“Whatever doesn’t eliminate you can make you stronger.” That’s a pious axiom that does not often hold up. Sometimes the undesirable time will come and we never learn something. Ideally, this existing poor time, COVID-19, will instruct us one thing and make us much better.
My hope is that COVID-19 will teach us a little something that past generations did not need to be taught but presently understood by way of their lived expertise specifically, that we’re not invulnerable, that we aren’t exempt from the menace of sickness, debilitation, and demise.
In limited, all that our contemporary world can supply us in conditions of technological know-how, medicine, nutrition, and insurance plan of each and every sort, doesn’t exempt us from fragility and vulnerability. COVID-19 has taught us that. Just like anyone else who has ever walked this earth, we’re vulnerable.
I’m aged enough to have regarded a prior technology when most men and women lived with a ton of panic, not all of it healthful, but all of it real. Lifetime was fragile. Offering birth to a youngster could indicate your dying. A flu or virus could get rid of you and you had small defense towards it. You could die young from coronary heart sickness, cancer, diabetic issues, terrible sanitation, and dozens of other matters.
And nature itself could pose a danger. Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, pestilence, lightning, these had been all to be feared mainly because we ended up typically helpless towards them. People today lived with a feeling that life and well being ended up fragile, not to be taken for granted.
But then together came vaccinations, penicillin, greater hospitals, superior medications, safer childbirth, far better nutrition, much better housing, far better sanitation, superior streets, much better vehicles, and greater insurance plan towards almost everything from decline of perform, to drought, to storms, to pestilence, to disasters of any kind.
And alongside with that arrived an ever-expanding feeling that we’re harmless, protected, protected, various than prior generations, capable to get care of ourselves, no longer as vulnerable as were being the generations in advance of us.
And to a massive extent which is real, at least in conditions of our actual physical health and safety. In a lot of means we’re significantly considerably less vulnerable than former generations. But, as COVID-19 has made evident, this is not a totally safe harbor. Regardless of much denial and protest, we’ve experienced to take that we now live as did everyone ahead of us, that is, as unable to assurance our individual wellness and basic safety.
For all the dreadful points COVID-19 has carried out to us, it has served dispel an illusion, the illusion of our very own invulnerability. We’re fragile, susceptible, mortal.
At initial look, this seems like a lousy matter it is not. Disillusionment is the dispelling of an illusion, and we have for much too extensive (and far too glibly) been residing an illusion, that is, dwelling underneath a pall of wrong enchantment that has us believing that the threats of old no for a longer time have electrical power to contact us. And how mistaken we are!
As of the time of this creating, there are 70.1 million COVID-19 scenarios noted throughout the world, and there have been a lot more than 1.6 million described fatalities from this virus. In addition, the highest premiums of an infection and loss of life have been in those people nations we would believe most invulnerable, countries that have the finest hospitals and optimum requirements of medication to shield us.
That must be a wake-up contact. For all the superior factors our contemporary and postmodern globe can give us, in the close it just can’t shield us from anything, even as it provides us the perception that it can.
COVID-19 has been a match-changer it has dispelled an illusion, that of our personal invulnerability. What is to be learned? In limited, that our generation have to acquire its location with all other generations, recognizing that we simply cannot acquire lifestyle, health, spouse and children, function, community, vacation, recreation, independence to gather, and liberty to go to church, for granted.
COVID-19 has taught us that we’re not the Lord of life and that fragility is nevertheless the good deal of everyone, even in a fashionable and post-modern globe.
Classical Christian theology and philosophy have normally taught that as humans we are not self-enough. Only God is. Only God is a “Self-adequate Being” (“Ipsum Esse Subsistens,” in classical philosophy).
The rest of us are contingent, dependent, interdependent, and mortal ample to fear the subsequent appointment with our medical doctor. Previous generations, simply because they lacked our medical understanding, our health professionals, our hospitals, our benchmarks of hygiene, our medications, our vaccines, and our antibiotics, existentially felt their contingency.
They understood they weren’t self-adequate and that lifetime and health could not be taken for granted. I really don’t envy them some of the bogus worry that came with that, but I do envy them not dwelling beneath a pall of false safety.
Our present-day planet, for all the superior issues it presents us, has lulled us asleep in phrases of our fragility, vulnerability, and mortality. COVID-19 is a wake-up contact, not just to the truth that we’re susceptible, but in particular to the simple fact that we might not get for granted the valuable gifts of health, spouse and children, work, group, vacation, recreation, independence to get, and (of course) even of likely to church.