Love in the time of COVID-19
Updated: Mar 16
Yes, a play on the title of the novel Love in the Time of Cholera. And I confess I've never read it, but from what I gather, the plot of that book has nothing in common with the plot of this post. So, on the off chance you have read it, don't bother trying to draw conclusions or finding parallels. If there are any, it's purely coincidental.
Facts. There is a strand of coronavirus that causes a respiratory illness called Covid-19. The virus has spread quickly, reaching pandemic status as of the time I'm writing this in mid-March 2020.
As of this week, our beloved Italy has the highest presence of confirmed cases outside of the viral epicenter in China, which has now caused a nationwide lockdown, virtually halting all but essential commercial activities. And the world waits.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know all of that already. Dealing with a pandemic in the time of social media is new territory for us all, with its own special brand of pros and cons.
Pros? We're able to diffuse information faster and more widely than ever.
Cons? We're able to diffuse information faster and more widely than ever.
There are a lot of opinions floating around about the virus itself, how governments, companies, and individuals are reacting to the spread of it, the role the media is playing in making the situation better or worse, etc. And while all of those arguments may have merit in some place and time, my biggest focus at the moment is on love. But not just any kind of love. Sacrificial love.
Love. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
In my reflections this morning, I was led to these words and I couldn't help but think about how relevant they are (or maybe better to say, should be) in these trying times.
Most of us are happy to talk about love, to claim love for others but only so long as it doesn't inconvenience us in any way, deeply impact our day-to-day lives, or prevent us from enjoying any luxuries.
But I think the whole world could benefit greatly from a little more sacrificial love from each and every one of us. A little more laying down of our lives, our comforts, our personal ambitions, and our pride, to benefit all humankind.
There are sacrifices we will all have to make, either by choice or by necessity, in the weeks and months to come. Events are being cancelled left and right, schools closing, and businesses are already laying off workers due to the economic impact this virus is having worldwide. We even had to make the gut-wrenching decision to cancel our spring tours this week.
And you know what? It all sucks. It really, really does. There's no other way to say it.
But regardless of your feelings about the status of the virus - whether you're in full prepper mode and buying every roll of toilet paper you can get your hands on, or you're in denial mode and blaming the media for undue panic - please know that there are fellow humans in the world who are suffering very much from this pandemic.
But if we can focus on our fellow man, even someone who may be worlds away, in the midst of all the sacrifices and inconveniences that slowly but surely are to come, maybe, just maybe, it will make the burden a little lighter.