Today, like every day, some 350,000 children will be born into the world and 150,000 people will die, among them some hundreds, mainly elderly or already seriously ill, from coronavirus. Whatever happens in the coming months, whether, despite all the media hype, the virus soon peaks as in China, though leaving tragically many thousands with their lives shortened, or if it does indeed become a worldwide tragedy in which several million will die, three things may happen.
Economically, this could be the beginning of the end of consumerism, that is, the worship or idolatry of things (materialism). This would mean the start of a new way of life of self-limitation, as the Russian writer Solzhenitsyn, horrified by Western consumerism, called for nearly fifty years ago. Certainly, such a new moderation of consumption will be welcomed by all who put the spirit above matter.
Some politicians, seeing how they can control the masses with the help of manipulative media may be tempted to curtail freedoms more permanently. This is already clear in Western European countries of Roman Catholic culture with their dictatorial states. A global concentration camp may be possible – what a temptation for some – control, mass hysteria induced by the thought police media.
Some are already suffering from paranoia and depression as a result of hysteria and panic created in all the Western and Westernised countries of the world. Why should this tragic virus not be a call to repentance? Could it develop into the end of the Western illusion of consumerism in post-Soviet Russia? Even before the Revolution the prophets foretold that salvation would come from China.
What can we say, except that all is possible and that any more speculation is a waste of precious time? Much depends on us being responsible, but all is in God’s hands.