In countries where the majority no longer believes in God, there remain only two taboos. They are not any form of self-indulgence, drug-taking, foul language, depravity or even incest, they are sin and its wages, death. Why death? Because death is the only thing that the ideology of secularist humanism, which is indulgence in sin, cannot prevent. Death is the failure of humanism, indulgence in sin. To stand up and say that we are all going to die and that is the only certain thing in our lives is taboo. And yet it is true, we are all inevitably dying.
Thus, in the UK, about 1,500 people die every day. Out of a population of 67 million this is an average. Although there are very tragic accidents, with children dying, road accidents and the tragedy of suicides, most die of old age. True, the illnesses that come with age, heart disease, cancer, breathing difficulties, are specific, but, quite simply, they come as the body wears out, they come as a result of old age.
As yet there is no reason to think that the number of deaths per day, anywhere in the world, will increase dramatically or even more than slightly because of this new strain of flu popularly called coronavirus. In this country, on average five people die every day of ordinary flu; fewer even than this of coronavirus. In China coronavirus already appears to have peaked. Most people will not contract coronavirus and even if we do, tragic though it may be, at present there is only a one in a hundred chance of dying of it
Of course, none of this means that we should not take the precautions that common sense always dictates. We do not seek death. If you feel ill, stay at home! That is what people have always done. (Though the current jargon for staying at home is ‘self-isolation’). On the other hand, the emptying of supermarkets and the stockpiling of foods and other products make no sense. Depression, hysteria and panic are simply unChristian. We are all going to die and we all hope to go to Paradise, where there is no depression, hysteria and panic. (= Sorrow, pain and sighing in the Church language of the kontakion for the departed).
Some are already asserting that coronavirus is the result of some form of bacteriological warfare that went wrong. They blame China or the CIA. After all, whole industries are now threatened with bankruptcy. And individuals who are not paid when they are ill. (Is the remedy far worse than the illness?). However, we shall leave such conspiracy theories to conspiracy theorists. However, there is one who is definitely rejoicing at all this. That is the devil. Not only has he already prematurely ended the lives of over 4,000 people around the world, mainly elderly and already seriously ill, but he has also managed to close churches in many countries. More may follow. Coronavirus is his attack on Easter, he does not want us to tell the world that Christ is Risen, that Christ has defeated his most evil invention, death. That is what is really sinister.