Christ is Risen!
As the COVID-19 virus continues to take its grim toll, almost wholly among the elderly and long-term ill (after four months it has caused a third as many victims as swine flu), conspiracy theories continue. Now in sections of the mainstream media in the US, rumours have begun that a laboratory in Wuhan in China (as in other countries also) was paid by certain forces based in the US to experiment. The dangerous experiment went wrong and the virus escaped. If this rumour were true, it would be an example of outsourcing backfiring.
Whatever the truth, and all the conspiracy theories are probably untrue, many have been wondering if the remedy, shutting down the economy, bankrupting hundreds of thousands of businesses and creating tens of millions of unemployed, is not worse than the illness.
Others have wondered if this is not a Western disease. The countries so far worst affected by far are the USA, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Africa and Latin America seem, like a multitude of tiny islands around the world, to be relatively unaffected, if at all. Of course, this may only be because many such countries are unable to collect accurate statistics or are unable to provide accurate diagnoses. They may have many more victims than are officially reported. Alternatively, it is also true that few people in such countries reach old age or else die of serious illnesses long before COVID-19 can prematurely end their lives.
For the Church, there is a great irony: priests spend their lives getting people to come to church. Now we have to send them away. But good can always come out of bad: the baptised who came to church irregularly may now appreciate more what is available and not take the church for granted as something they only need for ‘hatch, match and despatch’. In any case, one thing is for certain: Christ overcame death, He will certainly overcome this vulgar little virus.