This is a time in which it is particularly hard to know whether reading on the internet is going to do us any good, after we get the basic information. On the assumption that each of us will read some things, here are some suggestions:
First, from The Rabbit Room:
O Christ Our Healer,
There is no end to malady, sickness,
injury, and disease in this broken world,
so there is no end to the line of hurting
people who daily need my tending.
Therefore give me grace, O God,
that I might be generous with my kindness,
and that in this healing and care-taking vocation
my hands might become an extension of your
hands, and my service a conduit for your mercy . . . .
Excerpt from Doug McKelvey, “A Liturgy for Medical Providers,” Every Moment Holy (posted on The Rabbit Room, March 13, 2020) [link].
The COVID-19 disease has uncovered all sorts of weaknesses and problems in our country and our public discourse, including those of epistemology (how we know what we know). Not surprisingly, Alan Jacobs has a thoughtful pair of pieces on Snakes and Ladders:
Rush Limbaugh says, “Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says, “I mean, people always say, well, the flu, you know, the flu does this, the flu does that. The flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent. This is ten times that.” (He could have said “at least ten times that.”)
Question: Why does Rush Limbaugh think he knows better than Fauci?
Excerpt from “who you gonna believe?” [link]. On a narrower point, he laments generational Schadenfreude in “a sad bit of fair play” [link].
Some of those weaknesses and problems are not at all new:
Jesus didn’t live during a time of pandemic flu, but he had a lot to say about worrying for the future. He admonished people not to store up treasure on earth, not to worry about tomorrow, and not to wonder where their next meal would come from or whether they’d have a face mask to protect themselves. He told a parable about a foolish rich man who stockpiled his abundant harvest, only to unexpectedly die. While it might seem that worrying for the future could actually prolong our life, Jesus says otherwise. He commends to his disciples a reckless disinterest in the concern for their future wellbeing. Instead of self-preservation, he demands the preservation of others, foregoing our future needs to care for the sick, the helpless, and the needy.
Todd Brewer, “Hoarding in a Crisis, Stealing from Your Neighbor,” Mockingbird (Mar. 13, 2020) [link].
Finally, go back to the Word, maybe especially the Psalms:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.