By Christopher Simon

Love in the time of Covid-19

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” ~ Billy Graham

Whatever else we might think about the Covid-19 pandemic, we can be thankful that most people are showing more love and kindness. Deprived of physical closeness and contact with our friends and family, we are moved to show our love in other ways. And while we cannot be thankful for the virus itself, or the pain and suffering it brings, we can be grateful for the salutary effects it has on communities in general and individuals in particular. Besides people expressing their love and tenderness in myriad ways, people are slowing down and finding peace in their solitude. Speed and noise, those anxiety-producing hallmarks of the modern world, have been replaced by a much-needed slowing of the pace and a quieting of the noise. How ironic that during the period of Lent, the quarantine that was imposed on many of us provided its own type of Lent. (The word “quarantine” comes from the same word which our Hispanic friends use for Lent, namely, “Cuaresma,” both deriving from the Latin word for forty.)

Some of us find comfort in the austerity and simplicity that is forced upon us. But most of us also feel a gnawing anxiety, and in some of us this rises almost to panic, for which prayer and following the guidelines are perhaps the only remedies. But most of all it is the love that comes to the fore, the love we see in the healthcare workers practicing their professions, and all the “essential” workers, but also the love that we see in people simply treating each other with tenderness and solicitude.