The Corona virus can be understood solely from a material perspective, in which case the questions we ask are, “What is made of?” and “How does it function?” Or it can be understood also from a spiritual perspective, in which case the questions we ask are, “What is it saying to us?” and “What truth is it pointing to?”
The Corona virus targets, among other things, the human respiratory system, which is responsible for regulating our breathing. On a material level, breathing helps to keep us alive: breath comes and goes, we breathe in and out, and any external attack on this system is basically an attack on the whole living organism itself.
On a spiritual level, breath may be interpreted as spirit. The human being is a mixture of matter and spirit: the Creator ‘blew’ from His spirit into the form that He had fashioned out of clay. My question is this: Could it be that Covid’s attack on the respiratory system is simply an outer expression of a spiritual truth – namely the attacks that are being directed at human spirituality? Maybe we should see Covid as a material representation of what is happening on a deeper, spiritual level, with the attack that is taking place on our respiratory systems by an external pathogen (i.e. Covid) reflecting the attack which is taking place on human spirituality by the external toxins of late modernity, e.g. materialistic atheism, secularism, scientism, gender ‘dysphoria’, identity politics, and various other poisonous and debilitating currents.
While these toxins have always existed, they seem in the past few decades to have become such that truth in general – and spiritual truth in particular – has become difficult to find and almost impossible to express without being censored, banned, ‘cancelled’, ‘de-platformed’ and generally marginalised. Physical suppression of the truth finds expression in tragedies such as the ‘re-education’ of the Uighurs, while attempts to address the inversion of values that has taken place in all corners of society are rejected as ‘this-or-that-phobia’ – the identity of the ‘this-or-that’ depending on the particular perversion of human nature or corruption of the human spirit that is being questioned. Those who live for the sake of eternity rather than for the sake of just a few decades on earth may be forgiven for likening life on earth to a prison, or for feeling that someone has their knee on their neck and is trying to suffocate them. If you feel that you can’t breathe, maybe it is because the spiritual equivalent of Covid is doing to our spiritual system what Covid is doing to our respiratory system. Surely this is something that only a vaccine of prayer and patience can begin to overcome, although I’m pretty certain that others will have more radical suggestions. And they would not be particularly out of place, either.