Like many of you, I spent the morning chatting with friends around the nation, self-secluded folks holding their friends’ welfare in their hearts as the latest plague descends.
Life-long friends in Nevada. Colorado. Minnesota. Illinois. And they’re all saying the same things:
- This pandemic will change the way we live going forward.
- Truth always floats to the top, eventually.
- The Earth shrugs off humans as needed.
My buddy in Reno is a medical doctor (psychiatry) and believes we are a virus, ourselves. This is not a new idea:
I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague. -- Agent Smith (Matrix, 1999)
During our conversation, it occurred to me that humans have taught this viral concept to their offspring throughout the ages:
Unsurprising, if God is truly Omnipotent. One of our Methodist ministers over the years, Larry Owsley, tells this wonderful story.
He’s a pretty bright guy, and was an advanced reader for his age when he climbed up into his grandmother’s lap and asked:
Can God do anything?
Oh yes, he can do anything, she said.
Can God seed the universe using comets containing DNA particles?
Her face turned red. She thought for a moment. Then said:
No, he certainly cannot do that!
My wife and I have avoided the fray, but we’ve heard about runs on toilet paper, guns, and especially ammunition. Do you think all our bullets are produced in the U.S.? That would be a logical assumption, but it’s a global business.
Send Lawyers Guns and Money …
The mayor of Champaign, Illinois recently signed an executive order banning alcohol and gun sales.
Back when Obama was first elected, I happened to be in a gun/vacuum-cleaner store — customers called it The Suck and Shoot — and the owner, a short fat man, climbed up on the counter and screamed: “Get your guns now! This bastard is taking your guns! Better get your guns now!”
I live in East Tennessee, and that wasn’t surprising. Having grown up in the Midwestern gun culture myself, I was not alarmed to see racks of machine-guns (semi-autos easily reconfigured) lining Mahoney’s Outfitters when I first moved to town. Dan Mahoney, an Irish tenor with a beautiful voice, has soloed in our church choir for decades. He doesn’t have to stand on the counter and scream.
Fear has already accomplished a stellar sales promotion.
Whether we buy into the idea that humans are a virus or not doesn’t matter.
What matters is how we react to the situation.
Call your friends. Call your loved ones. Call the elderly in your church, parish, synagogue, or mosque. Let them know you are thinking of them, that you care.
My friends in Colorado and Nevada have millennial children nearly the same age as my own. We know their characters. This is their chance to shine, and we know how they’ll act.
There are a lot of good eggs in that petri dish.
Let’s pray they outnumber the grabbers, grifters, and scoundrels always emerging from the viral slime in troubled times.