Today is November 1, 2022, which means it has been a mere three years since the novel coronavirus was literally going viral among the citizens of Wuhan, China. Three years since the clever beast was preparing to launch its apocalyptic world tour.
Most people don’t realize that the Greek word “apocalypse” does not mean the same thing as “Armageddon.” That is, “apocalypse” does not mean a world-ending clash between good and evil. “Apocalypse” (αποκάλυψη) actually means “the revelation of that which has been previously hidden or unseen.”
The Covid-19 pandemic that resulted from the apocalyptic globe-trotting of SARS-CoV2 has been many things — deadly, terrifying, confounding, heart-breaking, and world-changing. These are the words that we often apply to Pestilence when it mows down a portion of our species. But can we identify the previously unseen truths that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed to us, especially in terms of its meaningful consequences for ourselves and our world?
It is not surprising that most of us have neglected to ask this question. Humankind has historically neglected to ask what has been revealed by any of our apocalyptic pandemics, even though more people have suffered and died from pandemic disease than all the wars and natural disasters in human history. Consider the fact that within the year March 2020 to March 2021, more Americans died of Covid-19 than died in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and 9/11 combined.
This is tragic, because all suffering is fundamentally unbearable until we find its meaning. And this is magnified exponentially when the suffering occurs on a massive scale, physically and emotionally, as it does during a global pandemic.
Of course, finding meaning in something as vast and complicated as a pandemic is nearly impossible, which is probably why we haven’t done much about searching for it. Any yet, that doesn’t mean the search isn’t worth attempting. So I did…