We like to declare war on the things that frighten us most. The War on Crime. The War on Cancer. The War on Drugs. The War on Terrorism. Etc.
And now, of course, we’re said to be involved in the great Battle Against COVID-19.
I wonder whether COVID-19 can be effectively resisted in this way. So far our most effective means of reducing suffering have been to stay home, be quiet, and spend time with those closest. Stillness has been our best defense. Concern for public health has compelled billions of people to reduce their mobility, reduce their incomes, and make many other sacrifices for the common good.
Aggression, well, hasn’t been very useful at all.
I don’t think we can usefully employ a battle metaphor in this situation.
Sometimes when a critical situation stimulates my own instinct for violence, my fantasy of some cleansing act of aggression that might sweep away my anxiety, I have reluctantly acknowledged my opportunity for instruction. Right now, nature seems to be telling us something.
In every crisis we are given an opportunity to evaluate our habitual tendencies.
Right now, it seems to be a virus that’s teaching me a…