On Living in a Pandemic

On the front end allow me to take no credit for this article. All that will be presented is an, at length paraphrase. I had considered doing so to the entire essay but that was a little too close to plagiarism for my tastes. Instead I intend to skirt the edges giving full credit to the author but changing the following words and phrases: atomic bomb, atomic age, bomb, bombs. 

“In one way we think a great deal too much of the COVID-19 virus. “How are we to live in a pandemic?” I am tempted to reply: “Why do as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might have cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, and age of syphilis, and age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, and age of motor accidents.”

In other words, no not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the COVID-19 virus was invented: and quite a hight percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors – anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientist have added on more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by COVID-19, let that virus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about viruses. They may break our bodies but they need not dominate our minds.” – C.S. Lewis On Living in an Atomic Age

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