COVID 19 has, like any large scale catastrophe, brought to focus the fundamental, existential dichotomies that we don’t think about in more normal times.
Science Vs religion: God Vs State
The Tablighi Juma-at leader exhorted his followers in India not to follow the Governmental orders to stay at home. He said, in effect, that it was good to die in a Masjid, while conducting prayers, and CIVID 19 was Allah’s punishment for the sins of human kind. In some churches around the world, there are still services going on, despite state orders not to do so. In one of the churches in Ohio, USA, the pastor has reportedly said that COVID 19 was the devil scheming to keep the faithful from each other. In Israel, the ultra orthodox segment of the society still congregated in the synagogues, and there are cabinet ministers belonging to the same segment supporting this defiance of Govt orders.
The Corona virus is not amused. In all the cases cited above, COVID 19 gladly seized the chance and spread like wildfire.
COVID 19 has blown away the dust that had fallen on the age old contest between religion and science, to prove who will ultimately save the human race from death and disease. The only silver lining in all this, is that Governments across the board, all over the world, have chosen Science over religion, State over God, as their ally in this deadly combat. Even the faithful in many parts of the world have reconciled their faith in God with faith in God. Those are the people who watch mass online and pray to God that the scientists may find a cure soon. They tread the middle ground safely, angering neither God nor the State.