We find ourselves in very unusual times. Although we all knew a local disease like coronavirus could spread world-wide due to our global infrastructure, we have now seen it happen. While this teaches us of our limited ability to control our environment, it can also teach us a great many other things. We believe that coronavirus has minimal effects on the young, the healthy, and children; but we also believe that it is a very different story for our older or less-healthy fellow citizens.
We are accustomed to making most of our own decisions for ourselves and our families. We — including the young, the healthy, and children — have been asked to take sanitary precautions such as avoiding unnecessary touch, washing our hands thoroughly, staying at home when we feel ill, and other measures. Why would those who face little risk take these sorts of steps? To protect the more vulnerable members of our society. We take these precautions out of love.
We miss a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about self-denial, willingly inconveniencing ourselves, and being mindful of other people and their vulnerabilities if we do not teach them why we are doing what we are doing. We can explain to them that there are people who are afraid and we can teach them to empathize with the fearful and the unhealthy and serve them in whatever manner they can.
What is our Christian duty during this time? It is the preach the Gospel of hope, remain faithful, and love others. Very simple — just as it is all of the time. We can also teach those we are forming in the Faith why we do what we do. What an opportunity!