In many ways, Seele and countless others who forged the Black church’s response to HIV/AIDS laid the foundation for an effective and powerful faith-based response to COVID-19.
Communication between scientists in China and scientists in the U.S. has essentially shut down, eliminating opportunities for the U.S. to learn from China’s response to the virus.
During this time of COVID-19, people are dying alone, away from their families and from priests or pastors who might ease their passing. You could no more shoehorn a dozen people into a hospital room than you should cram them unmasked into any enclosed space these days. A pastor or chaplain might be forced to visit the room remotely, to FaceTime last rites, so to speak.
How do you balance the sometimes competing demands of religion and democracy? Religious and legal scholar Melissa Rogers talks with Rev. Jim Wallis on about the fine line that is sometimes hard to distinguish when examining our duty to our religion and our government.
Rituals surrounding death provide solace and comfort. Ceremonies, such as funerals, hold our challenging and complicated emotions and provide space for us to acknowledge and accept the reality of death. But when we are not able to be physically held by those outside of our own home or partake in our religious rituals and death traditions, how do we process the death of those we love? Even as states reopen and larger groups are permitted to gather, some people are still apprehensive about convening. In this unfamiliar and uncertain moment, how do we mourn?
COVID-19 is culling the herd of humanity. Beneath the conversation about herd immunity lies a silent and unstated conversation about who will survive. Why are black and brown communities being hit so hard? Why are we more likely than whites to die if admitted to the hospital? Who gets access to health care of any kind, and with regard to COVID-19, to inequitably distributed tests? Who gets a ventilator and who does not?
In more than 60 cities across the country, people stopped on June 1 to remember the more than 100,000 people who have died from COVID-19 as part of a National Day of Mourning and Lament.
HERE AT SOJOURNERS, we’re all about hope: Finding signs of hope, praying for the gift of hope, living a life that embodies hope. Heck, I’ve even designed bumper stickers with that word, some of which are still on cars, expressing hope—albeit a weathered and faded hope—from the parking spaces where they’ve been for weeks.
But sometimes our hopes crumble in disappointment. As scientists work feverishly to develop drugs to counter the coronavirus, many alternative treatments trigger our sense of optimism and raise our hopes, only to be dashed when they prove ineffective, unproven, or laughably ridiculous to most sentient beings except Sean Hannity.
The promise of hydroxychloroquine, for example, was touted by Fox News for a month before it was finally debunked as ineffective and, in some cases, fatal. But now that the president claims to be using it, I’m glad I worked on the pronunciation: Hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine. (See? I’ve been practicing.)
A similar, more pronounceable chemical compound—chloroquine phosphate—also showed promise. Mainly used for cleaning aquariums, its medical efficacy was suggested by its ability to clear glass of slimy buildup that appears much more tenacious than any virus. (Despite being exposed to the chemical for years, those little deep-sea divers show no ill effect.)
Yet history repeats itself – leaders are sacrificing lives to ensure an "uninterrupted food supply." These meat and poultry plants, just like cotton fields once were, have been deemed "critical infrastructure" to the nation's economy.
The need for lament could not be more urgent. The painful reality of the loss of more than 100,000 American lives requires the response of lament. However, a genuine corporate lament seems to have eluded many Americans, even those in the church. Lament is a biblical practice that has been long-neglected in the American church.
“The big, big risk in Tijuana is that somebody comes, and if they're sick, where do I send them? There is no option,” he said. “The general hospital won't take them unless they're a certain level of sick, they have to be severely sick, so there is no structure here.”
The United States surpassed 100,000 deaths related to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.
It’s a staggering number representing nearly a third of the 353,011 COVID-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S., more Americans have died of the virus than in the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Gulf wars combined.
As we passed the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus, we’ve started using the hashtag #Lament100k to urge people to pause — to lament. Of course, the sentiment falls short. As a friend said to me, we can’t abbreviate all these lives; we have to try to feel all one hundred thousand of them.
Even while Brazil is a COVID-19 global hot spot, some pastors flout social distancing.
What is needed now, as always, is real moral leadership.