In mid-April 2014, the words 'scandal', 'secret', 'drugs', and 'Roche' (the Swiss drug giant) delighted the medical press, which was quick to publish tantalizing news about the ineffectiveness of Tamiflu and the enormous amounts spent by governments in order to stock up on the drug, in preparation for possible flu epidemics.
“How can we rejoice if we’re at war?” This was one of the questions that arose in my mind after reading a book comprised of testimonies of people who experienced World War II as children. Decades after this nightmare, and stricken by a crisis that casts its shadow over people and nations everywhere, the question remains: can we still be happy in times of trouble?
Peering through the dust settling from the chaos of last year, we are trying to see into the unknown of the coming year, hoping for the best. Irrespective of what our hopes for 2020 were, our expectations for 2021 seem to centre on things going back to normal.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are specialists who are not surprised by this crisis, and believe that in the future we could be facing other pandemics if we fail to fix the mistakes that led to an increase of animal to human pathogen transmission.
We do not know what 2020 would have looked like without a pandemic, but we already know that some losses could have been prevented. And, if the future lies in the spectrum of pandemics, as the WHO warns, we should learn all the lessons that can be learned from this long journey.
There have now been over 12 million cases of COVID-19 infection globally, and half a million deaths. Researchers are constantly looking for new and better information to reduce the uncertainty around the virus.
Discussions about the reasonable number of deaths in a pandemic, about whether or not the price for saving people is killing the economy and, ultimately, debates on a life’s value were brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I leave the house with gloves and a mask on. When I return, I clean my shoe soles and I wash my gloves with disinfectant. Then I take off my clothes, place them somewhere outside, take off my gloves and mask and wash my hands. Is this normal? Or am I a germophobe?
Our planet may be fittingly compared to the 1994 film, Speed: A bomb is planted on a bus and rigged to explode when the bus slows to less than 80 kilometres per hour. The bus barrels through Los Angeles, hitting obstacles and endangering the lives of passengers and pedestrians until a solution is found.
Many certainties and convictions will be swept away. Many things that we thought were impossible are happening. The day after we have won, it will not be a return to the day before; we will be stronger morally.
The danger of the novel coronavirus has given us pause to reflect. As Christian believers, apart from praying, we are expected to examine and question our beliefs in this time, and to seek answers which are rooted in the perspective of the Holy Scriptures.
Courage is not the opposite of fear, nor of caution. True courage is what you do right in the midst of fear.
A major crisis pushes us to re-evaluate the way we see and do things in the fields of health, finance, and social interaction. But how does this crisis affect our religious practices—especially the most common of these, prayer?
Life in lockdown had an atypical rhythm and texture. While for some this upset their daily lives, for others it was an unexpected response to an unspoken need.
I open the window and breathe in the air, trying to guess the weather. Floating around, mixed, are scents and miasms alike; it's hard to decipher these intricate clues.