Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, our world has been under a lot of stress, in lockdown or in quarantine, trying to reassess our interconnectedness, our sense of safety, the importance of solidarity, our need for leadership, and the artificial protection our borders offer us. On March 11, WHO’s Director stated:
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”
Pandemic is not a word to be used lightly! And, since March, for many of us is has been difficult to measure the full impact of this pandemic. How many of us have experienced a pandemic in our lifetime? Wasn’t that something of the past?
Each one of us has to adjust to this new reality. We cannot travel the same way, we cannot congregate as we wish, we have had to give up much of our social life… Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many among us have had to face bigger struggles however!
Cases of domestic violence have so dramatically increased during the pandemic that the U.N. has expressed serious concerns about the situation as well as national organizations. The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres noted: “For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes… We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners.”
Evictions are on the rise as well, targeting the poor segment of the population who is struggling economically because of the pandemic; violence by armed groups across the globe has also risen; and a high number of relapses are hurting people suffering from addictions: “As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to unfold, the world is locking down, forcing millions out of work and many into isolation. While social distancing isn’t easy for anyone, it is hitting one group particularity hard. People who are recovering from a substance use disorder are finding it difficult to maintain sobriety with their routine uprooted, and many of them are relapsing during COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly revealing the various layers of our social illnesses. What are we going to do with this revelation?
Letter to the Church of COVID-19:
Your community is hurting. The poor, the women, the children, and the sick are suffering from violence, oppression, and isolation. Those who were forgotten are now dying and losing hope. You have a unique chance to rethink care and love for your neighbor and change society’s priorities. Is selfishness going to kill America? “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:7)
The August 24th Network resource will draw upon the spiritual wisdom of the 12-step program. We hope it will help you better care for yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors during this difficult time. To sign up to receive it in your inbox, click here. At the same time, our programs (which are available in a virtual format) are our most comprehensive tool for addressing the social ills which COVID-19 has unveiled. Click here to learn more.