March 17, 2020 — Plague

Overwhelmed by all the constant important updates and numbers concerning the Covid-19 virus, I thought I’d turn to chronicle a few thoughts. For updates of a more urgent nature one must consult government agencies and trustworthy news sources.

The majority of us have never faced a significant world event that effects all of us so directly before. Indeed, only the oldest among us lived through the ravishes of the Second World War. Throughout our lives, we’ve seen growth with interruptions here and there. We have had to make small worldwide sacrifices, but not on this scale and for such an unknown time.

Yet through telepresence, many still connect, laugh, encourage, and commiserate. Over glimmering pathways of light, we can communicate with each other from afar. Also, we can react relatively quickly to something as dire as the current virus. Unlike many previous plagues, we need not leave everything up to chance. Our control is limited, but it is better than before.

Little more than six months ago, I started asking people here and there to share with me the five pieces of media which they found meaningful over the last year. One of my friends, Willem recommended All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This beautiful story traces the intersections between humans and radio — for good and evil — on both sides of the divide in Second World War Europe. When you tire of the reading figures and updates or viewing live commentary or briefings, I encourage you to read this book. It speaks of technology, hardship, misunderstanding, deep connection, and, most importantly of beauty and hope in suffering visited upon us.

Author Details

Calvyn du Toit

Calvyn C. du Toit is a PhD-candidate in Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa (UNISA), and a Research Associated in the Department of Christian Dogmatics and Ethics at the University of Pretoria. He lives in New York City, where he is h(o)us(e)band to Christine, and 6PM Music Director at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal).

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