A Pandemic Calls Us to Work Together

By Willard Metzger

Anxiety never feels like a gift, but it reflects an important impulse. Creation is gifted with a survival instinct. Anxiety is a normal reflection of that impulse. This is an important lens for understanding reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are responding out of their instinct to survive.

Faith communities have an opportunity to model this natural response in a way that still reflects a love for our neighbours. Rather than hoarding essential supplies out of fear, people of faith can model a reasoned approach to preparedness and be ready to share with those who may not have enough. Rather than shaming people for their purchasing practices or social activities, people of faith can invite them to consider the needs of others. Rather than barricading ourselves behind closed doors, people of faith can model self-isolating that includes community building through social media, cards, letters, and telephone calls.

A virus is an assault against all humanity. Unfortunately, certain groups (the elderly, immunocompromised, precariously employed, and under-housed) are bearing the brunt of this pandemic more than others. As people of faith, we can further uphold the dignity of all people by speaking truth to misinformation and fear-mongering. Reports of racism against the Asian population in Canada are disheartening and unacceptable.

A pandemic calls all of society to work together. It requires people to take personal responsibilities. But it should not cause us to abandon our commitment to the common good.

May this time of anxiety heighten our awareness of the needs of others. May our response reflect the gracious love instilled in each of us for God, ourselves, and others.

CPJ’s responses to the COVID-19 crisis:


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1 thought on “A Pandemic Calls Us to Work Together”

  1. My wife and I feel strangely blessed because for us self-isolation means living on our farm, shopping only rarely and then for those things we haven’t produced in our gardens and on our farm. As you suggest, the situation asks us to look for newer (or forgotten) ways of loving our neighbours. Will I say the same if/when I get the virus?

    I noticed that some supermarket chains are increasing wages for those working in the stores. Maybe our world is coming to see how important some of these jobs are–true vocations–like hammering a nail or planting an apple tree or lobbying the federal government about economic policy.

    Curt Gesch


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