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Coronavirus: Creation unfolding

2020-02-19_14-40-04

We know that the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right through to the present time. Romans 8:22

 

Louis Pasteur once postulated, “it is in the power of (people) to eradicate infection from earth.” The probability, however, is minuscule.

Smallpox (1979) and Rinderpest (2011) are the only two infectious diseases to be eradicated reports Clark Russell in his online 2011 article, “Eradicating Infectious Disease. Can we, and should we?”

Russell identifies ‘some of the practical problems with eradicating an infection’ as, design/availability of vaccinations; cross species transmission; reactivation of latent infections as well as virus’s that change and can thus evade immunity.

His major conclusion is that, “viral disease may represent an easier target than bacterial disease, but there are many biological properties of viruses that stand in the way of eradication using current technology and current ways of thinking.”  The sociological response to Coronavirus has highlighted values confusion when it comes to ‘ways of thinking’ about prevention/eradication.

What is the appropriate balance between public and individual rights in terms of quarantine and travel restrictions?  As infection ignores national boundaries, how should ‘rich’ nations respond in Justice to ‘poorer’ nations where the spread of infection disproportionately impacts upon them?

Research has opened my eyes to the issues of infectious disease eradication. Given this scientific data is at the outer limits of my layman’s understanding, I suggest you google the above or similar articles on a topic I found to be fascinating and mind expanding. 

Continuing in this scientific vein, the first law of thermodynamics informs us that, ‘the total amount of energy in a closed system cannot be created nor destroyed.’ Consequently “everything is in a constant state of change,” a point reinforced by Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray, theologian and Aboriginal advocate, who states, ‘we are not to fear changes but to be challenged by them, because changes come in the growth process of living.’  

For Teilhard De Chardin SJ, we live in an ‘unfinished creation’ a cosmos in which each one of us is called to share in the great work that goes on within it. This does not mean acquiring an Electron Microscope to identify and remediate the Coronavirus organism. It is about you and me acknowledging ‘out of the square’ realities in our lives that disturb and shock us into unprecedented ways of thinking and acting.

Both Teilhard and Anne remind us that in the 13.5 billion years of God’s creation there remains an existential need for all to participate in re-creation. As Dr Kevin Treston states: life on earth lives and dies on a knife edge in the cycle of existence.

These theologians call us to a deeper appreciation that: “the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right through to the present time.”

So how do I respond to the unanticipated changes in my life? Career? The now?

Steve Jorgensen

(Image from Pixabay by Starlordx1983)

 

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