PEARL

A RAINBOW OF PANDEMIC CHAOS

Is coronavirus a random mutation, a ‘punishment from God’ or something else? A small virus with astonishing properties emerges and within a few weeks, changes the supposedly unstoppable upward trajectory of mankind into a crash landing with incalculable consequences. Almost all countries are thrown into severe turmoil with their economies badly battered. Many believers, both genuine and nominal, wonder whether the coronavirus could not be a punishment from God for the prevailing human attitude of treating this wonderful planet with unrestrained impunity, just as it suits us. However, this topic is a particularly hot potato for representatives of the churches, culminating in hasty reassurances that God never punishes because He is all-forgiving Love. But this is not correct in the manner it is presented, and we should therefore be careful not to dismiss this question too quickly and file it away! How then is the appearance of the coronavirus to be viewed?

At present, no issue is being dealt with across the globe as extensively as the Covid-19 pandemic, with information about it being distributed as widely as possible. A spiritual assessment of the frequently asked question of whether the pandemic is a ‘punishment from God’ is a sensitive one, given the danger to life and the great suffering arising from it, because it touches on the core question of the problem of evil: ‘Why does God allow suffering in the world?’ To associate human action with it in some way, quickly risks making oneself unpopular and therefore numerous church representatives, as already stated, will naturally want to assure us that the corona pandemic cannot be a punishment from God, since God is supposed to love us unconditionally. This is of course not true because, without the necessary severity and consistency, love would be damaging and therefore could no longer be called love. All the more so, because such an unconditional ‘love’ would imply the granting of a ‘carte blanche’ for every action, even the worst. Moreover, this statement can only be viewed as the dispensing of a sedative and offers no real solution.

However, since the question of God's punishment is something that is perceived by many people and demands an answer, it is clear that the issue should be taken seriously! An attempt will therefore be made here, because we urgently need to look for the spiritual background and take this devastating pandemic as an opportunity to re-evaluate our own lives, both as individuals and collectively, from the ground up.

But let us first start by examining the question whether the coronavirus is an example of a random and unfavourable mutation.

Coronavirus – a problematic mutation? Certainly, the most likely short answer to that is ‘yes’. The virus has newly appeared and possesses the known, problematic properties that have the potential to snowball into a worldwide pandemic. Virologists, doctors and patients are confronted with the effects of the virus and understandably restrict themselves to fighting it; this gives them more than enough to do. On the other hand, the identification of the mutation has not yet yielded a cause, nor has it given an answer to many a question.

The graphic representation, which is readily available, shows at first glance that viruses are highly complex structures that must be able to attach themselves to host cells of living organisms in order to multiply because, in the same manner as a parasite, they use host organisms for their own propagation, something they are not capable of doing on their own. To do this, they must be literally programmed to the matching host cell. This is then again followed by highly complex biochemical reactions that take place between viruses and host cells, so that to a certain extent, one can speak without exaggeration of highly sophisticated and astoundingly accurate bidirectional reactions, which unfortunately have harmful effects, namely the corresponding illnesses. These are further intensified by the often incredible ability of the viruses to change, which repeatedly presents the immune system of the affected body with major challenges.

But, as with the topic of the ultimate origin of life, does

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