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Corona virtus -- Beyond the Pandemic

Nobody probably thought a plague like this would befall our planet during his lifetime. But here it is.

We are all part of the world that has been contending with the deadly corona virus which has afflicted and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and isolated most people in their homes for several months now. A grim reality that has forced humanity to realize that we are all members of the same human family, equally vulnerable and needing one another. No man is an island, as the saying goes. Precautions, though difficult, are meant to save lives, that could be our own or those of our loved ones.

The science to find a cure, or means to contain or destroy the virus is still ongoing. Until it is complete, we are living in a state of uncertainty, wondering when the scourge will permanently end, when life will go back to normal, if at all, or what the "new normal" will be.

Whether we are in the confines of our homes, in hospitals where front liners risk their own safety to save and minister to the sick, on our way to work or go out to extend a helping hand to those in greater need, we find ourselves seeking and pondering the meaning of it all.

For the quarantined, there is the need to find a way to pass the time or, for some, to escape boredom, like doing something creative they never did before, such as making pan de sal (bread rolls) or egg pies, or growing vegetables in containers, or writing, or exercising, etc.

But still, at the end of the day, we ask: What will tomorrow be?"

My internet research on "corona virus" yielded this information: "Corona viruses derive their name from the fact that under electron microscopic examination, each 'virion,' the name of a complete virus particle outside the host cell, is surrounded by a 'corona,' or halo."

"Corona," meaning "crown," reminds me of what Saint Paul talks about in Scripture -- “the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day . . . for fighting the good fight, for finishing the race, for keeping the faith. (Tim 4:7-8)

But what strikes me most is the word "halo" to describe the corona of the corona virus. Are we not familiar with the "halo" over the heads of images of holy men and women? What, by the way, makes them holy or saintly, to deserve that halo?

Saint Teresa of Avila, in her autobiography, talks of the fruits of prayer: the virtues -- faith, hope, charity, humility, forgiveness, sensitivity to the needs of others, etc..

A 'virion,' or virus, has the halo-like outer covering. But it is not a halo that gives life or goodness but causes destruction and death.

'Vir,' a Latin word, on the other hand, is translated as 'man.' Loosely, it refers to a husband, a hero, a lover. The word has come to refer to a person of honor, courage, and integrity. All these are hallmarks of virtue, in Latin "virtus." Lives of virtue can “infect” others. But it is a welcome infection.

Beyond the corona virus as we know it, maybe it is good for us to think of "corona virtus" -- to aspire for that corona through a life of virtue -- of goodness, of humility, of love, of holiness. Then, by the grace of God, we will be rewarded with an unseen halo over our heads, the crown of life for those who love the Lord, and not only the Lord but the people the Lord loves.

I humbly feel that thinking “corona virtus” will help make us lose our fears, and give us hope, in the midst of the dreaded pandemic that has come upon us in the present time, in this present world.

The corona virus, which brings death, is temporary. But there is corona virtus, which brings life, a life that will not end, a life that will give us joy! #


"Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

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