Wisdom from Diverse Viewpoints During the SARS-COVID-19 Pandemic

Scientists and doctors will offer essential, life-saving information during the SARS-COVID-19 pandemic. However we should remember that the medical field isn’t the only source we can turn to given our culture’s drive towards data accumulation and pursuance of technological salvation — a path that can cause us to forego wisdom in the quest for knowledge. Anthropologists, historians, social workers, economists, professors, theologians, artists, and literary experts validated by public trust will help us remember the humanity that knowledge and rationality alone can miss. Moreover, I’m confident that those with the grace to live through this emergency will find these varied viewpoints even more helpful in responding to the aftermath of grieving relatives, weakened economies, and widespread uncertainty. As an example, consider the following:
 
  • Historical study of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 has guided our current responses and provided a pretext for social distancing.
  • Novels such as Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath can help many live and cope through economic depression.
  • Many religious texts describe plagues and their aftermath and are often the best sources of wisdom to help us avoid dangerous patterns in human behavior and misguided leadership.

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