Though President Trump recently declared a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus,” it’s clear that, as a people, we don’t take seriously God’s place in this world anymore, beyond being a source of personal encouragement and maybe inspiration. We are no longer the kind of people who really turn to God in times of trouble.
Scientists tell us that we laugh to signal to others that we wish to connect with them. In fact, speakers in a conversation were found to be 46 percent more likely to laugh than the listeners. Laughing with others is also a way of bonding with them as friends.
President Trump announced the decision to end all funding for the World Health Organization. The President noted that the group's decision to put "political correctness over lifesaving measures" led him to make this decision.
At the height of the influenza pandemic in 1918, the Rev. John Misao Yamazaki stopped holding services at St. Mary’s Japanese Mission, the Episcopal church in Los Angeles he helped found more than a decade prior. More than a century later, in the midst of another global pandemic, the Rev. Laurel Coote, Yamazaki’s successor at what is now St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, stands in the quiet sanctuary livestreaming images of its empty pews and stained glass windows to her congregation.
As the COVID-19 crisis strains our ability to overcome anxiety and grief, Religion News Service reached out to psychologist and professor emeritus at Loyola University Maryland Robert Wicks for some much-needed context on overcoming grief and anxiety in the midst of a pandemic.