Why are we so afraid of the Coronavirus?
Yes the disease could be deadly, but the global panic seem to be beyond all proportion of the actual risks.
Over $10 trillion has been wiped off global stocks in recent weeks. International travel has been severely disrupted. Schools in many countries have closed.
To be clear, all guidance from health experts should be strictly adhered to. Judaism places great emphasis on health and legislates accordingly. We must certainly not do anything which might put others at risk.
But why the global panic?
The most frightening dynamic of the Coronavirus is its contagious power. A panic is caused when we all feel vulnerable. One person sneezes in Wuhan, China and very quickly trillions of dollars are wiped off global stock markets.
The world is being forced to become more spiritually sensitive. We are all pieces of the same puzzle or organs of a single body. No longer can we pretend to live in isolation. We are interconnected. This could either be a frightening thought or a most liberating one. It all depends on what viruses we are spreading.
We cannot solve problems in isolation any longer. The world needs genuine trust and collaboration in order to overcome our challenges and seize its unique opportunities. There are no other options.
In the words of Maimonides, “Every person must view himself and the entire world as equally balanced between good and evil. When he does one evil deed the scale is tipped to the bad - he and the world is destroyed. When he does one good deed the scale is tipped to the good - he and the world is saved”.