Editors’ be aware:
Every week has now handed since this was posted, and because the COVID-19 scenario continues to worsen, we want to spotlight and make clear a couple of issues. Because the introduction states, this international pandemic is “deadly serious,” and subsequently “all necessary precautions should be taken.” Nor do Lewis’s phrases map completely onto our current scenario; they bear “some” relevance for in the present day. Most readers, it appears, have gleaned a well timed reminder with out listening to marching orders in each element. Nonetheless, we want to be as specific as attainable: Lewis’s phrases are misapplied if taken to imply that COVID-19 isn’t any massive deal or shouldn’t disrupt life in any approach. The reminder for us nowalbeit in a distinct situation seven many years lateris this: The specter of loss of life is critical, however it’s by no means novel. So let’s not succumb to panic. Let’s not permit worry to dominate our minds and paralyze our hearts. Let’s maintain residing and laughing and serving and having fun with these we love (sure, even when from a needed distance!). As a result of King is on the throne, we want not be slaves to worry.
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It’s now clear that COVID-19 is a lethal critical international pandemic, and all needed precautions ought to be taken. Nonetheless, C. S. Lewis’s wordswritten 72 years agoring with some relevance for us.Simply exchange “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.”
In a technique we predict a fantastic deal an excessive amount of of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I’m tempted to answer: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In different phrases, don’t allow us to start by exaggerating the novelty of our scenario. Consider me, pricey sir or madam, you and all whom you like have been already sentenced to loss of life earlier than the atomic bomb was invented: and fairly a excessive proportion of us have been going to die in disagreeable methods. We had, certainly, one very nice benefit over our ancestorsanesthetics; however we’ve got that also. It’s completely ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing lengthy faces as a result of the scientists have added another likelihood of painful and untimely loss of life to a world which already bristled with such probabilities and by which loss of life itself was not an opportunity in any respect, however a certainty.
That is the primary level to be made: and the primary motion to be taken is to tug ourselves collectively. If we’re all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes discover us doing smart and human thingspraying, working, instructing, studying, listening to music, bathing the youngsters, taking part in tennis, chatting to our associates over a pint and a recreation of dartsnot huddled collectively like frightened sheep and fascinated with bombs. They might break our our bodies (a microbe can try this) however they needn’t dominate our minds.
“On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) inCurrent Issues: Journalistic Essays