Category: disease

Intimacy and Exposure

Friendship in the Covid Era Amigos por siempre The year is 1970. I’ve just finished a PhD. This is my first academic position. Hugo and I are teaching at the same university. He is teaching Spanish. I am teaching religious studies. One morning I hear an articulate stream of Spanish swearing echoing down the hall….


Coronavirus Rituals

A Japanese Shinto-based ritual. An allegorical healing performance about defeating the plague, reframed as coronavirus. Links to articles about ritual and coronavirus rituals The last anointing [RG: This is a brilliant instance of journalism and photo-journalism]: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/06/us/coronavirus-priests-last-rites.html How to get through the loss of rituals: https://www.everydayhealth.com/coronavirus/how-to-get-through-the-loss-of-rituals-during-the-pandemic/ Coronavirus is changing the rituals of death for many…


Ritual in a Pandemic World: Coffins

April 5, 2020, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams announced, “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives…. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country.” What a…


Ritualizing in the Time of Coronavirus

by Barry Stephenson Dating from the 4th century, Rome’s San Marcello al Corso houses a crucifix that began its famed career by surviving a devastating fire in May of 1519. Three years later, during the height of a plague, friars of the Servant of Mary, disregarding the prohibitions imposed by the civil authorities, carried the…


Mardi Gras: A Virological Accelerant

The first epicenter of Covid-19 was Wuhan Province, China; then northern Italy, then Spain. The US is likely to become the next epicenter. And the epicenter of the epicenter will likely be New York City or New Orleans. New York City has a population of 8.6 million people crowded into in 302 square miles. New…


Ritualizing in a Pandemic World: Masking

On this day, March 11, in the year of 1988, my daughter was born 2011, a tsunami hit Japan disrupting Fukushima Daiichi 2020, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic On other days, in other years, people survived and thrived, died and were memorialized. From 1347-1352, the Black Death (bubonic plague), killed 25 million people, 1/3 of…


Ritualizing in a Pandemic World: Handwashing

Dad’s advice: “Wash your hands, damn it, I told you twice, wash your hands.” Mom’s advice: “Please, please, dear children, wash your hands.” The parents chime in perfect harmony, “You’re not kids anymore.” Mom and dad are busy as winter bees, dozing and doing research on wills, getting their affairs in order, not due to…