As Covid continues to sweep across the western world, it is infecting us with far more than a virus. Religious leaders have abandoned their flocks, the churches have slammed their doors shut and the government now issues moral edicts from on high about what we can and cannot do.
The Lockdown religion is here to stay and the State is providing direction. Can we be saved?
The new Calvinists
Nicola Sturgeon is succeeding where the Calvinists failed. Her zealotry has put Boris Johnson to shame. She has opened the pubs, but turned them into houses of sobriety. By banning the drinking of whisky and Tennents lager in pubs and forcing them to close at 6pm, she has led her people not into temptation and delivered them from evil. She is testing the faith and patience of the Scottish people like no other leader.
All religions thrive by creating common rituals. Although the weekly rite of clapping for the NHS has ebbed and the rainbows pinned to garden fences are now fading, new customs have been introduced. Hiding one’s face from others under a mask is now a permanent sign of communal spirit. Religious compassion is expressed by refraining from embracing those you love. As we pass others, we show that we are of the same faith by nudging our mask to cover our nostrils. True believers wear masks when driving alone in their car or taking a bath.
We all have to battle against the Original Sin of our common humanity. Our inner desire to socialise, to eat and drink together, to touch, to hold, to meet new people and explore new relationships must be controlled. When someone holds out their hand to shake, show them the elbow of true belief. When your elderly mother wants a hug, simply adjust your mask and frown to indicate your faith.
Test your faith
Our faith is tested by our ability to endure and suffer. We can show our commitment to the Lockdown Doctrine by enduring these trials, without complaint. The pain and loss that we are all experiencing is simply an act of the Covid God. Only those who do not question, are true believers. When you are made redundant, give thanks to the government for testing your faith. When a policeman fines you for inviting friends to dinner, simply turn the other cheek and report your neighbours for having done the same.
The new priesthood
Divine wisdom is bestowed upon us by those who can interpret the Word of the Lockdown Data God. A new Priesthood has emerged that instructs the common folk, through televised sermons and governmental encyclicals. The Holy men Ferguson, Whitty, Van-Tam and Vallance are versed in the theology of population control and they have developed computer models that guides new doctrine. By having exclusive access to hospital data, which they wield over their congregation like latin bibles, they are in a unique position to interpret the will of the Covid God. Their word is final.
Some people have adopted the new religion with zealous enthusiasm. Those who like to live by rules and those who like to make rules for others to live by, are thriving. Although Lockdown evangelicals are not making many converts, they have positions of power and authority. If you want to travel to work or visit a loved one in a care home, you must convince an evangelical that you have followed their rules.
An increasing number of people are becoming heretics. Although most people accepted the guiding doctrine in Spring, the endless sermons have worn thin. The Great Barrington Declaration has been likened to Martin Luther’s nailing on the 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church. Many now harbour thoughts of dissent.
In a bid to appease the Lockdown God, our leaders have initiated sacrificial offerings. Firstly, the isolation of elderly people was offered, but the Covid God did not respond. Then, the education of young people was sacrificed, but the Lockdown God continued to vent his wrath. Finally, the livelihoods of future generations was laid before the vengeful virus, in lieu of a first born son, and still the virus continued. Our leaders have nothing more to offer.
All hope now rest on a second coming. It is rumoured that the promised one, known only as ‘Pfizer’, will give birth to a vaccine. Although Pfizer isn’t keen on frankincense or myrrh, they will accept plenty of gold.
Is the end in sight, or is it nigh?