I heard a doctor from the World Health Organization reflect on his experiences in China as the nation dealt with Covid 19. His observations were then re-enforced as he saw the way other Asian nations approached the pandemic. He said what struck him was the universal understanding that personal preferences had no place in facing the challenge. People made decisions based on what was best for the community, the country, as a whole.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain asked God after slaying Abel. The answer was "YES". And God continually reminds the people that they are to be responsible for one another. "Honor your father and mother." "Do not covet. Do not slander. Do not commit murder. Do not steal." God calls us into community, That was the gift of the Exodus. They were free to form a community which was responsible to God and to one another.
Jesus continued the emphasis as he spoke of welcoming he outsiders, as he ate with sinners and tax collectors. He gave us the example of the Samaritan who was responsible for one who was, traditionally, dismissive of him.
This pandemic demands of us a broad awareness of our responsibilities to one another. We may feel powerless, yet willingly choosing distancing is a life-giving choice.