I recently heard a class given by a Rabbi who was discussing the coronavirus (what else is new?). He made a very interesting point. He said that this virus is resulting in self quarantine. Many people are now isolated in their homes.
In every society, people seek comfort together. In western society in particular, we have become very isolated in our lives. People go for themselves. Nobody seems to really care about others.
And this virus is emphasizing this concept of isolation. It also is bringing out either the best in people, or the worst (fighting over toilet paper in the store). There are people filled with human dignity who truly go out of their way to help others. And there are people who are reduced to selfishness, only thinking of their own comfort or survival.
Perhaps one way to combat this virus on a spiritual level (because we know everything has a spiritual source) is to try to connect more with others, help others, be more involved and never leave anyone feeling alone or isolated. Invite singles to your Shabbat meals. Invite divorced people, widows, and anyone who feels lonely. Invite elderly people who need to feel they belong to a family. Visit people in old age homes. Visit people in hospitals (well, maybe wait until the virus is over…..) Do your utmost to think about others and make their lives better and easier.
We need to go out of the “selfie” image , of the isolated, lonely aspect of society, and enter a new era where we all truly care about each other, look after each other , and emphasize family, community and friendship. That of course will automatically happen when we usher in the Messianic era, may it be very soon. Ironically, the gematria (numerical value) of the world “korona’ in Hebrew equals the numerical value of the word “Moshiach.” May we merit Moshiach now! And may we already begin acting in a Moshiach manner towards each other.