We have officially entered into the coronavirus era.
Our lives are changing by the day – if not by the hour.
The developments are occurring at a blistering pace.
We see the chips falling all around us. Look at what is happening on the stock exchanges.
We are beginning to be governed by fear; hopefully it won’t turn into a panic, because that will deprive us of our logic. It will lead us to wrong and harmful actions.
There are quite a few unpleasant examples in history of financial panics that caused great damage. Like the bursting of the Dutch tulip bubble.
As I wrote in yesterday’s commentary, the fear is largely due to the lack of proper information being given to the public or the shortcomings of the information that is coming from the authorities.
It was revealed that our government was slow to react to the virus, fearing political costs.
Governments are now taking extremely drastic measures. Such as in Italy. But are they now overreacting to the fear that they will be accused of unresponsiveness if they do not?
Perhaps overreaction is better in such cases?
In the meantime, the Diaspora could not be left untouched.
It is subject to the same influences and fears as the rest of the American community.
Many events have already been canceled. The Greek Presidential Guard, the Evzones, who excite everybody and brighten our parade, canceled their trip.
The New York Half Marathon, scheduled for this Sunday, was canceled.
The mayor of New York just cancelled the grand St. Patrick’s Day Parade – the first time in almost 260 years.
It is only a matter of time – maybe just hours after these lines are written – before the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, which is responsible for organizing the parade, will announce its cancellation.
The same is expected for the Community’s parades in other cities.
And that is sad. The events of March 25, culminating in the parade, are a reference point for the Greek community.
It is also a strong point of contact with Greece and our history.
But let us all take advantage of these potential cancellations to rethink what the parade means to us all, how it can be better, and what must be done to reverse its declining course.
Because, if it continues like this, I’m very afraid that sooner or later the parade will be taken off Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, where it is currently held.
And now it is time for a ‘thank you’.
Archbishop Elpidophoros, acted promptly and prudently on this issue of the coronavirus. It is worth reiterating an excerpt from his encyclical:
“In a crisis such as this, we need to exercise vigilance as a community, lest our churches become points of transmission of the disease.
The sacrament of sacraments, the Holy Eucharist, is not simply a material element but the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we counsel those feeling unwell physically to refrain from liturgical assemblies until they are certain of their diagnosis.”