Blogging in Pandemic-time

In October 1939, C.S. Lewis delivered a sermon to Oxford students titled, “Learning in War-time” (which, it would probably be better if you skip the rest of this and just go read it instead – you can find various bootleg copies online, or in the collection of essays titled, The Weight of Glory). As the “normal” of everyday life seems to dissolve hour by hour and the various consequences of a global pandemic come into focus, I found myself revisiting Lewis’s address recently. Likely I’m joining a multitude of other readerly and writerly types who feel useless in the face of charts tracking terrifying exponential curves. What good is literature and the arts in the face of an implacable world-eating virus? I am finding it hard to focus on my normal, routine tasks and responsibilities, drawn repeatedly to various online dashboards and live update news feeds. This isn’t my usual mode of operation – I usually don’t find it that difficult to unplug, but this, this has been hard to ignore.

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