“It is in the sense of deaths a bad week,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “At the same time, as we’re seeing an increase in deaths, we’re seeing a rather dramatic decrease in the need for hospitalizations.”
It is more than apropos that the number of deaths from coronavirus should peak during Holy Week, and especially on Easter weekend: It is an expression of the meaning of Easter. Similarly, the news that more are leaving hospitals than entering is also a sign of Easter.
Christianity is an optimistic religion. The Middle English (English as spoken during the late Middle Ages) origin of Good Friday means “Holy” Friday. It is, of course, marked by the sorrow of Christ’s crucifixion. This bad news was followed by the good news of His resurrection on Easter Sunday.
This, then, is the Easter meaning of coronavirus: the bad news of thousands of deaths is being followed by the good news of its abatement.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan understands the meaning of Easter better than anyone. After Christ was crucified, he says, it “seemed we could never smile again….But, then came the Sunday called Easter! The sun—S-U-N—came up, and the Son—S-O-N—came out as He rose from the dead. Guess who had the last word? God!”
The coronavirus will be defeated. There is a reason why hope is a theological virtue—it is the right tonic for times like this.