Shouldn’t we all practice the Golden Rule by wearing masks? A new parable for these times may help reconsider how “safe” the COVID-19 virus really is:

Out of the lands of the world rose the free marketers. And they lived high and mighty free of restraints. They believed they were entitled to take all the earth’s bounty. And those that were not of them, those others, those losers, had sinned and deserved misery. In this, free market hypocrisy denied equally both the lives of the living as well the unborn.

Then there arose a mighty plague in all the lands. A plague that smote the rich and the poor, the high and the low. And many died.

And yet, the high and mighty with their minions denied this fierce plague. They told all who would listen, “Fear not. Keep the markets open. Let there be freedom in our lands.”

But the wrath of the mighty plague increased. And still more passed through the doors of death. And many families were lost in grief.

Still, the high found sanctuary behind their walls of spiritual pride. As the powerful, they resisted most strongly, as the powerful can. They sold immunity in those churches to all who came in.

The warnings from the wise about such gatherings were not heard. A few could not hide, nor would too many even try to hide from the plague. The high said, “We are protected in the blood of Jesus. No harm will come to us. We will be free to worship as we please.”

Then again, the high were obsessed with reopening the markets without any care. Despite the now great and still growing death toll, they said, “What is more important, free market or human life? What have you got to lose?"

And it came to pass, countless many were stricken dead.

A great cry grew throughout all the lands: “God, why hast thou forsaken us?”

Finally, in the fever of those who remained, the voice of God was heard at last. “You have forsaken me. I sent warnings with few deaths. But your shouts were of remaining free. When more died, your spiritual blindness would not even then let you see. Then after the countless many died, your markets were once more thrown open once again without restraint. For all these sins, how shall each of you be left not to die?”