Covid and the meaning of death

Point of departure is that men and woman are 'mortals'. 'That means that they are, finally, destined to die. On top of that men and women are homo sapiens, they know. They know that they and all their loved ones will die, sooner or later. According to Greek myth, the hero Prometheus, literally, he who looks ahead, spared humankind the desolation of his talent. Men and woman cannot know when and how they will die. The thought of dying produces three kinds of anxieties. The first is fear of physical pain which often accompanies dying. The second is the fear of losing social bonds. The third is the loss of identity.
Every human society has found ways of coping with this fundamental anxiety. In most societies it was religion and the religious promise of a hereafter that offered solace, together with rituals people could concentrate on to gain a sense of togetherness. The Western civilization and by now the global society relies on science to provide existential comfort. Science promises if not eternal life at least the postponement of death. This seems to be the overriding goas of society in this Covid era for which society, economy and culture are to be turned upside down. But is it only the welfare of the elderly that is at stake? Or is it something much more important? The ability of man to control nature on the base of scientific knowledge? This is the basis of modern society, its religion as it were. The fear of losing control is the underlying anxiety. The fear that our quantitative empirical method is unsuccessful, that the dark forces of nature are on the winning hand. This 'religion', has its own rituals, from hand washing to social distancing. Their purpose is not only to reduce Covid numbers and to make care manageable, but above all to provide comfort, a sense of We versus the Enemy, we are all doing our bit.
However that mankind will be able to control nature as presented in Covid is not clear. what is clear is that nothing will prevent us dying. In days gone by people were aware of the approaching death. They took the trouble to prepare themselves for the inevitable. We are too busy postponing the moment. Perhaps Covid is a wake up call. We still have time to prepare, to cultivate our bonding, to develop our identity, focusing on what is really worth while. In that way we can in time outlive our weary sick body.