The monks of Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery in Moscow will conduct daily religious processions around the monastery. The first procession took place on March 18. During the procession, believers prayed for deliverance from the epidemic of the coronavirus.
Such news in the 21st century sounds at least strange. One could hope for religious processions 700 years ago, in the Middle Ages, when mankind did not yet know the causes of infectious diseases and measures to combat them. However, even then, during the plague epidemic, people began to understand the futility of religious processions and prayers in the fight against epidemics. Now that it is known that infectious diseases are caused by bacteria and viruses, effective measures to combat infection and epidemics are known, and such events look like unjustified, dangerous archaism.
The reality is that the processions and the spread of the coronavirus are directly connected. The funds that the Russian Orthodox Church receives from the state could be directed to research in the field of medicine and biology, and to the development of the healthcare system. Then the problem of the coronavirus epidemic would not be so acute now. To defeat disease, it is necessary to build laboratories and hospitals, not churches.
As historical experience shows, people can cope with epidemics of the most dangerous diseases and defeat them. In 1959-1960, the USSR managed to prevent the smallpox epidemic. Then, in a few days, almost the entire population of Moscow was vaccinated. Of course, now there is no vaccine for a new type of coronavirus but it would hardly be possible now to carry out such a large-scale vaccination in a short time.