It is astonishing how aptly these lines of Thomas Nashe, composed over 400 years ago, speak to the condition of humanity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adieu, farewell, earth's bliss;
This world uncertain is;
Fond are life's lustful joys;
Death proves them all but toys;
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Thomas Nashe, A Litany in Time of Plague (1592)
Suddenly, we all find ourselves imploring this invisible enemy to “have mercy on us.”