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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastating march around the globe and across the United States, only those who dismiss statistics about its deadly toll or denigrate the pain of those afflicted can ignore the handwriting on the chalkboard: We ignore at our peril the biological foundations of our being and the evolutionary processes that have shaped and continue to change our natural and social worlds. From the functioning of our social institutions to the consequences of our social divisions, nothing about us stands apart from nature.
As unemployment skyrockets during the COVID-19 pandemic, our occupational identities may not be the first thing on our minds. But the social changes we are facing may threaten these core identities, which endangers our mental health. The reality of unemployment, reduced hours, or furloughs is pervasive. For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed, the nature of our work has changed. Many white-collar workers are suddenly working from home, in a virtual environment, often while trying to balance work with parenting.
Much scholarship has centered on the very real decline of U.S. religious service attendance. Such a focus side-steps the ways in which religious organizations remain central to the fiber of U.S. social life, evidenced by the fact that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults attend religious services) at least once a month and many more belong to a religious organization (Maness 2020; Jones 2019). In a post COVID-19 world, sociologists of religion are needed partners in the scholarly quest to examine the collateral social and economic impact of the virus.