2020-04-29 19:27:00

Orthodox bishop likens self-isolation to Antarctic winter spell

Moscow, April 29, Interfax - A Russian archbishop, who has twice spent winter at the Bellingshausen research station in Antarctica, said the current self-isolation caused by the coronavirus reminded him of his experience in the South Pole.

"In the current stay-at-home isolation, it is important for every family to come together and work. To not be idle and to pray, do something about the house, help one another, and try to feel as a team - like during an Antarctic winter," Archbishop Kallistrat of Gorno-Altai and Chemal said in an interview published on the website of the World Russian People's Council.

"Without daily labor it is easy to fall victim to desperation followed by degradation," he said, while stressing the importance of doing good during this period. "When the usual picture of the world is collapsing, in the absence of new guidance, a huge need arises for small anchors, which prevent us from panicking (...) Such anchors give a person, no matter how small or big, some grounding, protection, allow them to hold up firmer. So, look for the 'anchor'. And if there is no possibility of helping people, feed birds, stray animals - in other words, make yourselves useful!"

The polar priest stressed the importance of following medical requirements. "Unfortunately, some see these anti-epidemiological measures as unnecessary restrictions. There are many such people both in the world and in the church. Some are also hoping for God, believing all things secular come from evil, but this thought is wrong," Archbishop Kallistrat said.

He urged opponents of church quarantines "not to be sad." "We just need to pray for delivery from all evil," he said.