Life in lockdown is exhausting. Planning, organising, and administering online teaching is sapping all the mental energy and time at the moment, while teaching is less rewarding than usual, without significant face-to-face interaction. (God so loved the world, that he did not Zoom us …).
Also the drama, frustration and anxiety caused by the news takes up so much mental and emotional space, that it is hard to think clearly and well. The result is that there is, for me at least, very little reading/research and no extended writing taking place at all.
On the plus side, the online world allows international interaction across continents without the hassle, pollution, and expense of travel. But if this goes on long, we will find ourselves with less and less to say to each other, and unable to make meaningful new scholarly relationships. An online conference is not a patch on the real thing!
John M. G. Barclay is the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University.