The “coronavirus” is not the problem. Rather, it is just a physical manifestation, an outer appearance, of a deeper issue behind it. The real issue here is that the entire world has become infected by the widespread influence of the most depraved elements possible, which is called the “Keser d’kelipah”.
Rabbi Eliezer says: If the Jewish people repent, they are redeemed; and if not, they are not redeemed.
Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: If they do not repent, will they not be redeemed? Rather, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will establish a king for them whose decrees are as harsh as Haman, and the Jewish people repent, and restore them to right path.
Also, it's even harder nowadays because so many Jews have been denied access to their own religion & tradition.
We are especially referring to today's younger Jews growing up in families in which both their parents and their grandparents are both Jewishly ignorant (even if they think they're not) and assimilated.
They may or may not have a frum synagogue or school anywhere near them.
Furthermore, with liberal values having skidded so hard to the Left, plus warped science (i.e., the gender identity stuff, etc.), and core Jewish values being portrayed so negatively in movies, TV, and literature for at least 2 generations now...
Concepts like Heavenly consequences for immoral behavior are contradicted with simplistic yet convincing castles-in-the-air arguments and also ridiculed in mainstream society — both performed with great vehemence.
How would anyone come to consider looking into Torah-true Judaism in response to harsh decrees from an evil ruler?
And even if such Jews did decide to, say, use the Internet to seek the Truth, how would they manage to sift out all the watered-down loophole-lovin' self-proclaimed Orthodoxy for the real thing?
In other words, logically speaking, how could that possibly happen?
Based on the above, I thought perhaps Hashem will do something different to make people feel that seeking out Torah-true Judaism is the only answer.
Not coincidentally, I originally had the same type of question regarding an ancient prediction that Yishmael would rule the world for a time period before Mashiach.
I couldn't get my head around it because their militaries and economies are such a mess worldwide. Their bureaucracy stinks in every Yishmaelite country.
How could these societies conquer the successful societies & militaries of places like America?
Again: How could that possibly happen?
Then I saw that it was happening gradually by using the liberal values (like political correctness, etc.) of these advanced Western countries against themselves.
Media manipulation and other types of manipulation. Population growth. Culture.
It wasn't a military conquest.
It was a cultural & social conquest.
True, the predicted global Yishmaelite conquest hasn't been completely fulfilled. But until coronavirus, it was definitely on its way to fulfillment. I'm not the only one who looked at Europe, for example, and said, "Europe is already lost."
So that was just another example of Hashem's Plans being beyond the ideas of the human mind.
Therefore, I started wondering whether the king with the harsh decrees might also play out differently than what one might assume.
In the above example (regarding Yishmael taken over the world for a period prior to Mashiach), it always sounded like Chazal meant a military conquest – and with ISIS, it is military – but in the Western world, the conquest has primarily been non-military.
Likewise, I'm wondering whether there is a connection between coronavirus and the Gemara from Sanhedrin quoted at the start of this post.
Maybe I'm totally barking up the wrong tree (I don't know Gemara and certainly have not investigated the mefarshim on this), or maybe others have already mentioned this, but you know how the connection between corona and keter (crown) have already been mentioned by several modern sources (and also that 2020 equals keter in gematria – see Rav Itamar Schwartz HERE)?
So I'm wondering if corona is the "king" meant to impose harsh decrees like those of Haman.
For example, many of the corona restrictions are exactly the same we've seen throughout Jewish history – except those restrictions were imposed by a Torah-hating tyrant.
No going to shul (many shuls even closed indefinitely), yeshivahs & frum schools closed down, no gatherings of more than 10 people, limited transportation, interference with Pesach preparations, (the Nazis decreed that Jews could no longer employ non-Jewish help; many Jews cannot hire any household help now due to health restrictions), access to women's mikvehs and even natural bodies of water are closed in some countries (source), you need a permit to work/to be on the street (in Eretz Yisrael right now) if you are out for any other reason than essential shopping or medical care.
It's all so familiar!
But now it's decreed by a highly contagious virus, not a human tyrant.
Personally, I prefer it this way, rather than via an evil human tyrant. Though coronavirus is distressing, and I'm particularly concerned about those in the higher-risk groups, it's a bit less frightening & threatening somehow than a Fuhrer.
But maybe that's just me.
Also, the potential breakdown of society due to the results of quarantine (as opposed to the results of the virus itself) is of concern, especially if essential personnel or services are unable to work (as has already started happening).
For some reason, America seems unable to get a factory somewhere to mass produce masks, for example. One business is doing it by hand. So why can't America get its act together? How difficult can it be to produce masks when factories already produce more complicated products?
Also, it's concerning (and bizarre) IF having been infected with coronavirus does NOT grant immunity. I understand it's not known for sure whether a coronavirus infection confers immunity or not. But if it doesn't, then how can anyone create an effective vaccination?
We've already seen that the quarantine (with all its disadvantages) has also had the wonderful effect of improving shemirat Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael (and as we all know: Just one Shabbos and we'll all be free!).
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu is also encouraging tefillot on the infamously anti-Torah Israeli media.
On the other hand, people are turning to tumah pastimes while waiting out the epidemic at home. I heard that the most popular online movie-outlet suffered some kind of crash or lack of service to do the volume of people trying to access all their trash.
Once again, we see the good and the bad running in parallel paths, both growing stronger.
There's a lot more to say about both the positive & negative effects of coronavirus, but there are still a lot of unknowns too.
There's heavy din going on; just this past week, we've seen the passing of several Rebbes, rosh yeshivahs, and other chashuv leaders (include Neve Yeurshalayim's Rabbi Refson's brother, a dayan in England). Some passings were sudden & unexpected. Some resulted from coronavirus, but most not. (Please see HERE; you need to scroll down through the list, which contains general news about the frum community.)
Anyway, for a variety of reasons, it seems to me that corona could be the Hamanic king who impels the Jewish people to do teshuvah.
But I don't really know. It's just a thought.
Either way, I sincerely hope we all merit to dig deep within ourselves and do complete teshuvah from love.
(Please see a follow-up post here: Are We Seeing the Beginnings of King-Inspired Teshuvah?)
May Hashem have rachmanut on all of us, and may all those infected with coronavirus merit a speedy and complete healing along with all the ill & suffering of Am Yisrael.