The Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends this weekend for the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. Normally, this period of prayer and fasting is followed by a convivial multi-day communal feast called Eid al-Fitr. This year, of course, Eid festivities must take place largely at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mosques are offering digital prayer sessions and other programming, but the shift from in-person to remote worship has been difficult for many Muslims.

For some Muslim women, however, the sudden proliferation of online religious services is a welcome change, writes gender and Islam scholar Anna Piela. Her survey of 38 Muslim women found that for those used to spending Ramadan at home, cooking and taking care of children, celebrating Eid under lockdown will be nothing out of the ordinary.

This week we also liked articles about why veterans are especially susceptible to COVID-19, the attribution of human characteristics to the coronavirus and an early source of Little Richard’s musical inspiration.

Catesby Holmes

Religion Editor | International Editor

Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before the midday prayer during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that ends May 27, 2020, and is celebrated this year amid pandemic. Stephen Maturen/AFP via Getty Images

Muslim women observe Ramadan under lockdown – and some say being stuck at home for the holiday is nothing new

Anna Piela, Northwestern University

A survey of Muslim women finds many are frustrated by having a Islamic holy month in quarantine. But others say a "remote Ramadan" is nothing new because child care duties often keep them home anyway.

U.S. war veterans’ graves at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California. Getty/Sean M. Haffey

Memorial Day: Why veterans are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic

Jamie Rowen, University of Massachusetts Amherst

With the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, veterans who were already lacking adequate benefits and resources are now in deeper trouble.

The coronavirus is really just an inanimate packet of genetic material. Carol Yepes/Moment via Getty Images

Humanizing the coronavirus as an invisible enemy is human nature

Michaela Porubanova, Farmingdale State College; Stewart Guthrie, Fordham University

Thinking of SARS-CoV-2 as an invisible enemy with an evil personality and humanlike motivations is a natural offshoot of the way people evolved to anthropomorphize so as not to overlook threats.