Viral modernity is a concept based upon the nature of viruses, the ancient and critical role they play in evolution and culture, and their basic application to understanding the role of information and forms of bioinformation in the social world. The concept draws a close association between viral biology on the one hand and information science on the other to understand ‘viral’ technologies, conspiracy theories and the nature of post-truth. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major occurrence and momentous tragedy in world history, with millions of infections and many deaths worldwide. It has disrupted society and caused massive unemployment and hardship in the global economy. Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley explore human resilience and the collective response to catastrophe, and the philosophy and literature of pandemics, including ‘love and social distancing in the time of COVID-19’. These essays, a collection from Educational Philosophy and Theory, also explore the politicization of COVID-19, the growth of conspiracy theories, its origins and the ways it became a ‘viral’ narrative in the future of world politics.