Though the COVID-19 epidemic is a social disaster as much as a medical one, and though some sociological ideas circulate in public discussions, disciplinary sociology has had little influence. Internal discussions have mostly been conventional, and familiar sociological theory and methodology seem inadequate to this situation. Taking the viewpoint of the virus helps to shift perspective on a historical moment where a deadly threat is enabled by megacities, mass air travel, callous and corrupt regimes, and the undermining of public services. In this conjuncture sociology, with other social sciences, is under threat. But we can contribute to responses that mobilize community resources to deal with a social/biological crisis, and prepare for the others that will certainly come.