What Do We Do Now?
The headline uses an appropriate metaphor…“Delta Virus Moving Through Southern Oregon Like A Buzzsaw”.
It tells the story we’ve been hearing for two months…that the coronavirus is here and doing great harm both to victims of the disease and those who care for them.
At the same time social media is being used to tell our valley that the hospitals are exaggerating and health care workers are lying.
Protests against mask mandates and vaccines are planned for school board meetings and in front of this hospital.
Many of them will do so under a banner of “faith and freedom”.
As a life long resident of the Rogue Valley, the story says other things without saying them explicitly.
It tells me that as a person who recently had heart surgery that I’m at risk and those I love who can’t be vaccinated are as well.
It tells me that it is inevitable that among the people I love, people I’ve worked with, people I have served and who have served me, people I’ve shared this beautiful place with..will die.
They won’t die as martyrs to some noble historical cause…they will die choking for air because someone convinced them to stand for “faith and freedom”…when a mask or a shot could have, may have, saved them.
This won’t matter after they die…what will matter is that they’re gone.
Some of them will catch the virus in the house of God where the man of God tells them to choose “faith over fear”…creating a binary choice to be for or against God depending on how well you protect yourself against a deadly virus.
No one will rise to tell them that this is a false binary or that the vaccines may well be a gift from God given in mercy.
The dilemma for me is concerning how to think about the protestors and pastors who may lead many to die alone in an overflowing hospital.
I know many of them.
They are not stupid, nor are they inherently evil.
In fact, many of them are the same people who would stop to help if they saw you broken down on the side of the road.
They work hard, pay taxes, give to causes and their church, and fundamentally hold to our most noble ideals.
There are lunatics among them, but lunacy is in season now among all groups.
This is not a crisis of character…but defining the cause of the crisis and solutions to it eludes me.
Wring about this is difficult, because I have no answer to end my thoughts with.
Mandates and forced compliance won’t change hearts… they will amplify resistance, perhaps to violent levels.
What do we do now?
The answer is here, but for once I don’t know how to make my own application.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4–8 NKJV)
God give us wisdom…and may God have mercy on us all.
I had to explain to one of my students last night why we were all wearing masks again (church kid). We had a couple glorious months of freedom, and now we’re right back where we started. Anti masker/vaxxers drive me to distraction, but I think the story of the Good Samaritan can help here, too. No matter who my neighbor is, or what their position is, as 1 Cor. 13 so aptly describes, I am to treat them kindly. I’ve had some discussions with people recently where I tell them I don’t agree with their point of view, respectfully and carefully. If they want to yell, I back off and explain that I am open to any kind of discussion under more peaceful circumstances. Then, I say good-bye and politely walk away. It’s a lot better for my blood pressure.
You are wise.
This post will draw ire from both sides of the line…but there are no easy answers here.
I think many people are not getting the shots because they just don’t believe they need it, they have been lied to about Russia collusion, they have been lied to by the FBI, CIA, WHO, CDC, Politicians, Media, Fauci, religious leaders… Now they are told the vaccine is needed and safe. Many simply don’t believe it based on that not faith. Hard to blame them.
I’m saddened that several of my colleagues’ restaurants have had to close, not because of state mandates, but because their employees got sick with Covid & they don’t have enough workers, supplies, and energy to remain open. There are a wide variety of reasons for these three issues, but the primary one is the low rate of vaccination and the high rate of infection. Simple. Not political. Friends of mine who loudly proclaimed the virus was this, that, or the other got Covid and spent weeks healing, yet remain unwilling to admit they were wrong. Complex. Political. I’ll not likely take the booster vaccine because it is a political move by an administration that is not following their own departments and experts–and the rest of the world awaits a first dose. I must wear a mask when I return to school next week and attempt, to the best of my ability, to teach kids who can’t hear well & mumble through their masks. As Linn alluded to, we can only do the best we can in our small sphere of influence. May those who name Jesus as Lord seek His strength, mindset, and glory as we continue to navigate these turbulent waters.
I understand the lack of trust in all institutions.
This isn’t just an American virus however…so if there is a conspiracy, it’s world wide.
I grieve as well over the businesses that have failed and are failing because of the reasons you cite.
If my godson gets sick with anything at all, his will have to close as well.
There is no one to replace him…even for an extra day off.
They already can’t get food or supplies.
You and Linn and all our teachers are in my prayers…
Yesterday, August 18, 2021, there were 1,128 deaths from Covid.
The average deaths per day for the last seven days is 809.
…And some choose to protest rather than mourn…
Dr. Duane, FWIW….
I think it is possible to both protest AND mourn….
the covid virus is NOT a normal virus, we have a lot to learn
North of Indianapolis there are three small cities that are the wealthiest in the state. They have vaccine rates for those over 12 of 91%, 93% and 94%… The state wide average is 43%. The people who are dying are not in the affluent communities at this point. The societal cost for this is something that few people are talking about…
Thank you, Michael, for remembering us teachers!
Michael I like the mostly balanced approach you’ve had lately about this. We were told early on if we got the ‘vaccine’ we could go back to normal (no mask…), now we are told if we got the vaccine early we are at risk for severe disease and to wear a mask. Herein lies the problem, people could easily say “I’m glad I haven’t gotten the shot/s yet”.
These things do not surprise me…we are in uncharted territory and learning as we go.
Masks are inconvenient and hot. I often get sweaty in those things, but I still wear them to set the example for my kids, the youngest of whom can’t get a vaccine yet.
My wife, the teacher, is losing her voice trying to talk through the muffling cloth to be heard by a crowd of 30+ students. I just bought her a cordless mic to set up inside her mask, hoping to save her voice from completely failing. (I’ll help her practice with it this weekend.)
COVID sucks. You ought to be angry about it, but resisting sensible steps to protect your health and the health of others doesn’t make COVID any less sucky. So many here in SoCal scoff at all this, some out of government distrust, some because they think they’re invulnerable, some because it’s just too much a bother to keep a mask on-hand. And so this virus will not be conquered anytime soon. Sad
There are those so deep into it they are now claiming that the vaccine has killed thousands upon thousands and has actually caused an increase in COVID cases (some while at the same time conflictingly still saying COVID is a hoax). They say masks don’t work at all, that they actually cause great harm, and that they are only being used as an insiduous tool by the government to gain compliance, steal our freedoms, and install Marxism/Socialism/Communism.
Many of the same people still swear by a stolen election, having said that Mike Lindell was going to prove it to the world. When Lindell spectacularly failed to do so, you barely heard a peep of reckoning. Instead, they will seemingly just move onto the next conspiracist who will feed their pre-determined conclusions.
Taken to their logical conclusions, there must be a worldwide conspiracy going on right now involving millions of actors all over the globe, as similar things are happening everywhere, at least in regards to COVID. Even fathoming the miniscule odds that such a conspiracy could be globally carried out is no persuasion at all to those who claim to “think critically” and “do their homework” and have found the “facts”. In their minds, there is no question whatsoever that the government and mainstream media and the entertainment industry are wholly untrustworthy and undoubtedly are carrying out such a scheme. And they keep moving frighteningly closer and closer to justifying violence in the fight back against masks, vaccines, and elections.
And as Michael wrote, many of these people are of generally good character and do many good things. But on these conspiratorial things, they will not entertain any reason or possibility otherwise. They have ostensibly convinced themselves of their rightness and corresponding righteousness.
It is scary and I know not either what to do.
“We were told early on if we got the ‘vaccine’ we could go back to normal (no mask…), now we are told if we got the vaccine early we are at risk for severe disease and to wear a mask. Herein lies the problem, people could easily say “I’m glad I haven’t gotten the shot/s yet”.”
Those people would be uninformed.
From the beginning no one in the public health institutions made any representations regarding how long vaccine anti bodies would protect. What they have said all along with this “novel” virus and no long term vaccine data is “we don’t know, but the probability is that the protection will wear off at some point.”
From the beginning, public health officials warned that the virus would mutate, which it has. Mutations in the virus impact the degree of protection offered by the vaccine. The mutation does not impeach the credibility of public health officials or the vaccine. It’s a matter of nature that we have to address as it comes up.
You could say your glad you haven’t got the shot yet, unless your dead, in the hospital, suffering from long term symptoms, or spread it to someone else who died or was hospitalized. So being glad, because the vaccine wears off or doesn’t work as well against Delta, is foolish, at best.
If you don’t trust a CDC official because he/she is not omniscient, then you need an education.
And, there we have a perfect description of Q-Anon.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would probably conclude that a foreign power is saturating US media with misinformation to prevent the US economy from healing, to cause social unrest and weaken our country from within.
There is evidence to suggest that much of the disinformation is coming from Russia (not sure how much it can be linked to Russian govt).
Sydney has maybe a tenth the Covid levels of southern OR and they have been in lockdown for weeks. In my state with 0 cases we must wear masks in shops. This has only been in the last few weeks. I only bought my masks a month ago. Delta has changed the game that much.
People in the USA are deluding themselves enough, russkies not required.
My big tech company told us today that vaccinations are now required for employment.
Covid is just one of many symptoms of a rotten and decaying world that is spiritually and morally bankrupt. This was all set in motion long before Covid broke out.
Remember a few decades ago pastors warned against cigarettes (dang those evangelicals)? Later science confirmed the dangers of smoking. Some men of the cloth took it too far in stating,” if you smoke you are bound for hell boy!”
Rather heated debates on cigarettes emerged with well educated scientists and doctors on both sides of the isle passionately arguing their different position!
Of course these types of tug a wars have gone on through out history with the church and science.
Covid is just the latest poison of choice and what an effective divisive tool it is!
If you don’t think you have bitten the Covid apple think again!
Hell am confident nobody wants to make the wrong decision for themselves, family, friends or mankind for heaven’s sake!
The innocent sheep once again get spun in the blender. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Either way Christians will lose and the cause of Christ will once again be discredited. Why? Because
of the way we allowed the division within and lack of a loving response not just to other Christians but the world.
In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul tells us to “….walk worth of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” “With all lowliness and meekness with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ”
Guessing most pastors are not scientist or doctors, correct? So pardon us sheep that are very confused from all the information and misinformation from well respected scientists from all over the world arguing among themselves who is right!
Can’t pastors stop the rant and raving and come up with a loving response from the heart of Jesus? Would love to copy and share a balanced response to family and friends no matter what they choose.
If the shepherds can’t get it right:
Maybe pastors should stay in their lane? Just saying.