Down, Down, Going Down!

 

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for our March 2021 newsletter.

 

The news media are sometimes remiss, passing on little positive information. Why crisis, alarm, and panic provoke us to tune in because we need to be aware of risks around us. Over time, however, we become anxious and worried, much greater than the real threats around us warrant.

Every activity in life carries some danger. For this reason, the information we use to interpret the world around us becomes crucial. For example, if a tornado is coming to blow your house down, you rush down into your shelter. Until the “all is clear” siren sounds, you stay hunkered down.

Of course, our forecasting and warning systems aren’t 100%. So, someone might choose to live in his tornado shelter for the rest of his life. Can a tornado appear out of nowhere and destroy him? Well, yes, but shouldn’t he consider the actual risk data to guide him, not the worst-case scenario?

Ponder what the paranoid, tornado-fearing man is doing? Oh, he is living based on a real, no-kidding menace but shaped by what might happen, not on what is likely to happen. In other words, he’s overreacting, considering the actual harm posed to him is minimal.

Is our COVID response similar to this in some ways? Uncertain, many of us live like each outing we make is an actual threat since we can never say if we’ll be exposed. So, we wind up becoming the man living in his tornado shelter. The grandkids now grow up without us. No longer are we going out to shop or eat, and many small businesses are now going bankrupt.

Huddled up in the house, we listen to the news now telling us to wear two masks! Oh, and if you put on a face shield or goggles, you’re doing better! For real? Yes, if you’re around a transmitter of COVID or you are infected! The problem is, we aren’t sure who is who.

Now, none of this is Church doctrine. All this falls under the realm of living as a Christian in the kingdom of this world. Pray, tell, what should we do, more so since what we’re supposed to be doing keeps changing?

Here’s a significant change you’ll not want to miss! The amount of people contracting COVID, which is positive underreported news! Below is a graph showing the new COVID cases for Stone County into February 2021. (A 30-day average to smooth out all the ups and downs.) The number of new infections continues to drop, now by around 70%!

What does this mean? First, leaving the house and interacting with others is now much safer since the possibility of catching COVID keeps reducing. From an informal poll on Sunday, February 21, many (most?) in the congregation received their first COVID vaccine, which gives a 60%+ immunity rate (the second bumps you up past 90). Many in the county contracted the virus earlier and are no longer COVID transmitters. The vaccine is also beginning to provide its protecting benefits. The combined result? The massive drop in new COVID cases.

Though some hazard always exists. So, follow the physical-distance protocols and wear a mask. And yes, a second one, if needed. The purpose of the second is to make your first mask fit, snug against your face. Now all the air must go through the filter, not whistle around the mask’s open sides.

For everything, there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. For many of us, it’s time to get out of the house and go dancing!

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