Tag Archives: coronavirus

Will You Take the Vaccine?

Covid madness. Political twists. Billions of dollars in research. Lack of trust in the media. Scientist giving varied answers. How are we to really know what is going on?

So many things are swirling in my mind, so I just wear my mask in public and go about my life. I wash my hands regularly and try to be proactive. Living in a small town kind of helps too. So, as serious as I take this pandemic, I haven’t gotten obsessed about it.

But yesterday, someone asked me directly, “Will you take the vaccine once it is available?

I was speechless, which is weird with me. I thought and thought and then just hemmed and hawed and changed the subject. My mind kept thinking of movies like 28 Days Later and World War Z. After all, Hollywood would never mislead us on such an important issue. Still, doubts remained. To prepare myself to answer this question next time, I went to the authoritative source for information … I googled it.

Various companies. Multiple possibilities. Nanotechnology. Rushed trials (Russia). Forced vaccines (China). Your demographic and geographic setting will determine which vaccine you will probably get. Government oversight (and they never get it wrong (typed sarcastically)), and a national database. (A decent article as Q&A is here.)

Let the End Times conspiracy theories begin.

I still have no answer. Yet, I will continue to investigate the different vaccines, the side effects, the implications, etc. As I ponder all of this … I ask myself what the vaccine actually provides. And here is my answer …

The vaccine provides hope!

Hope is a powerful word, and an even more powerful thing to have in one’s life.

It may seem weak and frail, In the Greek myth, Pandora opened the box she was warned not to open. All the evils and monsters escaped to plague the world.

But one thing remained at the bottom of the box. Weakened yes. But truly wonderful. For what remained was Hope.

... one thing remained at the bottom of the box. Weakened yes. But truly wonderful. For what remained was Hope.

It’s Christmas. Such a great time for us realize there is hope. Hope, real hope doesn’t come in a vaccine, an economic bail out, an elected official. Real Hope has come in the form of a baby, born in humble surroundings, visited by shepherds and magi.

Real Hope has a name … and that name is Jesus.

The question should not be, “Will you take the vaccine, hopefully?” But should be, “Will you accept the real Hope, the hope Jesus brings?”

Post script … great new Christmas song this year by Passion City Church … Check out Hope Has a Name.

New TV Seasons Starting to Show Up

They are slowly trickling in. The shows that have taken a break due to natural season breaks and due to Covid as well. As I watch these, it’s interesting to see how they are handling the Covid culture we are all facing in real life.

Now, I’m not a TV critic, and I don’t watch every scripted show. But of the few I’ve observed, it is interesting.

Some shows are dealing with the election and unrest. Especially police based shows. But that is a different issue, I am more looking at dealing with the virus and how it’s impacting the way we live.

Medical dramas are taking their special point of view. Even the first responder based shows have touched on it. Some like Station 19 are dealing with the initial stages as the onset of the pandemic sent the nation into a frenzy. So far, I’ve seen little political punches thrown. They did deal with shortages, the seriousness, and the stress faced by those in the medical profession.

One show, NCIS, New Orleans has shown it a bit more realistically … masks (and shortage of masks early on) are seen everywhere, people keeping social distance until results of test return, drive-by graduation parades, restaurants shut down, lives lost to the virus, people dealing with unemployment. I think they dealt with the issue better than some news outlets. Interestingly, the other two NCIS series have not yet addressed the impact.

I’ve read that This is Us has taken the issue seriously in its timeline.

Some shows have special ‘stand alone’ stories that hit the issues head on. All Rise was one of the first with the Judge presiding over a trail through FaceTime, Zoom, etc. South Park had a ‘Pandemic Special’ that had the cast (all animated) head back to school in masks, post-lockdown.

One twist was seen in Bull. (Spoiler alert ahead, skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read it.) In Bull, you intertwined the made up reality of every TV show, a dream reality you don’t even know you’re in, and real life reality … all in a one hour show. You had to pay attention to know exactly what was actually being addressed. And it ended with the cast, as themselves, telling the viewing audience they missed us. Aw, a tear rolls down my cheek.

So is it better they address the issue? Should they portray life as normal? I mean, many watch these shows as an escape, a momentary hope that life will return to normal, whatever normal is. And I not sure we will ever return to normal.

People show up at church sometimes wanting the same type of results. For a couple hours a week, they want to escape from their ‘normal’ lives and they desire a time to be encouraged, and maybe even just entertained.

But church isn’t TV. If done right (Biblically), church is the reality. We deal with pain, anxiety, frustrations, fears, loss, struggles … as well as joys, celebrations, purpose, and hope. The reality is God is still on the throne, not the economy, the politicians, nor even the doctors. The reality is He offers peace in the storm, a peace that people won’t understand if they don’t know Jesus. A peace that transcends the present and focuses on the eternal.

I may like to escape to TV at times, but I never want to forget the ultimate reality … there is a God and nothing will ever dethrone Him, confuse Him, catch Him off guard, or shake Him. And His love for me, and you, will always be there.

Of that … I am certain.

Small Town – Big Hearts – a Parade for the Pastor

So my wife is keeping secrets from me. Fortunately, they are not the bad kind of secrets. It was the birthday kind. And more.

Apparently the church was conspiring. In the middle of of the COVID chaos, the congregation was planning a parade of appreciation. Through a secret Facebook page and event, they coordinated a collection of fire trucks, hay trailers, decorated trucks and cars, a gorilla driven convertible, horses, and a motorcycle. Candy was thrown, cards and gifts were given, and I was even showered with vegetables (plastered with more like it.) And of course, bubbles and silly string.

It was a joy to see families out with faces of smiles, hear laughter, sense the joy of fellowship. One person hugged me. So I banished Jack from church for three weeks. (JK)

Virus fatigue is a real thing today. People are starting to venture out and explore. Yes, we remain vigilant. Yes, we respect others’ personal space and level of comfort. Soon, we will be gathering again – maybe done a little differently then 2019. So this parade was just as much for each one here as well as me. But I am so thankful.

Teachers, first responders, care takers , postal workers… heroes one and all. Parents, grandparents, guardians … each one deserving gratitude for how they’ve adapted and cared for little ones.

To whom do you need to say “thank you”? Don’t delay. Maybe not a parade. Start with a text, call, letter.

But a parade, today it was mine. And I say thank you.

And if you see a Jack, run. He hugs.

Comic Week – Some Fun on Friday While in Lockdown

So we are wrapping up our week of looking at comics and how they give a humorous and honest look of our coronavirus culture. Today, we wrap up with some fun.

We have our dreams that this lockdown will make us very productive …

Pearls Before Swine

But we are more like …

Maybe we can all agree on this …

So, we need good motivation for hanging around the home …

Arctic Circls

And though we can’t have physical interaction, we can be creative about it …

So, enjoy this time and stay positive. Have a blessed weekend.

Comic Week – When Worlds Collide

So we are stuck inside. Many of us even have brought our office duties to our domicile. Now I’m not a slob, but when two worlds collide (work and family), there is often collateral damage.

Rhymes With Orange

So we overlap. And we spread out. And we try to adjust. But it’s not easy. And if two people are opposites – like in the TV/Movie The Odd Couple – then the chaos is even more disturbing. Now you may think this is only a result of staying at home, but I think this has been going on since people have been getting married. Two worlds collide and collateral damage results.

Speaking of two worlds colliding, working from home is also difficult when the worker (the adult) is challenged by the one enjoying life (the kids). And the adult is often distracted from their duties to some whimsical delights.

And for a little bit, that’s okay …

So don’t get too obsessed with order, some of us have chaotic desks but a very organized mind. And don’t forget to enjoy this time too. Spending time with kids and enjoying your isolation buddies is okay.

Maybe that’s what you’re supposed to be doing a little more anyway.

And from a friend who also sees art of comics displaying real life. I mean who doesn’t enjoy pajama day at church …

Comics, Culture, and COVID

FOOD … oh how it calls us to laugh!

One of the more interesting aspects of this shut down is our food. Our fav eating spots are closed. The shelves at the grocery store seem to be thinner, and it’s not just toilet paper. And we might even be trying more recipes in our adventures in the kitchen.

So first it’s Calvin & Hobbes, my favorite comic strip series of all times. the mind of imagination and seeing the world through eyes of endless wonder.

Maybe some of those new recipes just aren’t that … good. Here Calvin sees the food as his antagonist, a very enemy of his taste buds. So the warfare we have at the dinner table may not always be about parent vs child but child vs food.

At our house, I am the cook more often than not. so the battle is my own self with the ingredients. I can’t wait till the restaurants are back to where my stomach can feel normal again.

And another aspect of food during this “shelter in place” is our tendency to eat junk food – a lot quicker than normal. A month supply of chips disappears in a day. I don’t realize how that happens.

Here is a comic piece of art that shows this real life point.

And an extra entry from one of my friends, as he asks about church getting together again …

Comedy and Kids and COVID

Sometimes, we get a little insight to our culture from the comic strips. I realize they are done weeks, if not months in advance at times, but the circumstances we are facing often make the time span become smaller so the comic strip can stay relevant.

So today, we look at Family Circus and the point of view from a child. It’s amazing how the children often teach the adults.

Family Circus from comicskingdom.com

First the prayer for grandma. We need to stay connected and concerned for each person in our circle of friends and family. We need to stay vigilant in social distancing in an awareness of staying safe. And it’s great to remember that senior adults are some of the most isolated during this time. So keep in contact. And let them know that this too shall pass.

The second is that sometimes we do certain protocols but don’t really understand the fullness of those actions. We trust the experts, we follow along, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask questions and try to understand.

What do you see from these comic strips? What have your kids taught you during this time (funny or serious)?

Comical Insight During a Pandemic

This week I will be sharing some humorous, yet all too real, insights to the human nature from the art world … specifically, comic strips. Just five days of fun … and maybe a little wake up call too.

Day 1 … Foxtrot by Bill Amend

How far would your kids go, or you, to avoid something you find distasteful?

Choices. We have to make them. And sometimes it’s the lesser of two undesirables. And like Paige, I didn’t really do things or get along with my siblings either when we were kids. We are much better friends when we are not under the same roof … now that we are adults and live in four different states.

If you have a favorite quarantine geared comic strip, I’d love to see it and share it.

Friday Fun … choices we have during coronavirus lockdown

All week long I’ve looked at comparisons, or maybe I should shay “choices” we must make during our time of lockdown, quarantine, isolation. Today, I am just going to throw some “A or B” choices to get your thinking … and maybe have a little fun too.

  • Isolation orrrr finally having some alone time?
  • Alone orrrr wondering if the kids will ever go to sleep?
  • Going crazy orrrr getting creative?
  • Home schooling by default orrrr how in the world am I suppose to tutor trigonometry?
  • Two weeks of food supply orrrr another Kroger’s run after you ate everything in 48 hours, including 3 bags of chips, 2 frozen pizzas, a bag of cookies, 2 gallons of ice cream, and more.
  • Realizing you need toilet paper orrrr having 58 rolls in a house all by yourself?
  • Churches are closing down orrrr new churches are popping up in homes, on line, and everywhere around the globe?
  • Can’t go to work, but will still dress for success orrrr it’s PJs all day long, yippee?
  • Can’t go to worship in a building orrrr I get to wear sweats and eat ice cream while I worship at the drive in service?
  • Dress up (at least shirt and hair) for Zoom (Still in your boxers below the waist) orrrr praying for only a phone conference call so you don’t even have to get out of bed?
  • I finally have time and can catch up on binging Jack Ryan orrrr I have how many stations and there is nothing to watch orrrr how many times do we have to watch Trolls?
  • and maybe one more …. I will spend time wasting away on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc etc. orrrr I will get back into the Bible like I have talked about for 16 years?
  • What would you say?

You can waste time all day long. But I think the best use of this time is to get back in the Word. So today, why not pick up a Bible, log on to YouVersion, or listen to the Bible on audio book. You won’t regret it.

Purell, Paper Goods & Paranoia

A few years back, while in Dallas, there was a run on gasoline. Lines began to form – blocks long. Prices began to spike. And people began to panic. Now true, a slow moving storm was headed for Houston. And when it hit, it hit hard. but there was never going to be a real shortage. Just simple delays and maybe some inconvenience.

Calvin slept at work one night to save gas. So did I, but I worked at a hotel. I had to find gas once. Drove around for about 20 minutes. Passed a lot of closed stations. Took a bit to find an open station, but I did. Right off 635 and Preston. The line was only two cars deep. The people were friendly. No one seemed panicky.

I filled up – albeit paid a higher than normal premium price on premium gas.

Yesterday, I went to the local Walmart. Yes, my little village has a Walmart. and I was shocked, there was toilet paper. According to Facebook (the local information medium) this was like gold. I thought of getting 36 packages of 36 rolls – and since that’s mega rolls, it doubles normal rolls. I could get soft, strong, quilted, and all other types – I was rich. I would sell them on Facebook market (our local non Walmart yard sale medium). Calvins school loans – gone.

But I got only one package – albeit a large one. I even got an extra roll of paper towels.

My son called from Dallas. he was tasked with finding Purell for his place of employment – a church. The problem, his church runs 15,000 people every Sunday. And no sanitizer is to be found. We have a lady here that does essential oils – she is ready to take the order to make some for them. I mean our county doesn’t even have 15000 people in total. It would be big sale.

I don’t think he will find any by Sunday. It’s going to take lots of supplies to Macgyver that much antiseptic.

We panic. We are paranoid. To read the paper, this pandemic is the end of the world as we know it. China will collapse. Stock markets will crash. Wars over Charmin. And we all bunker in our homes, wearing masks, afraid to be around anyone.

For two weeks at church, I have forgone hand shaking at greeter time in lieu of the ‘window washing’ wave. To be honest, I stole it from the movie Demolition Man. But this week, we’re just doing the man head nod and saying “whatsup?” in the best mellow man voice we can have. Women, start practice now.

What’s up?

True, like influenza, this should be taken serious. True, we need to practice simple hygiene. True, some supplies will be delayed due to our dependence on China for some goods. And true, touch may exchanged for nods.

But you know what else is true? God did give not us the spirit of fear. He has given us one of a love, a sound mind and power.

Let that sink in – NOT the spirit of fear.

Take precautions. Be hygienic. If you’re sick, sneezing, high fever – work from home if possible, or even stay home a day, see a doctor, don’t go to a nursing home, watch worship online/on TV. But no fear people. NO FEAR people.

Our God is bigger.

We will have church. We will nod – not touch. We’ve got tissues in the pews and sanitizer in places. And we will not fear.