I have opinions. My family would verify I have strong opinions about things.
But I usually do not use my writing to express those opinions publicly.
I do not want others to use my writing as a springboard to start new debates or continue old ones. I want people to read what I write and be encouraged.
I pray not to become a part of group think or mob speak, but to be as Jesus said He was. He spoke just what His Father told Him to speak … no more … no less. (I have not fully achieved this yet by a long mile, but it is still the goal.)
However, the rise of mean spiritedness in the COVID war now prompts me to speak.
I do not want to particularly align with any group publicly. I have friends and relatives on different sides of the vaccine initiatives.
I myself have been on both sides, initially having a medical/allergy issue that made it inadvisable for me to be vaccinated.
Now I have had the first dose of vaccine and will receive the second in the next week.
It has been very disturbing to see the rapid rise of “them” and “us” camps, people whose own beliefs merged into a belief that others who made different choices were not just wrong … they were evil … and they deserved to die.
Whether it was an anti-vaxer thinking someone who died from side effects of the vaccine deserved it … or a pro-vaxer believing an unvaccinated person who died, deserved it …all compassion at times seemed thrown to the wind.
Then it was rumored that some hospitals might be adopting a plan similar to triaging patients on a battlefield.
If such a plan were put into play, unvaccinated patients might not get an ICU bed if needed. The rationale stated was the belief their risk factor of being unvaccinated would make their survival less likely.
There is also the strong background talk that continues. Some believe if people are not vaccinated, and they get COVID, they deserve to die.
In all the years I worked in a hospital, I saw many, many patients who used medical resources due to totally preventable illnesses.
We never bounced a chain smoker suffering from lung disease out of a bed (even an ICU bed) because his poor choices had landed him there. We never whispered he deserved what he got. We simply cared for him.
We cared for obese patients with various complications. We cared for people in liver failure from drinking or drugs. We never had a rating scale of who deserved care.
This present war on COVID has not just been limited to the vaccine issue.
It has also become about who is good and evil in transmitting the virus. The war of masking versus not masking rages on.
It is now well established that there have been break through cases among those who are vaccinated.
It is good news that those people likely will not require hospitalization. However, unless they follow closely the quarantine mandate, they can potentially spread the disease.
In fact, we all have the potential to spread COVID whether we know it or not.
Recently I observed from a distance (behind a window) a vaccinated woman, not masked, smoking, exhaling less than six feet from another … and she was talking about these people coming across the border who were spreading COVID.
Some doctor’s offices who did thankfully take precautions at the beginning of the pandemic now seem to have returned to a modified business as usual.
Recently we saw a doctor whose waiting room was packed. During the time we were there, we saw five people (each at a different time during the visit) in a small closed room (one doctor and four techs). None were wearing masks.
Checking temperatures at health facilities has stopped. Such a simple check during a time of continuing pandemic would seem to be useful.
At the beginning of the pandemic, some offices had their patients wash their hands before being seen. This seemed like a very good idea to keep as a standard practice.
And the basics of infection control should always be in play of covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze .. and never ever spitting on the sidewalk or elsewhere in shared spaces. We regularly see people not following these simple ways to help.
I firmly believe COVID can at least be controlled, but it will take our truly caring enough about each other enough to keep on keeping on with everything we can do.
That would also include doing what we can do to improve our general health, so we don’t need a hospital bed for reasons besides COVID.
And when one falls to this disease or others, hopefully no one will see if they have enough points to be cared for.
Hopefully, if we all work together, it will never be necessary for health care workers to have to make agonizing decisions of who to save and who to leave behind.
COVID is a war of sorts. Let’s be clear. COVID is the enemy, not each other.
Hear Jesus Words. They are for today too.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then He said to His Disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask The Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
Ask The Lord what He wants you to do to be a part of His Healing Team.