On Pins and Needles

The news is getting better concerning Covid and the pandemic that has so crippled our world. The rate of Infection is decreasing and so are the deaths. There are several different vaccines out there now, more are on the way, and millions are starting to get them. If there is not a big "Spring Break" spike, this positive trend should continue so that by late summer or early fall there may be a return to some kind of normalcy. A better new normal, anyway.

This is not the time to let up, though, or be careless—like "your last day in Vietnam." It would be tragic indeed to have come through so much death and deprivation only to lose all the ground gained in the last turn of the race.

Our church has been so patient with the safety protocols we have been following. I know that not everyone has thought we needed to be so stringent. But you should know that just as many others have thought we have not been guarded enough. It has been like threading a needle for our staff.

But hang in there! We are anticipating much better days in the near future. On April 11 we will be having, in addition to the worship services we have conducted since late August, children and youth back inside the building for Bible study and other fun activities.  Adults will be able to gather inside for Bible study in two, multi-generational classes- one at 9:30am and the other at 11am. These will be new classes. Others will continue on Zoom for now.  Space and size of groups will be limited at first—registration is required.  We will be starting slowly and building as we go. I am excited about starting to gather our folks together again!

A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
 
Audrey and I had not been in a hurry to get the vaccine, since we both had the virus back in late January. We assumed some immunity—for a while anyway. But our doctor said we should go ahead as soon as possible, so we started looking for a site. Audrey spent hours on the Internet and finally got appointments for us this past Sunday evening. But in South Boston, Virginia—200 miles away. That's not as bad as it sounds, as we have family down in that area. Sunday was a pleasant day and, besides the usual jam between Alexandria and Fredericksburg, we had a good ride. Talking, and listening to "Oldies" music on the radio.

When we arrived at the CVS in South Boston we were greeted by friendly and helpful staff and there was absolutely no wait-time. Twenty minutes was all—and that included the mandatory 15 minute observation period following the shot.

Afterwards we stopped to visit briefly with friends who lived only a couple of miles away. Coleman and Barbara had gotten their shots a few weeks earlier—but in Durham, NC. We laughed at the thought that they had to drive 54 miles, across state lines, to get their vaccine, and we had driven almost 4 hours from Alexandria to a drug store within walking distance of their house to receive ours.

MOVING THE NEEDLE

It really is rather miraculous when you stop to think about what has happened. One year to the week when we first began to realize what we were dealing with in Corona, I am sitting in a chair receiving a drug that can immunize us! That's record time! I am thanking science—as we hear so many saying—but more than that, I am thanking God! In this case, as in so many throughout modern history, He has used the best scientific brains and human tenacity to carry on His work and bring about a great result. He is saving us from this scourge and using medical scientists as His instruments.

I hope that you will trust God and get your vaccination as soon as you can. We'll be going back for round 2 in a few weeks.

We haven't experienced any negative side effects to the shot—not yet anyway. A side benefit of driving so far to get our shots was the time we were able to spend together in uninterrupted conversation. And, after all the poking was done, the St Patrick's Day-inspired meal of corned beef and cabbage that we enjoyed at the home of Steve and Carolyn--Audrey's brother and sister-in-law. Her 90-year-old father joining us.  They've all had their first doses, too.

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