As I write this, spring is in the air. The snow that blanketed our world recently left soon after. Though we live in Minnesota and need to be prepared for the possibility of snow yet to come until quite late into the spring, we live in the hope that even if it does, it won’t last long. Summer is coming!
The weather this time of the year feels like a metaphor for our COVID time as well. We have endured a year-long winter and more. It has felt like a time of hibernation for many. We are sticking close to home and staying cautious.
I realize that is not true for everyone. Some have questioned the extent to which we have taken precautions against COVID. Some have felt that we have overreacted. “Take off the masks,” proclaims a sign in my neighbor’s yard. “Covid is a hoax!” Proclaims another sign. In my trips to stores and while driving by large crowds yesterday, it is clear that many in our community are rejecting the advice of health officials and are in agreement with my neighbor.
I am not an expert on the subject. I write this knowing that there is a great deal I don’t understand. But I have to say that the politicization of this pandemic saddens me. It is a medical matter, and in my naive mind, I have wondered why we can’t keep the conversation in the medical realm and not the world of politics. What I can tell you is that my hope is we can be a positive vaccination congregation. I realize that is wading into some controversial waters, but I believe it is worth it.
Those who have studied pandemics say that our goal is a thing called “Herd Immunity.” This is where enough people in the population are immune which impedes the spread of the disease. As of now, we don’t know what level of immunity within our population will bring us herd immunity from COVID, but the estimates I have seen for other common diseases have ranged from 70% to 95%. Right now, I believe the estimates of the levels of vaccination are at about 30%. If there is one thing that I think everyone is in agreement, it is that we want these Covid times behinds us and herd immunity is what it will take.
Out of care for those around me, I have received the vaccine. It was a relatively symptom free experience for me. I did have a fever on the day after my second shot, but it didn’t slow me down and in fact I ended up getting more housework done on that day than I had in a long time.
If you are questioning whether to get the shot, I would heartily encourage you to do so. Love comes in many forms and this can be a way to love and support the larger community. We do so, because our mission includes forming a deeper and richer connection to our community and each other in the name of Jesus Christ. Let us get the matter of Herd Immunity behind us to get on with that mission as soon as possible.
God Bless you wherever you are!