962 PINEY WAY
9 3 4 4 2
Rev. Edward J. Holterhoff, Pastor
Online 9:30 AM on Facebook
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Sunday, April 25, 2021
EXPRESSIONS by Father Ed
Everyone wants the pandemic to end so we can resume our normal routines and the activities we enjoy. The only way this will happen, of course, is by taking the vaccine. To the envy of the world, the United States has a surplus, some of which has been loaned to our nearest neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Our country, after some initial missteps last year, also has been very effective at distributing the vaccine. 200,000 doses have already been administered and 80% of senior citizens have been inoculated. Almost anyone with medical training, including EMTs, nurses and physicians both active and retired, pharmacists, and military medics has been recruited to help vaccinate the public. Continental Europe has stricter rules, allowing only doctors to administer the vaccine, slowing the process and posing greater risk, for the less people vaccinated the more opportunity for the virus to spread and new variants to develop. The situation in Europe, with continued lockdowns, is a poignant example of the necessity to be vaccinated.
Taking vaccines can be a little uncomfortable but definitely much safer than not taking it. A momentary twinge is better than getting a disease, especially the current Coronavirus with its serious, if not deadly, symptoms. Vaccines are really just medicines. Who wouldn’t take a “jab” to keep diabetes in check? Then, why not do the same to prevent this virus? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are considered 95% effective and with no apparent side-effects.
In the past, pandemics or plagues were much more common and long-lasting. The so-called Black Death intermittently continued for over 300 years. Nowadays, we have more effective means to limit the spread of the virus, i.e., masks, social distancing and, of course, the vaccines. While the current Coronavirus seems non-ending, in comparison to ancient pandemics it is very brief, hopefully under complete control by the end of this year. Only the vaccine, which I consider a modern a modern miracle, can halt the persistent spread of the virus which takes advantage of human carelessness and foolishness. Thus, anything we can do to decrease the possibility of the virus is imperative in order to preserve our own individual health and that of society. Complaining, refusing to follow competent medical advice, and not taking the vaccines will inordinately delay the ending of the pandemic.
I vividly remember the polio scare in the 1950s. Many people died and even more lost the ability to walk. While polio was not technically categorized as a pandemic, it infected the whole world from America to Africa. Thanks to the research of Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin, two vaccines were developed which effectively eliminated the endemic. Like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the polio vaccine involved a two stage process, first a shot, then an ingestible booster. Without a worry or fuss, everyone willingly followed the necessary regimen in order to thwart the spread of polio. I am stunned, therefore, by the reaction of many nowadays who are refusing or delaying to take the vaccine.
The polio crisis is an example for our contemporary times. People, then, recognized the severity of the disease and took all the necessary precautions, avoiding the beach, not swimming in the ocean, and removing wet clothing. It was, like nowadays, a nuisance and inconvenience but nevertheless widely practiced by the public. There was a palpable fear. People heeded medical warnings rather than, like today, contradicting them. Everyone was eager for a vaccine and welcomed the opportunity to receive it. There was a prevailing sense of trust and gratitude.
Nor was polio politicized, as the Coronavirus has been by no-nothing media pundits and self-serving governmental officials. Medicine and health are the expertise of scientists and doctors, not politicians. The role of government is to convince the public of the dangers of an epidemic and to muster the resources to offset its spread. Denying or ignoring the pandemic, and even worse lying about it, allowed the Coronavirus to continue unchecked. Bad governmental practice and poor leadership, causing an endless pile up of cases and fatalities which could have been averted by a truthful acknowledgment of the seriousness of the virus and its consequences. Many people, even nowadays, with almost 600,000 deaths in the United States alone, still doubt the existence or the potency of the Coronavirus. This explains the massive college Spring breaks in Florida with the predictable spike in cases, the death of the President of Tanzania who denied the virus, and the celebration of a Hindu feast with over 3 million people, mostly unmasked, gathering at the Ganges River. This is not the way to end a pandemic.
The notion that preventive measures to protect public health and limit the spread of the virus is an infringement of personal liberty is a selfishness peculiar to our times. When the survival of the world is at stake, individual rights take second place. With over 3 million dead throughout the world because of the virus and over hundreds of thousands getting sick each day, we will have to adopt an altruistic approach, putting the common good over personal convenience. In times such as these, it is a necessity, not a choice, otherwise the pandemic will continue unabated.
WEEKLY MASS INTENTIONS
Sunday, April 18, 8:30am
+ Mr. & Mrs. Wendel Hunt
by the Hunt Family
Sunday, April 18, 10:30am
+ Jan Carsel
+ Amanda Smith
Friday, April 23, 8:00am
our Parish News
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While you are at home and staying healthy,
please pray for all us
during this uncertain time.
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