I write this article with some trepidation. I hope to address such topics as Covid-19, vaccines and politics. I’m thinking that no matter what I write or how I write it, I have the potential to upset everyone. I’m writing because it really is a matter of life and death.
At some point, Covid-19 and the vaccines became political. Neither are political for those on the front lines of this battle: health care professionals, patients and families.
A video was released recently in which an FMH nurse describes the life and death struggles with Covid in which some recover while others experience air hunger and die. Her video is not political, it’s reality. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/fairbanks/2021/10/01/watching-themselves-die-fairbanks-nurse-describes-panic-and-air-hunger-among-covid-patients-in-video-encouraging-vaccination/
Many, many people have tested positive for Covid and recovered. Many have tested positive for Covid and died. The vast majority survive, but those who do not are gone leaving behind grieving friends and family. There are also issues distinguishing between dying from Covid vs. dying with Covid. Just to be clear, Covid is not good, no matter how you count it.
We’re at this strange point in history in which the vaccine is viewed as either a miracle cure and thus our salvation or as the mark of the beast and therefore evil.
I don’t think the vaccine is either savior or devil. Instead, I think the vaccine is simply a vaccine. Remember when the big controversy about the vaccine was how long it was going to take to be produced?
What do Presidents Trump and Biden have in common? The same thing that Presidents Obama and Bush have in common. Each has received the Covid-19 vaccine. They don’t have much else in common.
Some fear people who aren’t vaccinated while others fear the vaccine itself. I think everyone, to some extent or another, experience some fear about catching Covid-19 or catching it again.
In the past year, I have had friends test positive for Covid-19, seriously struggle and recover. I have also had friends test positive for Covid-19 and die. I have had friends line up at the first opportunity to get vaccinated and others refuse to do so for a variety of reasons. None of my vaccinated friends experienced any serious side effects from the vaccine and none has died of Covid-19.
What about my family and I? We are all fully vaccinated. We all see this vaccine as any vaccine: a part of healthy self-care.
Some think they are better for being vaccinated and others think they are better for not being vaccinated. Self-righteousness is never a good thing, no matter the reasons.
Some would say that I am out of my league to be writing on Covid-19 and vaccines. I am a pastor and chaplain, not a health care professional. Consulting me for your health care decisions makes as much sense as consulting Google. Whenever I have a medical concern, I speak with a health care professional. I suggest you do the same.
Cast all your worries upon God who cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Rev. Stephen Reed is the Pastor at St. Paul Church on Farmers Loop next to Mushers Hall and the Chaplain for Police and Fire.
Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference
Printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on October 8, 2021
Married 26 years, 2 kids, 1 cat and 1 dog. Ordained & Chaplain for 20 years. Ministry philosophy - we're all in this together and Jesus leads the way. Hobbies: working in the woodshed, teaching, and competitive shooting