Myth # 4: There is no hope
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.Psalm 9:18
Your medical community cares about you.
Every medical professional from the physicians to the custodians who are terminally cleaning our medical spaces are coming to work daily to try and position themselves between this virus and you, the people we joined our profession to protect. If we physicians sound to the layperson a bit like Chicken Little, it is because we understand the scope of potential devastation this virus can inflict. It is because we care deeply about you and your loved ones. The medical sector of the American economy is mobilizing as swiftly as is safe to research and provide solutions – more efficient testing (Abbot, Solaris), vaccine (Sanofi, Inovio and Regeneron, to name a few), countless new medication trials. Critical care physicians are thinking creatively and using old tried and true medications in new ways and developing well designed studies and rapidly disseminating their findings. We are operating as altruistically and efficiently as I have ever witnessed and it is because of a deep ingrained impetus to care – to get it right – to protect you.
Your neighbors care about you.
Mr. Rogers said, “In a crisis, look to the helpers.” Of course our first responders and public service entities are at the forefront of our minds when we look to the helpers – but it goes beyond that. Our helpers are the friends in our local community and across the state that have sewn medical masks that can be fitted with reusable filters to protect us. They are the husbands of our employees who volunteered to set up our medical tents we can use to safely care for you two Sundays in a row. They are the individuals in town who have agreed to run errands so that the most vulnerable won’t have to leave their homes. During a crisis, there is a deep urge in most to put aside differences and come together to achieve a common goal and it has been beautiful to watch. Continue to give into that urge and do what you can to help your neighbor. It will bless you.
Your elected officials care about you.
Texans, and in fact, Americans in general but especially Texans, have ingrained in us a natural tendency to push back against government intervention. It is one of the key ingredients that makes us who we are. One of my favorite coffee mugs is emblazoned with the cannon and the phrase “Come and Take It” that was on the flag flown in Gonzales by 18 Texans to defy 100 Mexican troops thereby starting the Texas revolution. Revolution is in our blood. I’m proud of that heritage and I am a strong conservative Texan that believes in a limited role of Government intrusion. I also believe that government is a necessary pillar of our society. One of the main functions of local, state and federal government is to provide for the common welfare. Our ingrained individuality and that government provision often spark conflict and the Covid-19 crisis has sparked one such conflict. I, a staunchly conservative limited government Texan, have seen your local and state elected officials act swiftly, with conviction and compassion to protect their fellow Texans. Today, Governor Abbott tightened the restrictions on what constitutes an essential business. I have been privy to these deliberations and they are, in fact, DELIBERATIONS.
Our elected officials do not limit freedoms cavalierly. After all, they are Texans, too and they AGONIZE over taking away freedoms, even when they know it will save lives. But it is this simple, we can sacrifice freedom for a very short term and save lives by limiting the strain on the medical system, or we can adopt much laxer policies and increase the number of deaths in our county. I wish there were a third choice but there is not. Every expert with knowledge of this virus has pled with others to choose the former. I stand with those experts and sacrifice my right to shop and recreate freely for the greater good. I am asking my fellow Jim Bowie knife packing, Davy Crockett idolizing Texans to do the same.
Your God cares about you.
To this point in my messages to Erath County I have tried to present facts. Now I am going to discuss my personal ethic. You may choose to stop reading at this point but for many, a crisis causes us to look outside ourselves for guidance and hope. For me, my hope is found in God. Throughout the Bible he comes to the rescue of His people repeatedly. He is a God of mercy and hope for the downtrodden. Many people ask how bad things like war and murder and sickness can exist when a benevolent God is in control. To that I say that He never promises that He will make life easy but that He will be with us through the trials and He will refine us and help us grow in character and personal strength until He decides our time on Earth is over. We can’t go to church together right now. But there are pastors and priests all around us who can help you find hope. Most churches are hosting services online and people are ready and willing to help you if you are searching for answers.
Over the past 3 days I have painted a grim picture and yes, the situation is dire. It will not always be this way. We will make it through. There will be loss and pain and fear and anger. But the antidote to these is hope. Look to your medical professionals. Look to the helpers (your innovative neighbors). Look to your elected leaders. Look to God.
Be safe, Erath County. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.