I’m concerned about some behaviors out there regarding COVID. Before I go there, let me give some preface.

First, I believe in vaccination. From my own personal experience in the emergency department, vaccines save lives. I have spoken in favor of vaccination from the the beginning. I have never discouraged vaccination unless there were a very specific health concern that would preclude a patient from receiving ‘the jab.’ I have had my concerns, and obviously no medication or vaccine is perfect, but other than Panexa, what is? (Please take the time to read this if you need a laugh). http://bouldertherapist.com/html/humor/MentalHealthHumor/panexa/panexa.html

Second, I believe that the public health messaging has been terrible and the assorted mandates counterproductive and objectively harmful in many instances. I believe that vaccination status has been used as an excuse to say terrible things about others and treat the vaccine hesitant in ways that do not increase trust in the medical or public health communities. This has caused unnecessary divisions in our society. This has made management of COVID that much more difficult.

However, it being Sunday as I write, and me a Christian, I have to go in a different direction and offer a different ‘sermon.’ Because all across the country physicians, nurses, medics, respiratory therapists and all the rest have been yelled at, cursed at and threatened by patients and their families who were angry when staff asked about their vaccination status, offered vaccinations, asked them to be tested in the hospital or even reminded them to wear a mask in health-care settings.

I know that a lot of those opposed to vaccination are Christians like myself. And as I have said, I understand some of the concerns of the vaccine hesitant in general. https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/rural/93783

However, it is also up to Christians to be ‘the light of the world.’ To let the world know us by the love we show. To ‘live at peace with all men, in so far as it concerns us.’ To love ‘as Christ first loved us.’

Hopefully, most of the angry, threatening behavior is coming from vaccine hesitant people who are not Christians. Or at least, I hope that if it is coming from Christians, it’s from those who are immature in the faith and think of Christian like being ‘American.’ As if being born in a church family and going to church, or living in a largely Christian community makes you a believer. These are false constructs but we can work with that in love.

If, however, my true brothers and sisters in Christ are being unkind to those in healthcare, then it needs to change. We Christians can absolutely disagree with others about vaccines or about anything related to the politics of this pandemic or politics and culture at large. Hopefully we disagree with a lot of things that the world considers normal.

But we are not allowed to hate. And we are not allowed to be cruel or unkind or disdainful. We are supposed to ‘do unto others as we would have others do unto us.’ That’s kind of a big thing in Christianity.

It is especially important that we recognize that those working in EMS, in hospital ERs and ICUs, on the wards or even in rehab units have undergone enormous trauma during this time. They have been fearful for themselves and have watched far more death than they expected. They have tried to console the dying who took their last breaths alone and have had to explain hopelessness to patients’ family member.

They have faced days when there weren’t enough beds, staff, medications, ventilators or some days, not even enough oxygen in the hospital. They have become ill themselves and some have died. They have gone home fearful of infecting family members and have sometimes slept in campers in their yards, only to go back into the fray and start all over again the next day, and the next and the next.

No small number will suffer PTSD. Some have actually killed themselves. Many have, or will, quit their professions.

What they need is compassion and love. They need understanding and kindness. Disagree if you will, but do it as you think Jesus might. (And yes, I know about him attacking the money-changers in the temple but I don’t think the analogy is appropriate here.)

What these people need is not screams or curses but prayers, prayers and more prayers and the occasional cookies or meals. They don’t need argument.

They need Jesus. And if you’re a Christian, you’re job is to be him wherever you are.

Even if you’re upset about COVID.

This is also posted at my new Substack account, Life and Limb.  Please consider subscribing!






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