|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on December 17, 2020 at 4:40 PM|
December is finally here and the end of the year 2020 is in sight! As we start planning for the Christmas season, I know that we all have mixed feelings about 2020, but if you're like me, you are still alive, then we have much to be thankful for, and I believe that we will end the year better than we began. Better you say, are you kidding me? Many Americans have lost loved ones to COVID and other diseases this year, many are un or underemployed, some are now homeless, even more are depending on Food Banks to supplement their food budgets, and many are suicidal having lost all hope. America is in the fight of its life with an invisible virus that has wreaked havoc on the health of the population and disseminated the economy.
The Department of Labor reported in October 2020 that almost 8% of working Americans or 12.6 million individuals were unemployed. In 2019, unemployment stood at 3.5% and impacted 5.8 million Americans. Things are even bleaker on the food security front, and National Geographic (2020) reported that 50.4 million Americans were living in food-insecure households. Put another way, “one in six Americans could go hungry if the COVID pandemic persists.” The news media outlets have documented mile-long lines for food across the nation, and Food for America (2020) reported that about 70% of these individuals have never needed food assistance before. Today, deaths from COVID -19 stood at 282,000 with COVID -related hospitalizations at an all-time high. Many of us know someone or have family members or friends who have become infected or died from this virus. We are tired, worn out, grieving, restless, and stressed, but the pandemic is far from over. Despite this fact, many are mad with themselves, their old bosses, family members, friends, and even with God. How could God sit and allow this to happen? Does he not care?Believe it, God has been with us on this COVID journey, and I do not believe that this has taken him by surprise. While it is difficult to write or even say this, I expect that God will work something good out of this year. As Joseph said in Genesis 50:20, “what the enemy meant for harm, God uses for good”. I challenge you to look for the good in each day. I guarantee that you will find it. Stay prayerful and continue to take it one day at a time. God will see us through this crisis.
One good that has come out of 2020 is a few new COVID vaccines. As we wait expectantly for the FDA approval of the first COVID-vaccine, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, but the arrival of the vaccine will bring new challenges. For instance, experts still need to ascertain exactly how we will get 60 or 70% of the American population to take the two-dose vaccine to build herd immunity. It will be a herculean task trying to convince individualistic Americans to think of the common good, and to take the vaccine to benefit others. To add insult to injury, historically, two-dose vaccines can have “incompletes” since life happens, and individuals forget to come in for their second dose. To make matters worse, African Americans and other minority populations ravaged by COVID-19 are sounding the alarm about their unwillingness to take any COVID vaccine. At the time of writing, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that only 42% of African Americans reported that they will take the vaccine compared to 83% of Asian Americans. Overall, 60% of Americans reported to the Pew Research Foundation (2020), that they would take the vaccine if it were available. Yet, these numbers will continue to change, and the CDC and other health agencies will need to convince each person to take the vaccine. Of course, it will take months after the vaccine becomes available for our lives to get back to any semblance of normal, and no one can predict what that “new normal” will look like.
Regardless, if we survive this pandemic, we should remain hopeful with the assurance that God has taken us through an unprecedented time in our history. Together, we will make it to the other side of this crisis. So, let us support the health of our brothers and sisters and consider taking the vaccine so that we can build herd immunity. Only then can we get back to some semblance of normal in 2021. As we end this year, I am grateful to have the privilege to live in this country, be employed, have a family that loves and cares about me, and to have a growing and deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. Despite its challenges, are you grateful for 2020? Do you plan to take the COVID vaccine? What will it take to change your mind to accept the vaccine? Please drop me a line to share your thoughts. Looking forward to your feedback.
Until next time,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!