This time last year, I wrote “good riddance” to the horrible year of Covid. Now, a year later, we are back in the same boat, with the Omicron variant threatening to create yet another viral wave.
Rumor has it, Omicron spreads five times more rapidly than Delta, which is quite surprising since Delta was billed as spreading five times faster than the original Covid. At that rate, we’ll all get it in a week or two.
It’s ironic that the medical community constantly warns us not to overuse antibiotics for fear of bacteria developing resistance. Seems to me the covid variants are developing resistance to the vaccines, which were initially billed as a cure all.
Not only did the vaccines not stop covid, but Delta exploded along with the vaccination rate. I think they call this the law of unintended consequences.
This does not make me an anti-vaxxer. Indeed, I get every vaccine I can get my hands on. I just believe we know as much about the microbe world as we know about outer space — a lot but still a fraction of what’s out there.
The battle between humans and viruses have been going on for a long, long time and it looks like the mRNA vaccines, unfortunately, are not putting an end to the war.
Turns out, scientists have been looking at the history of the other common cold coronaviruses and finding correlations between their genetic evolution and historical epidemics of unknown causes. In short, this has happened before. We’re getting to watch the birth of the fifth endemic human coronavirus morph into a cold.
It’s adapting to us and our immune systems are adapting to it. Welcome to the world of parasitic symbiotic relationships.
No doubt, nature favors viruses which can spread easily. The virus, so to speak, doesn’t want us in bed or dead. It wants us out socializing and sneezing on one another.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Omicron will magically turn benign. As long as we are alive for long enough to thoroughly spread the virus, it doesn’t care whether it kills us in the end or not. It’s a nasty, messy, deadly adaptive process. We can only hope we’re past the worst of it.
At least the shutdowns seem to be history. Shutdowns are killers in themselves, as people hover at home too afraid to go to the hospital to treat their chest pain or strange skin growth. Then there is mental illness, crime spikes, supply chain disruption and social chaos.
No, we’ve got to punch through this and keep on keeping on the best we can. It is truly amazing to witness the dedication of our medical community over the last two years. What a blessing.
This Christmas I got lots of presents and they were all just what I wanted. Here’s my secret: Three months before Christmas, everything I buy I wrap and put in my closet. I stick a label on it: To Dad from Lawrence. To Dad from Mom. Etc.
Come Christmas Day I am excited. All those things I’ve needed and bought, I now get to open. My loved ones are happy because they didn’t have to take time, spend their money and worry if I liked the gift. There’s plenty of unwrapping and presents and it’s just exactly what I wanted. Perfect. You should try it.
I also have a recommendation for a New Year’s resolution. I have my dear friend Kevin Russell to thank for this one. He showed me an app that lets you read a little bit of the Bible every day. By the end of the year, you have read the entire Bible.
I know, I know. I could do this without an app. But having the reminders and the progress notifications and the cool explanatory videos really makes a difference. It’s called the BibleProject.
Reading sequentially in a defined time frame really drove home to me the perfection of the Bible. It forced me to read some of the minor prophets carefully and filled in missing holes in my understanding. This would be a great New Year’s resolution. Just do it. In fact, I am inclined to start all over again.
I have a couple of New Year’s resolutions. One is befitting of my age: I vow to replace the desire to win a tennis match with the desire to play the next match injury free. There is a big difference.
I was playing King of the Court at River Hills the other day. I was quite pleased with myself for being by far the oldest person on the court. In some cases, by 30 years. Yet I was running, lunging, whacking, stretching and jumping like the young kids. I held my own.
There was one problem. That right after watching some TV, I got up to go to bed and could barely walk. The dreaded plantar fasciitis. This is one of those ailments that when you tell people you have it a genuine look of sorrow and sympathy crossed their brow. “Oh no!”
My other resolution is to do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night on the treadmill. I mean, anybody can do anything for just 10 minutes, right? By breaking my exercise routine into tiny bits, I hope to overcome lassitude and procrastination. Just this little bit of exercise would cause me to shed two pounds a month! In addition, getting your heart rate up each and every day does wonders for your health.
But the big resolution is much grander in scope. I am going to quit trying to be a better person and, instead, let the Holy Spirit guide and direct me. It’s a fine, but crucial, distinction.
I was raised a Methodist, married in an Episcopalian church and became a Presbyterian because the church was down the street.
John Calvin, one of Presbyterian’s theological founders, believed in the “total depravity of man.” Sounds depressing.
But what it really means is that although man, by his nature, is incapable of good, the Holy Spirit can do the good for you, if you have faith and let it happen. In a way, it’s like the concept of Karma. Just let it go, get your heart, body and mind in the right place and great things will happen. Quit trying to force it through your will. Just let God’s will work through you.
And that, dear readers, is my big resolution. Wish me Godspeed!