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Renewal, COVID-Style | A Moment's Notice


Last updated 4/9/2021 at 10am

resurrection n.

res·ur·rec·tion | \ ˌre-zə-ˈrek-shən \

1 a: the rising of Christ from the dead

b: the rising again to life of all the human dead before the final judgment

c: the state of one risen from the dead

2. Resurgence, Revival

3. The act of bringing something that had disappeared or ended back into use or existence

On this Easter Sunday, my uncle and I were talking about resurrection and the COVID vaccine. Although not two topics we would normally expect to discuss together, in 2021, it flowed logically. Hope and revival, salvation and safety, religion and science. We have all been hoping to restore not only our own lives but those of everyone around us, so we can function as a community again.

The revival of our “normal” lives seems in view, if, as the vast majority of scientists and physicians advise, we get enough people vaccinated. Widespread protection from the virus creates more immunity and restores that human interaction so sorely missed (as well as what resembles a functioning economy). The sooner more get vaccinated, the better we prevent additional mutations of the virus, which will keep us safe for the longer-term. For my uncle and I, the word resurrection applied to both the celebration of the Easter holiday and the expansion of vaccine access because the word itself has both religious and societal meanings.

No matter what our belief system, this is a time of hope — a time to bring something back that disappeared, as the definition says. We lived through so much stress, social upheaval, and loss in the past year. The conflict and anger and fear and suffering can leave an indelible mark, but we finally have what we need, a gift that will wake us up from all of that.

As we wait for our awakening and reopening, we have to temper our anticipation with the knowledge that more vaccines still need to be administered. In the meantime, we could, perhaps, reflect on a year that demonstrated our lack of control or supremacy over the world around us. We can strive to build on the lessons from this pandemic, especially how seeking success for ourselves, and not for others, is not a sustainable strategy. Most importantly, we need to ensure that immunity is fostered around the world, not just in the US. As long as the virus is infecting people from even the smallest of villages, thousands of miles away, it is a risk to all of us, or as we may have read, whoever is the least among us is the greatest.

In a recent interview, the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Francis Collins, who calls himself a doctor, a scientist, and a Christian, encouraged Americans of all faiths to get the vaccine. “Science and faith are not in conflict,” he said, “They offer complimentary perspectives, with science answering questions of how and faith better responding to questions of why.” Hope means we find better ways to care for and serve each other — “truly a love your neighbor moment.”


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