Hope Through History
I have been working at home since March of 2020. Working at home can be a very isolating experience. Also, when the boys are home, a dad needs distractions to keep from grounding his children for the rest of their God given lives. I used several different things to create a bit of background noise to help with work.
One of the tools I discovered is podcasts. I had known about podcasts but really did not listen to them that much. Lately, I discovered all the different topics one can listen to. One of my favorite topics is history. One of the more recent podcasts I have discovered is “Hope Through History” with John Meacham.
John Meacham is a well-known historian. He has written many books, but is most commonly known for his biography of Andrew Jackson, which won him a Pulitzer Prize for biography or autobiography. He has been on many television shows as an historical expert.
One episode of this podcast resonated in me. It reported about a time in the 1930’s -50’s where the world was dealing with a pandemic. This pandemic was at its worst in the early fifties. The historians in the podcast described the national fears at the time. Parents were extremely worried about their children and often limited the amount of playtime outside. Theaters were closed for the summer. Pools were not allowed to operate for a few summers in the 50’s. Government allocated a significant amount of resources to find a cure and therapeutics to treat this disease. For some, the disease was mild, in others the disease could cause paralysis and/or death. Some describe this disease as a national scourge that dominated medical headlines throughout the 50’s. Sounds very familiar doesn’t it?
The disease was Polio. We all know how this story ends. A vaccine was developed and there was a mad rush for all of the nation’s children to get vaccinated. The vaccination was not perfect but the risks of the vaccine were so low that the nation did not hesitate to get their children vaccinated. As a kid, I can remember my father’s scar on his shoulder, where he got his vaccine, when he was a kid. Ultimately, the vaccine worked and polio has been essentially eradicated.
The podcast’s point is that we as a nation, and as a world have been through these tough times and ultimately found a solution to the tough times. We can learn from those tough times and apply the lessons learned to our recent experiences.
To me, it was apparent that someone else is involved. Even in our darkest times, God does not abandon His children. He has given us the tools of reason and science to do his work. Some of those tools He has given us are the scientists and leaders to do His work. Jonas Salk was a Jewish immigrant. He went to city college of New York. These institutions existed to give immigrants at the time a place to go get an education. Dr. Salk used his education and skills and developed a vaccine for all of humanity. In fact, he did not patent the vaccine. God’s work.
These past 18 months, we have seen dedicated scientists, engineers, medical providers and critical workers serve our community. Clearly, God has been present in each person’s efforts. Thank God, for His guidance and influence helping us to eventually defeat this pandemic.
Now it’s our part to be God’s hands. We do not have to be scholars and scientists to be God’s hands during this 4th wave of the pandemic. In crowds where unvaccinated people are present (remember children under 12 cannot be vaccinated yet), masks need to be worn. Vaccinate yourself. Lastly, let’s be cautious in our actions despite our desires to go back to normal. I pray that this pandemic is in its last surge and normalcy will soon return. I pray for good health for everyone. Lastly, I praise God for all of those who are contributing and doing their part to be God’s hands.