This too shall pass-Letter to the editor

Published 2:43 pm Monday, August 17, 2020

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This too shall pass


As a new resident to Polk County I want to say thank you to all who have been so warm in welcoming us to this beautiful community. As a pastor, my work takes me all over the area and has allowed me to meet so many of you and enjoy the businesses, parks, trails and neighborhoods. Thank you.
I write to encourage us all to be diligent and disciplined in our approach to Covid-19. Recently, I learned of two deaths in my former town of healthy adults. One person died less than two weeks after being diagnosed. The other person was a nurse.

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I’ve gotten a little slack over time. I haven’t been washing my hands as often as I was in the beginning and I’ve probably taken some unnecessary risks in my comings and goings. I too tire of the restrictions and I miss the gathering of my congregation.
So, let’s find the strength to rally once again for the good of Polk County. Let’s keep plugging along. Unless your doctor says otherwise, wear the mask as a sign that you care about your neighbor’s health. Wash your hands as a way of caring for your own health. Give people space, I mean, isn’t that why we live here anyway? We love our space and what a beautiful space we enjoy here in the foothills.
But, if you’re still not feeling compelled to enforce the governor’s mandates, follow the health department guidelines for businesses, or if you’re gathering in person for church singing to your heart’s delight, I’d ask you to consider the following.
Consider our police, fire, paramedics, and healthcare workers. They are on the front-lines and can’t practice social distancing in their jobs.
Be patient with the frazzled looking parents who have no idea how they’re going to juggle the amended school schedule and work.
Have compassion for the student athletes who may not have the opportunities you had during their senior year.
Do I know if any of these mandates and guidelines actually work? Nope. I’m not a scientist. But, I’m trusting their years of education and experience and their heart to serve the public. They are not in this for profit or power but service. Could they be wrong? Maybe. But, I’m going to trust they are right. They know more than me about the subject.
In the pandemic of 1918, the second wave hit because churches returned to worship too early, along with other gatherings. People let their guard down. That’s the story the history books tell. When the story is written of the pandemic of 2020-2021, on which side of history do we want to be? Or, when someone asks years down the road what we did to prevent the spread of a deadly disease, what will we say?
In all, remember, this too shall pass. You’re running well. Keep it up. The finish line will come. Keep cheering each other on. The day will come when we can blow out birthday candles in a crowded restaurant. The day will come when we’ll sing hymns off key in a full church and when that day comes we’ll be able to look each other in the eye and say, “we did our best.”
We did our best for a county we love. For, the beauty of Polk County is beyond the mountains, it’s the people.

Rev. Dr. Allan Purtill