There hasn’t been a whole lot of really encouraging news about the coronavirus pandemic that has transformed our lives and ruined our economy and killed far too many, but here’s some potentially great news:
In the meanwhile, these two items were published on 7 July:
The governor has now made his decision, at least for the interim. We’ll see how things are going by 1 August:
Not all were satisfied by his decision:
And this is worth reflecting upon:
On a very practical level, this might help a little bit:
Here, though, is a very interesting personal story from the award-winning former star of BYUtv’s show American Ride:
You might enjoy, as I did, his account of seeing and speaking with his newly-deceased mother while he was in a coma.
Which leads me to announce some good news and some bad news: With the surge in COVID-19 cases, more people will be having near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, as hospitals become overburdened, as spouses and families and friends are forbidden from visiting grievously ill patients, as medical workers are increasingly overworked, and as those infected with the coronavirus die, there will be far fewer opportunities for accounts of such near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences to be shared.
I close with a passage from the apostle Paul, in the New International Version of 1 Corinthians 8:1-13:
8 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
Now, obviously, wearing masks against COVID-19 isn’t the same thing as eating food anciently offered to idols. But Paul’s message about the Christian’s obligation to care about the welfare of others seems to me very worthy of consideration in this time.
Postscript: One unfortunate soul, reading my comment above about “some good news and some bad news,” has apparently required smelling salts, medication, and trauma counseling at what I had thought was absolutely transparent irony. I think it pretty obvious, given my repeated endorsements of masks, social distancing, and taking COVID-19 very seriously, that I don’t actually favor more COVID-19 cases and an increased number of coronavirus-induced near-death experiences. That my faux-cheery hailing of an increase in NDEs if we continue to treat the pandemic casually was a way of making my point once more: Wear a mask. Don’t congregate in large groups. Keep your distance. Take this disease seriously. Oh well. As the saying goes, it’s impossible to make anything absolutely foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.