Thrill of Hope
It’s hard to believe Christmas is here again. This season is usually a time of great celebration. There are large Christmas Eve services, visits with Santa, cities hosting lighted parades; and of course, family gatherings around the tree and dinner table. But 2020 isn’t a normal year and we’ve all had to adjust our holiday traditions in some way. As I reflect on the Christmas season during this unique year, I cannot help but think of the words from the carol O Holy Night: “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.”
It would be tough to find a more fitting adjective to describe the world today than weary. 2020 has simultaneously felt like the longest and shortest year of our lives. In one way or another, the global pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. We’ve attempted to keep our distance, temporarily closed our businesses and put on hold important celebrations like weddings and family reunions. But there is light at the end of this long dark tunnel. The hope for a miracle is coming in the form of a vaccine. The good Lord continues to shine his favor on this weary world.
When this pandemic began around March, we passed the CARES Act which provided targeted relief to those who needed it most. It also included resources to help accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Operation Warp Speed was launched to create a partnership between the government and private sector to develop a safe and successful vaccine at a much quicker pace than the traditional vaccine approval process.
The goal of Operation Warp Speed is to produce and deliver millions of doses of safe and effective vaccines by January 2021. Two companies, Moderna and Pfizer, are in the final stages of developing their vaccines and it looks like they will hit that goal. While each state is responsible for creating their own distribution plans once a vaccine is deemed safe, we anticipate seeing the first vaccines administered to the public in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available for all Americans at no charge, because the American taxpayer will be picking up the bill. When vaccines are available, the first doses will likely go to those on the front lines fighting this virus—health care workers and essential employees – as well as those with vulnerable health conditions. Once distribution of vaccines opens up to the rest of us, I plan to get one. I have full faith in the scientists developing the vaccines that whatever gets approved will meet the normal standard, be safe and effective.
In the meantime as we await the vaccine, it’s important we continue to use our common sense to fight this virus. Use hand sanitizer, wash your hands, keep your distance and wear your darn mask when it makes sense. We must remain hopeful during this holiday season - our “new and glorious morn” is almost here. Together, we will get through this.
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