This Week's Story

The pulse of a nation is measured by COVID-19.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Checking the Heart Rate with COVID-19, part two

It’s spring! Yet, in the last two months we have been placed “on restriction” by federal and state orders. COVID-19 has arrived. People in our town along the Colorado River still greet one another, “How are you?”

“Good! How about you?”

“Trying to get used to this mask.”

We Americans try to adjust to a lifestyle none of us has experienced before. Newscasters, medical providers, and governmental leaders from around the country, tell us daily it is important to do so for the safety of those around us and ourselves.

People who work away from home by day come home at night. There are no programs to attend, no group sports activities, no open restaurants, no clubs or open theaters. No meetings or open churches. No river parties. All big social events are cancelled. No services at cemeteries. No weddings.

But! Life outside of hospitals and essential businesses has not stopped. What were basics that many generations sought in the past? God, family, work, and education. Each could be dreaded or enjoyed. Each could be considered boring or challenging. Each could have thought and humor.

Some families are working and playing together more than they ever have. I see families bicycling, neighbors putting in a garden with their children, and cars getting special attention. Cooking and home repair in some homes is happening. I smell backyard barbecues. Board game nights have returned. For some reading has become a passion. Some students with twitching ears and excitement are practicing musical instruments. They meet a teacher on speaker phone. People are going to church online. Services I have attended from my home have felt “real” with people leading music, prayer, announcements of opportunities, and a helpful message based on the Bible.

I have wondered: What is the pulse of our nation? Now is a time of financial hardship and physical pain for many people. It is also a time to know our heart rate as a nation, families, and individuals.

Tonight, I slid my fingers halfway down the outside of my throat. I gently pressed one fingertip on one side. I felt a steady beat inside my neck. I suspected that if I counted each beat for 30 seconds and multiplied by two the answer would be about 86. Good!

Finding a literal heart rate is commonly accepted as being a helpful and simple scientific process with certainties based on past tests. Its unknowns are tiny when compared to what medical science does not know about COVID-19 and its impact upon humans. What is this virus that poses a threat so immense that governments shut down their national economies, send their people to enforced stay-at-home orders, and insist that they stay a certain distance from each other outside of their homes?

Coronavirus is new on the world’s stage. We have not known it for even one year and we have much to learn. May we do so and have a heart that beats for more than our bodies.

This is Barbara Steiner wishing God’s blessing to each of you. Enjoy

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