Virus

It is strange living in the pandemic. The news is almost all bad. The numbers, of cases, of deaths, just keep rising. Most everything is closed.

“Fauci warns that coronavirus could kill 200,000 Americans.”

Social distancing seems to be an effective method of slowing the transmission rate. On my morning walk the two people I saw respected the rule.

Justin Trudeau issues stern warning to Canadians: ‘Go home and stay home’

Driveways were filled with parked vehicles. The rain overnight gave everything a fresh look and made it hard to understand that danger lurks everywhere.

I am reminded of the polio pandemic of the 1950s.

I wrote about that once:

This is a solemn but a glorious hour. I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe.

For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the Providence which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity.

The radio crackled and the president’s voice faded for a moment. Bob looked at his parents. They were both straining to hear his words. The war was over for Virgil but not yet over for Bud. “I’ll pray tonight for an end to the war in the East,” he thought.

And now, I want to read to you my formal proclamation of this occasion:

A proclamation–The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender. The western world has been freed of the evil forces which for five years and longer have imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives of millions upon millions of free-born men. … give thanks to Almighty God, who has strengthened us and given us the victory.

Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby appoint Sunday, May 13, 1945, to be a day of prayer.

“I knew it! I knew it would work,” he thought.

“I can’t wait until the war is really over everywhere.” said his Mom, “Keep my boy safe, oh, Lord.”

After a bit they all went to bed. Bob climbed into his bed on the front porch and prayed. “Jesus, bring my brother home safe” and  “Jesus, please do something to help me with my pig. As you know I am supposed to show him at the Yuma County Fair at the end of July, but he is not ready, and I’ll be the joke of the whole county. Please help me.”

That summer the polio epidemic became so bad that state officials closed all public swimming pools. Pictures of people in iron lungs were showing up in the Rocky Mountain News. Bob studied the pictures. Only the head of the polio victim could be seen. Parents were warned not to let their children drink from public water fountains.

It was a bad summer. And finally the word came.

The state ordered all county fairs to be cancelled because of the polio epidemic. Bob heard about the cancellation on the radio on KOA Denver at breakfast one morning. He ran outside and went to the pig shed. He looked at New.

“Thank you, Jesus, for sending polio,” he prayed.

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