Impossible to dismiss good news in time of peril

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is virtually impossible for me to hold back the joy I feel as I watch news reports from around this great nation of individuals receiving shots in their arm.

We are subjected daily — even hourly — to reports of death and misery from the COVID-19 virus. It has killed more than 300,000 Americans. Many more will die. It has infected more than 17 million of us. Millions more infections are on their way, too.

And yet … we watch news reports, read about them in the newspaper (yes, we still read newspapers in our home) about millions of doses of vaccine being distributed. There is hope. There is a glimmer of optimism. However, the doctors in charge of this good news tell us to hold off on popping the champagne corks. We’re going to endure a lot more suffering before we can “turn the corner,” or recognize the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the end of this pandemic.

The good news is tempered by the heartache we are enduring. It also is tamped down a bit by the hideous non-response of the current president of the United States, who remains fixated on his re-election loss and the bogus claims of fraud, illegal voting, a “rigged election” … or whatever the hell pops into his vacuous skull.

Donald Trump is almost out of there.

In the meantime, I intend to watch the news with a mixed set of emotion. I want to relish the good news and I will do so in the moments I see those reports flash in front of me. Still, we all must be realistic about what we know also is occurring. For all the good news we watch as nurses, doctors, police, firefighters and essential government leaders get immunized against the killer, we must hold dear our feeling of empathy and compassion for the loss that continues to occur around the world.

These are trying times for the human spirit. The optimist that lives within me will grasp the good news as it arrives and pray for the moment that our joy will bury our sadness.

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