We are impressed that Gov. Asa Hutchinson would announce in the middle of last week that the state would end its daily governor’s COVID-19 Pandemic response briefings after week’s end – and stick with it on Friday as he announced a one-day highest-ever infection rate for the state at 1,107 new cases.

That takes resolve: To face the highest single-day infections on the last daily briefing shows a plan stuck to no matter what.

On one hand, we understand. We, like you, like, truly, anyone of this world in these times, want this pandemic behind us. We are tired, sick and tired (if we may) of this disease and its endless impact on our lives and the lives of our neighbors and friends. The masks, the lack of handshakes, the 6 feet apart, the “wait here” and “we have to take your temperature.”

On the other hand, we are citizens in a country which is undergoing a pandemic. This is irrefutable. Try though we might the fact of there being a pandemic, of the infection being spread rather easily and simply, can not be ignored. We wish we could ignore this. We wish we could, like a child, simply stop doing the things we need to do and go back to life as normal, as life pre-pandemic. We wish that a great deal.

But we are not children. This thing can not be ignored or willed to some other place we do not inhabit. A disease is in the air – quite literally – and we have to, must, do our part.

We will wear masks, we will wash our hands frequently, we will avoid unnecessary contact and we will give others that life-giving space. We wish it was not like this, but it is.

We note, further, that despite the throttling back, the reduction in press briefings, the more people not wearing a mask, the circle is getting smaller. It was once a disease of acquaintances, it was once a disease of distant people in our lives. More and more, however, the disease is getting closer, now we have friends infected, families we know quarantined, people close to us, even, who are very ill.

Last week we celebrated an important and fairly recent event in our national history as we commemorated the attack on America of Sept. 11. We recall that time, we recall a nation pulling together, one-for-all, as we confronted the challenge. But of course we did. America is a country like that, a country which comes together, a country which does what it needs to do.

The disease of COVID-19 is also an attack. We will continue to do what must be done, which includes doing our part, which includes – at the very least – wearing a mask and respecting this potentially deadly disease.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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