Friday, December 24, 2021

Reflections on a Second COVID Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the great feast of the Nativity.  These are trying times, and in these difficult days, our world needs the spirit of Christmas more than ever before.  The Coronavirus, of  course, has no conception of date or time.  COVID-19 attacks when it attacks, whether it be Christmas Day or any other holiday.  It does not discriminate among human beings, although the poorest among us are always hit the hardest. To stop the spread of COVID sooner, we have to give more vaccines to developing countries.  

Let's be perfectly frank.  Drug companies are making enormous profits due to this pandemic.  In contrast, there was no patent for the vaccine for polio (Infantile Paralysis).  Dr. Jonas Salk, an American medical researcher and virologists, developed one of the first successful polio vaccines.  Salk's vaccine came into effect in 1955, but it was never patented.  Although lawyers from the National Foundation for Infantile Research investigated the possibility a patent, they decided not to pursue it, partly because it would not have been a patentable invention by the standards of the day, and partly because of Dr. Salk's reluctance.  When CBS television interviewer Edward R. Murrow asked Salk who owned patent, he famously replied, "Well, the people, I would say.  There is no patent.  Could you patent the sun?"

Dr. Jonas Salk

COVID wields a great deal of power.  It can cause untold suffering and death.  It can prevent social gatherings. It can ruin livelihoods.  However, it does not have the power to destroy the spirit of Christmas.  The Christmas spirit is eternal.  It will last forever.  COVID-19 is merely temporal.  It cannot last forever.  It cannot endure.

Yes, at times, it seems that this pandemic will never end.  We are human and we feel discouraged and fatigued by this infernal virus and its variants.  It will come to an end, though, because all things must pass.  Someday, all of this will be behind us.  It will be relegated to the dust heap of history.  Then we will face the challenge of dealing with the damage it leaves in its wake.  We will have the daunting task of building back better.  

In these dark times, I am trying to find the light.  I do not pretend that it is easy.  However, I will look toward the Star of Bethlehem to guide me, for it is a flame that can never be extinguished.

Peace and joy to people of all faiths and all races.

- Joanne

No comments:

Post a Comment