Feeling Grateful

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Nurse practitioner Sarah Gonzalez prepares to give a dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at Brooklyn Army Terminal in New York City, January 10, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

You’ll have to excuse the “Dear Diary” quality of this post, which comes as a byproduct of my having just received a first dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

A year ago, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for myself. “Of course a pandemic struck in the spring of my senior year of college” I thought. I’m quite embarrassed by that thought now.

Human history can fairly described as a rolling list of catastrophes: World wars! The sacking of cities! Famine! Pestilence! Only at this time could we expect disease like COVID-19 to be so quickly and thoroughly neutralized by human ingenuity and the grace of God. It seems incomprehensible to me that in less than a year, private business, in conjunction with the U.S. federal government, were able to create, mass-produce, and begin to mass-distribute three safe and extraordinarily effective inoculations. It’s similarly incomprehensible that I happen to have been born in the country that created them and is leading the pack in distributing them.

There’s still a fair amount of vaccine skepticism out there. Some of that can be attributed to the many public-policy failures of the pandemic. Some can be attributed to the demagoguery of influential voices. Some can perhaps just be chalked up to a feeling that nothing can or will go right. It’s all understandable, but if you count yourself among those persuaded by any of these arguments or feelings, I would gently urge you to reconsider. Now is a time for gratitude to God and the very talented men and women who have delivered our golden ticket out of this nightmare, not defeatism.