I have COVID, and I’m sharing my story for your encouragement.

There are two types of people in this world:
Those who have, or have had, COVID; and those who will get it.

At this time, there is no other category. Science cannot guarantee a vaccine.

I have COVID, and I’m sharing my story for your encouragement.

I began feeling symptoms on June 25; by June 28, these were serious enough to warrant a test.

On June 30, I went to an Emergency Room with respiratory concerns, and was tested again, but still awaiting results. I received a positive result on July 1 (and confirmed again on July 2).

On the afternoon of July 2, it was apparent to me I was going to need medical assistance to breathe, so I went back to the hospital and was checked in.

I have lived in a COVID ward. I was there for 3 days, including July 4, Independence Day. I hope and pray that my perspective can help inform and encourage you.

The biggest challenge we have right now is cultural, not political. There is much fear about the virus, and very little hope being offered. The political battle has buried the opportunity for hope to even be discussed; both sides have dug in with their own virtue signaling.

And hope is what is needed. For the amazing medical workers across our state and nation. They walk into room after room of patients, most who are fearful that they will reach the point where they will not be able to breathe. And these workers realize they are susceptible to catching the same virus – the precautions they take just to enter a room are extraordinary.
Hope is needed for the patients, minute minority that we are, who do need advanced medical assistance.

I cannot articulate the challenge better than my friend, State Representative Matthew Krause, has already done, so I will quote several paragraphs from a post of his from June 25:

“Many elected officials, health experts, and those in media (local, state, national) have lost all moral authority to lecture about the benefits of wearing masks and social distancing after how many of them responded to mass protests, gatherings, etc. in the last few weeks. Not saying some of those gatherings weren’t important or needed to shine a spotlight on some important issues. However, the treatment of those gatherings without any concern for the spread of COVID-19 showed a hypocrisy and duplicity in how they covered the issue. If it’s okay to attend a mass gathering to support your preferred policy but not okay when you don’t agree with the policy – you lose all credibility for lack of consistency. And that makes getting the message out that much harder because many citizens just tune out the message.”


And then Matt offered this very wise advice:

“I wish there was a measure of grace and tolerance for different viewpoints on the subject. If you wear a mask in public, I don’t believe you are capitulating to authoritarians or somehow weaker than those who don’t wear a mask. You might just believe that is the most prudent thing for your health, the health of your family, and other loved ones. If someone chooses not to wear a mask, it’s inaccurate to say they don’t care about others or don’t care if others die. That’s imputing bad faith and motives to people who have come to a different conclusion on the benefits of wearing a mask. The debate on this issue has become so polarized on both sides, and that’s never a good thing for true dialogue. I think we’d all do well to remember the admonition in Scripture in I Corinthians 10:23-33 which details how to allow freedom to others who may have a different viewpoint than you do on a particular subject.”

On June 30, Tucker Carlson (Fox News) offered a lengthy monologue; the crux of his argument—We the People need to lead, because the politicians have lost all moral authority to do so.

Tucker: Voters Need to Demand Change from the GOP (YouTube)

And isn’t that really the core principle from the Declaration—governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed?

My challenge to us all is this—let’s change the narrative from one of fear to one of hope. The media is not going to do it. The politicians are not going to do it. It has to be us, and it has to be now.

This is not easy; it’s not how we want to act. We want to win our argument.

But I ask you—is that a measure of grace?

I know what it’s like to be gasping for breath from this virus. And I’ve lived to experience what it’s like in a COVID ward.

Early in the morning of July 4, about 1 am, an EMT alert went out for one of the rooms on the ward. Shortly after, a code blue was called. A soul was battling for his/her life, and all the personnel scrambled to do what they could to help that soul breathe.

Shortly after, another code blue was called in a second room. A few minutes later, a second code blue for the same room. And then, a third for the same room. Three code blue emergencies within forty-five minutes. The fear that soul must have gone through. I was up praying for the patients, praying for personnel, and praying for the other patients who must have heard the same things. Our culture has given them no hope; only fear.

This needs to change. With us. We must lead.

As fireworks were lit up on July 4 evening, I heard my neighbor gasping for breath. His cough had sounded much like mine earlier in the day; now he was fighting to breathe. Again, all he’s known is fear of the virus, not hope to endure.

I spoke with my amazing medical team over those two days especially, July 4 and July 5. They all agreed that the emotional support, the psychological need for hope is missing.

It’s up to us. Me. You. We must lead.

I encourage you to do the following:

  • Thank all COVID medical support personnel. Pray for them. They are amazing. You cannot thank them enough. It’s not possible.
  • Consider your attitude toward wearing a mask. The mask is not to protect you; it’s to protect others from you. Those are the simplest terms to use. My great doctor agreed—just use that simple message.
  • Consider that you are not doing this to appease the government; you are doing this as a measure of grace. Not just for those with whom you come in contact; but the much bigger picture, the context of hope, the cultural narrative that is needed.
  • Consider that you are contributing to the hope of the next patient who is struggling to take their next breath.
  • Consider not spending any more time trying to convince political leaders, of any persuasion, to lead on this. They will not. It’s up to us. Now.

In closing, I want to be clear about my “political” position on COVID. I don’t believe we should have ever locked down, nor should we do so now. I don’t believe any government entity should mandate that we wear, or don’t wear, masks. The overreach in these areas is being used to convince us that we aren’t capable of self-governance.

Let’s prove them wrong, with our attitude. We will lead; and they will follow. Extend grace. Be grateful. Be thankful.

I believe the Texas state Republican convention should be an in-person convention. This is to my detriment—I cannot participate in such a convention at this time (in good conscience). I’m designated as a member of the legislative priorities committee, and had plans for a full week of participation. But this is not about me, and it’s not even about you. It’s about grace, and hope, and attitude.

You are free to act as you wish—I make no judgments. But I do ask you to consider these encouragements first.

Are you ready to lead? To do the really hard work of laying a foundation of hope? To extend grace?

We can make a difference. We can lead.

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