03-12-2020 Letters and Commentary

CORONAVIRUS PREPAREDNESS… The onset of the coronavirus worldwide in the past month or so shows once again the greatest nation in the world is the least prepared to deal with it. Flu vaccines, developed every season are best with 30% effectiveness. You know it will be some time before a vaccine is developed for coronavirus, and then it will be only effective to a small percentage of citizens. The United States is continually behind the 8-ball for any widespread disaster response, most notably those spawned by weather events such as hurricanes and fires. We have an abysmal response to the national tragedy that is the opioid crisis. Victims of hurricanes are disenfranchised by Washington dragging its feet in supplying emergency care and longtime rebuilding support. We should no longer be surprised the White House cadre is sending out mixed signals that there is nothing to worry about, it will just be a mild flu or there is a pandemic around the corner, but it will only kill the sick and elderly. Meanwhile citizens are stocking up in supplies of hand sanitizer and facemasks.

WEATHER PERMITTING… The only snow that I’ve seen after the warm weather on the weekend and rain the past few days, is against our Record building here uptown. Could be that the white stuff will be gone until next November or so. Hopefully we will have some decent weather for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration this Saturday in Coloma. All the good Irish there have laid out a great day with specials and treats at the eateries and other events throughout the day. The grand finale is the lighted St. Patrick’s Day parade Saturday evening at 8:30. You’re going to see the full day’s event schedule and advertising on Page 7.

CENSUS 2020… I’ve been reading about the coming census and the huge impact it will have on our community. We forget, me included, that many disbursements of federal and state money are based on the population in a community or region. If we don’t count every person here in the Tri-Cities, the money that we should get is going to go somewhere else. Read the Coloma library story in this week’s issue about the impact the census has there. The benefits they describe there are based on 100% participation and would be basically the same in any community. Make sure you’re counted in your community, it’s your money.

More than melt value I heard a story recently about someone who had received a gold coin pendant from her husband. The gift contained an ounce of gold! It was obviously very valuable. But what was not obvious was just how valuable it actually was. That coin was worth between $20,000 and $25,000! Fortunately, it had not been drilled for the gold chain, and it was contained in a protective glass box. Selling that coin to a gold dealer, she would receive about $1,680 on today’s spot market. That would be the melt value of the actual gold content. But if she were to present it for sale to knowledgeable collectors that truly understood the value of that coin beyond just melt value, she would receive at least twelve times as much. The gold had been fashioned into a beautiful coin with very specific and rare design. The gold now had “value added”. It is said that while salvation is a free gift of God, our lives lived for Him are our gift back to Him in return. That’s pretty consistent with what the Bible says about who we “owe”. In 1 Corinthians 6:20 we find, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (NASB) That spiritual “value added” is our responsibility. Another passage says it this way: “God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, GW) God has provided the gold. Now we need to learn how to mint it – living up to God’s “value-added” plans for us.