04-02-2020 Letters and Commentary

How the CARES Act will help us through the coronavirus crisis On Thursday night last week, I drove from Michigan to Washington D.C. to help get the coronavirus stimulus bill across the finish line. We passed it and the President signed it into law on Friday. For this week’s column, I wanted to share a little about what is in the CARES Act and how it will help provide relief to our workers, families, and businesses during the coronavirus crisis. First, it will provide $1,200 checks for individuals and $500 for children. In addition, it provides for $350 billion for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll with benefits with loans that will be converted to grants once the money is spent on employees. The legislation also includes $100 billion for our hospitals, funding to boost unemployment payments by an additional $600 per week, $150 billion for states and local governments, $30 billion for education funding, $16 billion for the national stockpile for PPE, and $11 billion for Public Health and Social Services for the manufacture, production, and purchase of vaccines and therapeutics. As we move forward, I want to be sure you know about a daily update I write to inform folks about the last updates that I am hearing. You can sign up for my daily “Kitchen Table” email update at upton.house.gov. To learn more about important legislative issues, follow me on Twitter at @RepFredUpton or by visiting my website: upton.house.gov. You can also call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph/Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761).

What happened? Going through the cabinet where I had stored photographic equipment was very enlightening, and very disappointing. Things were not exactly as I had left them. Did you know that a collapsible rubber lens shade, if left to itself in a closed cabinet for sixteen years, turns to mush? It loses its flexibility and where it has been collapsed it comes apart. Surprisingly, the focal plane shutter in the Minolta SRT 101 that I bought new when I was 16 years old still works. But who knows if its timing is still accurate? It would be fun to check it out, but I don’t do wet chemistry photography anymore. So things have changed. Some of the equipment, the beakers, the trays, the condenser lenses for the enlarger, have not deteriorated. But many other things have. The timers still work. But the wires are brittle. My darkroom has become old. For some, the idea of aging has to come home in other ways than just looking in the mirror. Changes that can be observed in the mirror sometimes happen too slowly to be noticed. The mirror doesn’t lie; it just doesn’t shout the truth. But then, if I were stored in a cabinet for sixteen years, I might also be expected to deteriorate some. We were meant to flourish in these bodies we’ve been given, but not forever. Forever will require a different, renewed existence, and a new, not a worn out, turned-to-mush body. And that is what is promised to those who believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”). That’s encouraging. But meanwhile, back in front of the mirror, we can take courage knowing that the same God who has walked with us throughout our lives will not abandon us in old age. (See Isaiah 46:4 and Psalm 139)

COVID-19 Update It was a bu