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After difficult year, COVID-19 vaccines bring joy and hope

‘It’s a great relief to see so many friends and family becoming more protected. We’ve had enough sickness and loss.’

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

“Celebrate. People need hope.”

My friend David Duncan texted me that advice when I told him I was struggling to write this column.

Related: An unfathomable toll

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to make sure I acknowledge the heartache and grief that so many have endured.

As my colleague Chellie Ison reports, the sheer magnitude of loss — more than 2.6 million dead around the world, including nearly 533,000 in the U.S. — is difficult to comprehend.

At the same time, after 12 months of disrupted lives, I want to praise God for the vaccines developed by companies such as Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The vaccines offer hope for ending the pandemic. They offer hope for a brighter tomorrow. They offer hope, in a very real sense, for my own family and friends.

My wife, Tamie, has autoimmune diseases that could very well cost her her life if she contracted COVID-19.

Because of Tamie’s health concerns, we’ve adhered strictly to masking, distancing and other safety precautions. For over a year, we’ve not attended an in-person worship assembly or eaten inside a restaurant.

But on a recent Thursday afternoon, my wife rolled up her sleeve and received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That was the one recommended by Tamie’s rheumatologist because of her life-threatening reactions to medications last year.

Read the full column.

This story appears in the February edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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