It was getting a bit dicey and worrisome for everyone. The vaccinations were not working so the news said the death toll was from non-vaccinated people. The news-room personalities were reading off of the same script given to them by the ‘experts’ running the show. There was news that came in ‘under the wire’ that the only people seriously affected were elderly and/or people with mitigating health issues. No one knew whom to believe anymore. The mask mandates for rural people was a good source for humor. The masks recommended by ‘authorities’ varied more than the weather. It was referred to as medical theater by some. National and local news mostly followed the bad news script.
Grocery stores had empty shelves, but that was all right because the parking lots were empty too. Gasoline was up over six dollars a gallon. Pleasant driving if you wanted to risk it. Roadblocks and interstate driving enforced with the national guard. No one moved unless you had paperwork displayed on the plates, fore and aft. The bridges were secured. The cities were a battle zone with daily shooting. The stores and restaurants would only admit people that had proof of vaccination. Most people could have cared less about that. It seemed no one could dodge the disease. Natural immunity from having had it worked the best. No authorities mentioned that aspect however, It didn’t fit the script. The drug companies were making billions and they had a well placed ‘expert’ touting their solution.
It resembled East Berlin in a way. No matter what you did or said, you were guilty of some sort of crime to humanity or the government. The vaccine resembled a bad turbocharger. There just wasn’t enough power so you needed another booster. It went on for years until the nation literally fell apart. Gasoline and Grocery prices went so high that even the commuter traffic on the rural roads began to dwindle. After all, why pay more money to commute than the job paid? Dig in at home and start eating all the food in the freezers and root cellars. At least we weren’t boiling up our leather shoes. Most of the rural population were set pretty well. They knew where food came from. Farmers began growing food you could eat and that your milk cows and cattle could eat. Subsidies disappeared from USDA too.
The phones still worked and the power was pretty good. Amazingly, there were still areas where the optic fiber carried the internet but the load on that pipeline was enormous. Many reliable and local updates on where latest food and scavengers were moving and advice on security measures. Very little panic. Neighborhoods or townships were unifying and assistance grew within them. Rural areas were mostly quite safe. The wrong cars were watched.
Medical triage and field medic people were in big demand and local connections worked pretty well. The locals began to see something they had not seen before. Compassion and a love for their fellow man, almost impossible to understand. When asked about this, the the calm neighbors would smile and reply with an understandable Gospel. Before it all, the immediate response to a faith message was “great, they’re going to tell me how I can be just like them if only I follow the rules” Now there was a serious response to the joy found in seeking the Lord. There was dialogue and questions. Then we began to reveal how much we thought and felt about this similar ‘bad’ behavior in ourselves. Certainly not saints but somehow happy and …well, free. No rules given, just paying attention to the hunger for human contact everyone was experiencing. You could see it in the eyes. Love your neighbor, it was written somewhere important. Jesus was the only reliable expert to listen to. He told the truth, every time.
The somewhat simple explanation from these volunteers was easily understood. Many times there was a request to have them visit again if possible. It was was new and stunning. No suits and ties, no endorsements of local church connections. No tracts or phony glad handing. Real missionaries. The calmness and strength of these people was what everyone needed. The usual isolation and fear of each other was being replaced with community and trust. Civilization began anew and the world began looking brighter.
After a short while, safe housing was set up for the desperate people and civilization came back to stay. There was no doubt that Jesus had done a miracle and there was great hope and strength spreading throughout the land. We knew who was in charge of everything and wasn’t us and it wasn’t government either. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator