The Virus that stole Christmas: It’s no fable


By Bill Shepard

When reading this article, a lot of people will recall reading or hearing about The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I confess that I never read Dr. Seuss’ children’s book about the Grinch stealing Christmas, but when I decided to write this article and use the title, I set out to learn about that Grinch. I found out that the Grinch was a grumpy, solitary made-up creature who lived inside a cave on Mount Crumpet with his loyal dog, Max. The only time he saw anyone was when he ran out of food. He set out to prevent the inhabitants of Whoville, an imaginary place and people, from celebrating and having a great time for Christmas. Not having read the book, I had found some information about the story. I asked one person if he could tell me what a Grinch was. He said that it was a nasty being that did not want anybody to have any fun. I finally got in touch with my daughter who lives in Florida, and she said she had the story about the Grinch and she read the story to me over the phone. Now I have heard the entire story about the Grinch! On with my story about the Virus, a nasty fellow that stole Christmas. And before that, he or she or it stole Thanksgiving, and afterwards New Year’s Day celebrations and is now threatening to steal Easter and beyond. Some predict that our Grinch will be with us and robbing us of our fun times on into the summer. Unlike the Grinch in the Christmas story, our Virus Grinch is real; although at first and for a long time, some refused to believe it to be real or true. “It is just a hoax,” they said. “Do not let it rob you of your good times, just be careful and ignore it and it will soon move on!” Some awakened and began to hearken to what we were being told by those who were in positions to know the seriousness of the condition that we were and still are experiencing. Even after the deaths began to be reported there were those in high positions who continued to deny that the Virus was anything to be alarmed about. I recall some who said, “Come winter, it will go away!” Winter is here and the case and death reports are as high or higher than ever. Just a few days ago, I received a telephone call from a long-time friend. She was asking for prayer for her father who had just been admitted to the hospital here in the Upstate. Her dad and I were longtime friends, dating back to the ’50s. Two days later, another call came. The Virus had claimed its victim, my dear and longtime friend! No, my friends, this Virus is not play-acting. It is not a hoax. The above story has been carried out in thousands of homes here in South Carolina and beyond. Try convincing any of those in whose homes an empty chair sits at the table that it is just a hoax and that the onetime occupant will soon or ever be back. As for my friend, I will never enter the little church where we both attended together occasionally and sat side by side that I will not think of the Virus that robbed me of my Thanksgiving, Christmas, and most importantly, my old friend. I do hope and pray that the Virus that has played such a devastating role in the lives of millions in America and elsewhere will soon be over. We can all play a part by obeying the advice that is given to us by those that are in the thick of the fight! For those who believe in prayer, as I do, we can pray. “If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV)


Author: Stephan Drew

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