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Glad to “miss” you

Media outlets are quick to seize upon the exaggerations of President Trump and the times he, supposedly, stretches the truth. They love to “fact-check” the president, as if no other politician plays loose with the truth. A politician playing loose with the truth? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Trump actually admitted that he didn’t know something the other day. Neither had I realized that every year tens of thousands of Americans die from influenza. According the Center for Disease Control (CDC), at least 20,000 Americans have already died in this current flu season and the number could rise much higher.

I have had the flu a few times in my life, but it’s been a while, thank the Lord. All I know is that I don’t want to get it!

Here’s another thing I learned in discussions about the flu. A member of my family lost her life to flu. My grandmother’s mother died during the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 when about 27% of the world’s population was stricken by that virus.

My great grandmother was one of at least 20 million who died and the number was probably closer to 50 million or more! At this time, the death toll from the coronavirus has just passed 4,000.

It’s tricky to find something humorous about a serious epidemic, but I am reminded of one of my favorite movie scenes. This one is from the movie Crocodile Dundee where the star, Paul Hogan, and his girlfriend are confronted by a gang member who brandishes a switchblade knife.

Crocodile Dundee is asked for his wallet and his girl says, “Give him your wallet, he’s got a knife.” The switchblade may have had a 6 inch blade.

Dundee reaches behind him and pulls what looks like a machete and says, “Ah, that’s not a knife; this is a knife!” The gang members vamoose!

With all the talk about the current coronavirus, when compared to the Spanish flu of 1918, I might say, “That’s [the coronavirus] not a virus; the Spanish flu, now that’s a virus!” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be careful with any sort of flu.

Even the influenza that we already endure each season is dangerous. The 20 thousand Americans who have already died from it is sad and there could be tens of thousands more, but there is an irony that we haven’t shut down any portion of our economic engine because of that influenza.

The president and I have learned something together. I was unaware of the dangers posed by the influenza that has been among us for years. We should be more careful and considerate of others when we have that flu.

I spoke about this on Sunday. We have some real “troopers” in our nation when it comes to colds and flu. We may have fevers and soreness all over our bodies, but sometimes we are like Broadway actors. “The show must go on.” We drag ourselves out of bed; fever, cough, sneezes, sniffles, stuffiness, and all the other symptoms.

I know I’ve done that, but I told my faithful members, “Don’t do that! If you have something going on, health-wise, and don’t know what it is, be reasonable.”

When you’re sick, go to the doctor. Don’t go to work, concerts, sporting events, or church. Especially those places where you are side-by-side with many others.

I pray that no one in your family or in our town gets the coronavirus or any other kind of flu. But, if you do, stay home and get well. We’ll miss you. We’ll be glad to miss you!