The Press and Banner asked various County residents what they thought America would look like in the “post-pandemic” era. Below you can find the response of Ed Patton of Abbeville.
I am an old man now, soon to turn 76 long years. I firmly believe in putting life into perspective. When I was a young man, the terrible epidemic of polio was sweeping our land. When I was eight, I remember my mother’s gripping fear of that pandemic.
In 1952, there were 57,000 cases in the U.S. Pools were closed along with many other things, but we all came through it. When I was in the 6th or 7th grade our teacher lined us up against a wall and told us to be quiet. The school did not need resource officers in those days. We stood quiet... wondering. At the head of the line was a nurse dressed in white. She moved gradually down the line, giving us all a little square of sugar with something on it. We did not know that Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a vaccine for polio. Everyone was so grateful, so very grateful. We could play outside, run and jump and go swimming.
We Southerners are a hardy lot. We have been through much. The Civil War, reconstruction, the boll weevil and the depression. During these days of the pandemic there are lessons to be learned and relearned. I pray that after the pandemic eases, things that matter will surely resurface and cause us all to be stronger: the love and closeness of family and friends, checking on a neighbor, bringing a meal to those in need and sitting with other worshipers in our churches. Yes, there will continue to be social distancing and the like, but we will be OK.
I just finished a ZOOM smartphone setup so my little Tuesday morning Bible study class can see each other and study God’s word, always remembering what he told us: Romans 5:3-4. “3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worked patience; 4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope”.
Each Sunday I go online to listen to our First Baptist Church’s message, then to my Grandmother’s home church in Oconee County, Georgia and then to my boyhood church: the First Baptist Church of Stone Mountain. All online and full of music, good preaching and hope.