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A Million Thanks to Dolly Parton

This great friend of Guideposts is decidedly not a “chicken squat.” She celebrates and gets her shot!

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I want to say a personal thanks to one of Guideposts’ greatest friends and supporters, the one and only Dolly Parton. Aside from the fact that she is a great American and a national treasure, Dolly donated a million of her own dollars to the development of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which I just got my second shot of. In fact, I got it a few days before Dolly got her first shot, which doesn’t seem fair. She’s older than me, right? Check out Dolly’s celebratory video here. It’s a hoot.

A lot of people are getting vaccinated and there is a chance, a prayer, that we might actually get summer back this year as the vaccine supply increases. Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate? I am back in New York for the week, almost one year to the day when I fled the city thinking it would only be for a week or so and never this.

Better writers than I have tried to capture the ensuing horror of those dark early pandemic days here. And it just kept getting worse, with bodies being stacked in refrigerated trucks because the morgues were overflowing, and morticians couldn’t work any faster. The thought that more than a half million Americans would die over the next 12 months would have been more than most of us could bear. It still is. Yet what a blessing it is to see life returning to the streets, the hustle and the bustle, people resuming to their daily routines.

This pandemic brought death and misery, and it’s not over. Yet the end is getting closer thanks to a lot of brilliant science and, for my money, a lot of prayer, including a few of my own. I feel these vaccines are the answer to our prayers. Getting vaccinated does more than just protect you and by extension others. It does more than just make it possible to hug your grandchildren again or go to a ballgame. Getting the vaccine is a profound act of gratitude to God for delivering us from this disease. To refuse it is to refuse God. In my opinion, at least.

Don’t just take it from me. Take it from Dolly: “Don’t be a chicken squat!”

In all seriousness, please get your vaccine if you can or if you are still thinking about it. Of course, no one has to get the shot. But I don’t want to hear about any more of you getting sick or worse. And let’s all get together this summer.

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