Commentary: Merry Christmas! With COVID-19 around, it’s not very merry at all.

Commentary: Merry Christmas! With COVID-19 around, it’s not very merry at all.
December 22
13:28 2021

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

There are few seasons that make us more joyful and more thankful than Christmas. It is celebrated like no other.

Our attitudes become more positive and our outlook on life is more hopeful. We truly believe better days are ahead.

Children love Christmas and all that is associated with it. Family and friends get together. Gifts are exchanged and toys are opened.

Everyone is excited about the Christmas season. What can be better? The buildup to Christmas alone will make you move around and get happy.

When I was a boy growing up in North Carolina, Christmas was filled with love and laughter. We had a real Christmas tree with lots of decorations, some even homemade.

I took a picture with Santa, so it was special. My parents put out cookies and milk for Santa. When I got up Christmas morning only cookie crumbs were left and the glass was empty. Santa Claus had been to my house!

If you are in the 4th quarter like me, you have some Santa stories to tell too.

Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate not the gifts, but the goodness brought on by the birth of Jesus. It gives us the foundation for our being here as believers.

Back in the day, I do not remember world sickness and death associated with the holiday season. There were not any special announcements about getting shots or wearing masks.

Now the Christmas season is different, at least the last two have been. It is my opinion that the caution we are using now will be the same caution we will be using in the future. The coronavirus has ravaged the land. Never in the history of the world have we had one illness that has caused so much pain and suffering. Watch any nightly newscast and one of the top stories will be about COVID-19.

The delta and omicron variants have put additional fear and anxiety into our lives. Each day, we just don’t know when it will strike us or a family member. That’s frightening.

As we approach this holy time of year, sickness and death are accompanying it. We are in a terrible stretch right now. However, we must hold on and keep the faith!

The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering reports that 5.3 million people worldwide have passed away because of COVID-19. There have been over 805,000 deaths in the United States of America. These numbers of gloom are scary and staggering.

In my opinion, there needs to be even more of a sense of urgency about COVID-19. According to the CDC, only 61% of us are vaccinated. That is a low number, especially for an illness that has had this type of longevity.

Too many of us are just waiting for it to disappear and evaporate into thin air. You will have a long wait because it is not going anywhere.

With Christmas coming in a few days, combined with this sickness, we should feel blessed. Some of us have been through the coronavirus and lived to tell our story.

If you are into gift giving, give someone the gift of vaccine. We all have family and friends who need to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, they are stuck on stubborn.

Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus and at the same time be a blessing to someone else.

Tomorrow is certainly not promised. However, we will have a better chance to see tomorrow if we get vaccinated. Our family life can be a healthy life when we get vaccinated.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at

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