I recently read the HSJ Online article about the 1918 pandemic written by Bud Herron.

If you haven’t read it, I’d highly recommend you do. Besides being interesting, well researched and well written, it’s a great reminder that history repeats itself – not only for our community but for our families.

In the fall of 1918 in Norfolk, Virginia, my great-grandfather, John Rumpke, was in Naval training when he was declared dead as a result of the pandemic. His body was carried to the morgue where bodies of his fellow soldiers were being held before being processed. By some miracle, he began breathing again on his own and somehow got out of the room. Eventually, he made a full physical recovery although I suspect that the memory of the event haunted him for many years.

I’m obviously grateful that my great-grandpa did recover. If he hadn’t, David Webster, my former fifth grade teacher, would have had to pick on someone else to write an article to fill this spot. The assignment I was tasked with by Dave was to let everyone know how I’ve been filling my time during this COVID-19 epidemic.

While I hope that you picked up on the bit of subtle sarcasm directed at my good friend and former teacher, it wasn’t intended to make light of the amount of suffering that so many are dealing with as a result of this horrible virus. The bad news of what it’s doing to our community, our nation, other nations around the globe, and the world economy is overwhelming. I suspect that the news is the same for you as it is for me–depressing.

In response, I’m doing what some of you have done and turned off the news, instead focusing on the upbeat and positive. I’m trying to make lemonade from a lemon of a situation.

To begin with, I’ve been looking for a publisher for my first book. When I’m desperate for something to laugh at, I look at the total royalties that my song, “I’d Do It All Over With You,” has netted. The last time I checked, it was up to a whopping $2.96.

Re-reading the New Testament, taking more walks in our woods, and keeping in better contact with friends and family via the phone are just a few of the other items on my recent to-do list. So too, I am taking care of the yard and enjoying more time with my wife, Michele Ann. Together, we’ve done things like watching “The Chosen,” a new series, as well as admiring the beauty of Indiana’s springtime.

Finally, I pray for history to repeat itself once again with a quick end to this disaster… for all our sakes.