...about traveling all over the area 

lending a hand wherever, whenever, and however I can

The pandemic’s end hopefully drawing nigh

Although the warmer months of spring and summer are approaching and daylight-saving time has begun, it feels the days are becoming shorter. These past two weeks have been overwhelmingly short, largely because the needs in our community are so great. Two weeks after flood waters wreaked havoc on peoples’ homes – destroying livelihoods and valuable personal belongings – our community is grappling with a burden to bear. 
 
I began writing Conversations with Caleb in 2020 because I felt compelled to do so. I saw a great need rise following the many events we have endured over the course of the past several years. My largest goal is centered around my great desire to comfort people who are struggling. 
 
I opted to not write a piece last week. Through a clear lens of honesty and humanity, my decision was made because I had no words to share. No typed piece holds the power to comfort people facing such great devastation. When there are no words, though, there are hugs, tears, and sometimes a combination of both. I have also prayed time and time again. 
 
I have travelled to Breathitt County locations almost daily since the flood recovery efforts shifted gears. To put it simply, our folks are in need of great help. I have always been less of a manual labor guy and more of a consoler. I feel encouraging and uplifting folks is my greatest way of giving during this time. I have simultaneously worked to connect individuals with resources to help them. 
 
I have talked with folks who live in homes off of Old Quicksand Road, folks who live in remote areas such as the community based around HWY-476, and so on. A spirit of unity in Breathitt County has been a great blessing. One idea is shared by most: we will get through this together. 
 
Those words have allowed hope to make way across our Commonwealth for several months. In a time of great distress, Kentuckians from all regions have focused on faith and hope, and the two entities have allowed us to progress forward. In many ways, a light is shining at the end of the tunnel – which is now in sight.
 
The pandemic’s end is nearing because of the work of our leaders. In Washington, much needed funding for testing and vaccine distribution efforts was approved by Congress and President Biden. Direct payments of $1400 to Americans are sure to assist in many ways, including by covering the cost of necessities such as utilities.
 
When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, I highly recommend signing up to receive the shot as soon as you are eligible. I received my first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on March 9 and I have felt only great knowing I am on a route to protection from severe COVID-19 illness. 
 
In the days, weeks, months, and years to come, I will continue to focus on faith to help me move forward as we face numerous crises. Our collective faith will serve as an anchor during the storm, and we will get through this. If you need me, I am here. 
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