The Angel Of Death

The Angel of Death is passing over the land. But instead of sparing those who had marked their doors with lamb’s blood, as in the Passover story, this angel mostly spares those who have been vaccinated and boosted.

Politicians like Sarah Palin don’t get it. Interviewed by Charlie Kirk at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest, she said, “It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do it. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids, either.” Sarah Palin Denounces Getting Covid-19 Vaccine, Says ‘Over My Dead Body’ (

Ah, but this virus is not deterred by defiant declarations.

In the Passover story, God tries again and again to convince the Egyptians to mend their ways. He turns the Nile into blood. He sends frogs, lice, wild beasts, cattle disease and more. The ninth plague is darkness. The last is the slaying of the firstborn.

Nowadays, one can easily imagine (if one chooses) a God who sends floods, raging forest fires, high maternal mortality, mass killings, school shootings and multiple murders by police and of police.

Some have promised to do better, as did Pharaoh: “I have sinned; this time . . . I will let you go.”

But like Pharoah, we have forgotten our promises and hardened our hearts. Otherwise, we would have enacted sane gun laws after 20 elementary school children between the ages of 6 and 7 were killed at Sandy Hook. Thousands of other examples come to mind.

At some point, like Pharoah, we may have felt empathy, but again from Exodus, those who fail to stop harming others again and again, after countless warnings, reach the point of no return. Their hearts are hardened beyond repair.

Exodus teaches that a society that glorifies individualism is doomed to fail. Only by rejecting narcissism and greed and the belief that some of us are innately better than others and that those we dislike must be punished (we will find a reason) — only then can our nation survive. Modern America falls short by not giving all its citizens the opportunity to have decent food and shelter, or access to basic healthcare. Gov. Greg Abbott refuses to expand Medicaid — another example — leaving more than 20% of Texans without health coverage.

The Angel of Death hovers over us, waiting to strike again, and again. COVID was not enough, nor was the Delta variant. Will Omicron be the clarion call?

Will we see the urgency of the now, like the Hebrews who left before their bread could rise? Will we stand before the Red Sea and finally have the courage to fulfill our moral obligations by taking care of each other?

Or will too many of us heed Sarah Palin: “You need to all look around and … realize that those around you, as you stiffen your spine, their spines, too, will stiffen!” . . . And there is an empowerment in a group like this where you all can feed off each other, and really be strong.”

Or strongly dead — in spirit, if not in body.




Journalist, professor, mother, rabble-rouser.

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Dr. Barbara Chiarello

Dr. Barbara Chiarello

Journalist, professor, mother, rabble-rouser.

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