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One of the questions we consistently hear is whether a stay-at-home or a shelter-in-place order should be implemented. Many point out that Iowa is one of a few states that hasn’t issued a similar order to combat the spread of COVID-19. The reality is, Iowa is already doing a number of these things, and in some instances implementing more closures than states with a shelter-in-place order.

Since the beginning of March, Governor Reynolds has implemented school closures, closed non-essential stores, and places where large groups of people gather. These orders include clothing stores, gyms, movie theaters, and dine-in restaurants.

Much like states that issued stay-at-home orders, the only places allowed to remain open in Iowa are those considered essential, like grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies and public works. In some instances, Iowa has even stricter rules than those states with stay-at-home orders, like limiting funerals, weddings and places of worship to no more than ten people.

On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Governor Reynolds. He complimented Iowa’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus, saying our state functionally has a stay-at-home order.

Iowa is working to strike a balance between doing what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state and keeping essential services available to those who need. Iowans will continue to feed the world. Regardless of the terminology, the strategy remains the same: Stay home as much as you can, isolate yourself if you feel sick, and make as few trips to the store as possible.

The writer in Psalms 39 reminds us that “Surely every man at his best is a mere breath,” and asks God to “remove Thy plague from me.”

How fitting those words from Psalm 39 are today! While we stay home, most of us have more time to contemplate life and its purpose. One thing is sure, we will all die. As one song says, “This world is not my own. I’m just a passing through.” God provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him through Jesus’s death and resurrection. He created our souls to yearn for meaning in this life. If we live life on our own (disobedient to God’s ways) we may feel successful according to the world. However, we may find we do not have peace. Something is lacking.

The promise of Easter is that Jesus died and conquered death and the power it has over us. God loves us. We need not be condemned to eternal separation from God and His goodness. If we acknowledge our way is imperfect and accept what Jesus did for us, He will meet us where we are, give us hope and meaning for today and eternity with Him. At age 18, I ceased to question God’s existence and yielded my will to one greater than myself. My life has had meaning and peace because I will be with Him after death. It is my prayer that you have peace with God, both in this world and in the world to come.

It is a privilege to serve you in District 4. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dennis Guth

Author: Dennis Guth