Last updated on January 19, 2023
I provide broadcast captioning for television. I might caption five or more hours of sports on any given day, especially on the weekends. Baseball, basketball, and hockey are the three main ones, but I also caption football, all kinds—American, Australian, and real football—the kind that consumes the hearts of sports fanatics in Europe.
All of that ended with the shutdown of sports. I used to wonder what would happen if people didn’t have sports to watch. For many, it’s an addiction—to escape from problems, to enjoy a pastime, to be entertained, and on and on. I waited a long time to caption sports until my children were much older. I could never see myself captioning a baseball game into the thirteenth inning and serving dinner two hours late with a two-year-old and nine-year-old waiting to be fed.
But eventually, I did caption sports; first baseball, then basketball, and then all the rest. Last week on ESPN, I captioned a fiery knife thrower, bare-hand fish hunters, and hill rollers—or something like that.
I never quite got the gist of that last sport that took place in the U.K., but it was obvious the sports producer was digging into the very bottom of the sports barrel hoping live sports would be resurrected soon.
So now, instead of captioning baseball—my favorite sport to caption—I’m captioning Coronavirus press conferences of President Trump, governors around the country, city mayors, local doctors, nurses, and even recovering Coronavirus patients. I had to come up with a good brief for hydroxychloroquine. Who would have thought I would ever need to know what that word meant?
Even with all the books, I’ve read and YouTube videos I’ve watched dealing with apocalyptic scenarios, partly out of my own interest but also as research for my Seventh Dimension Series, I can’t remember seeing anything that took on the scope of this pandemic, although I have heard scientists predict that we were past due for flu similar to the Spanish flu of 1918.
We had just moved with their marriage the previous week, and I was living in an unfamiliar part of town. I remember them telling me what would be safe to eat, that anything in a can would be okay, but practically nothing else. And I was acutely aware of death—of my own, theirs, or classmates. I had a scary feeling that my world, as tenuous as it was, might soon come to an end.
Whether you love Trump or hate him, I would encourage you, as an American, to support him. We need everyone to come together and do their part to help us get through this. The one thing I keep hearing over and over is that people need to stay home. By staying home, we can slow down the exponential increase in cases, hopefully long enough to spread out the need for ventilators over a longer period to save lives.
Many years ago, when my daughter, Joy, was in third grade, I contracted shingles. I’d never had shingles and didn’t know what it was, but my eye was a mess, and it hurt. I finally made an appointment with an ophthalmologist, in between a hectic captioning schedule to see what was going on. The doctor examined me and said I had an eye infection. As an afterthought, I said, “You know, I also have this rash on my forehead.”The doctor stopped what he was doing and examined my forehead. Immediately he exclaimed, “You’ve got shingles.”
My mother had had shingles, and she had told me more than once how painful it was. No wonder I was in so much pain. The doctor looked at my eye again and shook his head. “It’s a wonder you didn’t lose your eyesight. You would have if the spread had gone down instead of up.”
I went home that night thankful that somebody discovered a cure for shingles and that I’d feel much better in a few days. I don’t remember many shows I’ve captioned over ten years ago, but I remember the show I did that night. It was on QVC, and the woman was from Asia and spoke with the heaviest accent you could have and still call it English. I couldn’t open that eye, and so I captioned that hour-long show squinting in pain in a language that sounded nothing like English. I hope they sold some jewelry that night. If they did, I’m sure it wasn’t because of my perfect captions. Lord only knows what I wrote!
“What? No, she can’t have chickenpox. She had chickenpox when she was a baby.” Or did she?
Joy had broken out in a rash while on vacation in Destin, Florida, and I had taken her to the emergency clinic. The doctor said he was ninety percent sure it was chickenpox. So I took his word for it and never got her the vaccine. Well, I guess she didn’t have chickenpox after all. I returned home from my out-of-town trip early, took her to the pediatrician, and received the diagnosis: chickenpox.
Joy stayed home from school and gymnastics practice for the next seven to ten days. Unexpectedly, after she returned to school, she came home with a letter from the school principal that went something like this: It has come to our attention that we have had an outbreak of chickenpox in our school. Several cases have been reported, and if your child breaks out with a rash, has a fever…”
Revelation 6:5-6 (KJV): And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, “Come and see.” And I beheld, and lo, a black horse, and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
Could the opening of the seals happen before the seven-year tribulation? If that is true, we may be closer to the return of Christ than many of us have imagined.
Take time to read the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. Ask God to help you reprioritize what’s most important. The emotional impact may be exhausting. Pray for one other, that God will meet our needs—financial, spiritual, and physical—to help us through this difficult time.