Being a native of West Virginia, I’m used to my home state coming last on way too many lists. But with just two cases of coronavirus in the state as of today, it’s nice to see the Mountain State at the bottom of the list.

Which has given rise to some pretty hilarious Facebook posts and a t-shirt I just may have to buy (see photo). Of course, if you’ve read my blog for long, you may recall that 1863 is the year West Virginia split from Virginia to become its own state in a, well, interesting way. So yeah, social distancing before it was a thing.

I’m still trying to find the version that says, “You stay in your holler and I’ll stay in mine,” on the back.

Of course, there have been some interesting theories about the low incidence of the disease in my home state:

  • They just weren’t testing anyone.
  • They weren’t reporting cases.
  • No one was getting tested (stubborn Mountaineers!).
  • The virus actually swept through last year undetected giving the population immunity.
  • And my favorite – People who grow up close to the land, eating wild game and gardens stuff while living a rustic, rural life are simply less susceptible.

In the end, I don’t think it matters why there have been fewer cases in West Virginia. We can be pretty certain by now that no population is immune. But West Virginians are pretty good at finding the humor even in a pandemic. And joy is something we can hold on to.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.