Daily Archives: March 8, 2020

(NPR) WHO Official Says Coronavirus Containment Remains Possible

“China has 31 provinces, thousands of cities,” notes Aylward. “And it was only a few cities where they took those draconian measures. In the vast majority of them, they … really went back to fundamentals of public health.”

These included ensuring that there was enough testing capacity to quickly identify cases, isolating infected patients, tracing anyone who had contact with them and, when necessary, placing those contacts in quarantine facilities so they wouldn’t get infected by the sick person or spread the disease further. Also, in places where clusters of cases were emerging, authorities prohibited mass gatherings.

“That’s how they stopped it in the areas with over 1.3 billion people,” says Aylward. “We spent two weeks on the ground looking at the data. Every other province [beyond Hubei, where Wuhan is located] had hundreds, if not thousands, of cases, not unlike the situation you see in European countries or in the U.S. These are massive provinces with tens and even a hundred million people in them.”

In short, Aylward says, “it wasn’t a lockdown everywhere. That’s the wrong way to portray China’s approach to the disease. And that’s leading to some fundamental confusion and failure to do the right things.”

Read it all.

Posted in China, Globalization, Health & Medicine

(WSJ) Niall Ferguson–‘Network Effects’ Multiply a Viral Threat

‘The coronavirus panic is dumb.” I hesitate to disagree with Elon Musk, but here goes.

The wrong way to think about the rapid spread around the world of the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, and the disease it causes, Covid-19, is to say—as another smart and wealthy man put it to me last Monday—“Remember the H1N1-A virus of 2009? Neither do I. It infected a significant chunk of the globe, killed 20,000 U.S. citizens and we got over it pretty quickly.” He might have added that 20,000 is less than half the number of Americans who died of influenza and pneumonia in 2017.

H1N1, also known as swine flu, was a form of influenza. The reproductive number—the number of people a carrier typically infected, R0 for short—was 1.75. In the U.S., the CDC estimates that H1N1 infected 60.8 million people and killed 12,469, for a mortality rate of 0.02%

This new coronavirus—which is not influenza—appears to have a higher R0 and a much higher mortality rate. That rate is almost certainly lower than the World Health Organization suggested last week (3.4%), but it is still much higher than for H1N1. South Korea, which probably has the most accurate data given its aggressive testing regime, reports 50 deaths from 7,313 infections, a mortality rate of 0.68%. If as many Americans catch Covid-19 as caught swine flu, the death toll could exceed 440,000.

In short, Covid-19 has the potential to make 2020 much more than a bad flu season. To understand why, we need to apply more sophisticated frameworks than are being employed by most lay commentators, billionaires included….

Read it all.

Posted in Globalization, Health & Medicine

Bp Mark Lawrence–Springtime: The Seedtimes of Your Life

This Ember day, coming as it does right before spring, is a season focused on sowing, but it is of interest to more than gardeners and farmers. The agricultural practice of sowing seed became for the biblical writers a metaphor of the spiritual life. Hosea used it figuratively of God sowing Israel in the Promised Land; Jeremiah, for God making Israel fruitful; Zechariah for sowing Israel abroad in the diaspora; and the Psalmist by fashioning his prayer from the metaphor:

“He who goes out weeping, /bearing the seed for sowing,
Shall come home with shouts of joy, /bringing his sheaves with him.”(Ps. 126)

Later Jewish writers told of “God sowing virtues in the soul” much as we approach the Lenten disciplines as cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s word in sowing the new life of the Spirit and the rhythms of grace into ever-deeper aspects of our lives.

Jesus uses this image of sowing in his well-known Parable of the Sower to teach about the Kingdom of God. The Sower going out to sow tossed the seed abroad in the field of the world. That is trust God and share the Gospel. Share the Gospel and trust God. So also in other parables such as the Growing Grain and the Mustard Seed the sowing metaphor found a place in his teaching (Mark 4:26-32).

St. Paul, likewise, used the metaphor of sowing to teach essential principles of the spiritual life. As he notes in Galatians 6:7-10: “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well- doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Then again, in 2 Corinthians 9:6 he takes up this metaphor afresh: “The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So, too, with these spring Ember days or seedtime. It is an opportunity to reflect upon the simple but profound truth that there can be many spring times in our lives—days for sowing and planting. Spring is not just a season for the young. Sowing and planting can refer to sowing words of encouragement; to prayers cultivated in private; gifts and alms planted in secret; sharing an experience of God’s faithfulness; writing a letter, email or text to friend; a note to someone going through a difficult time; a hug, a hand on the shoulder, or a greeting on the street.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Jeremy Taylor

Eternal God, who has made all things for man, and man for thy glory: Sanctify our bodies and souls, our thoughts and our intentions, our words and actions. Let our body be a servant of our mind, and both body and spirit servants of Jesus Christ; that doing all things for thy glory here, we may be partakers of thy glory hereafter; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!

–Psalm 24:7-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture