Daily Archives: March 16, 2020

(MW) How long will coronavirus last? It depends — but ‘prepare yourself for a long ride’

That will depend on several variables, according to public health experts, some of which remain unknown. For instance, scientists still don’t know whether warm weather will suppress the virus, as it does the seasonal flu, said Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development think tank and former USAID official in the Obama administration, told MarketWatch.

Experts also don’t know whether COVID-19 will become a seasonal bug akin to influenza, or whether it might return in the fall in a mutated form, said Joshua Epstein, a professor of epidemiology at the NYU School of Global Public Health. Even after a vaccine is developed, he added, some Americans are likely to refuse it.

One thing seems clear: “The length of time that this is with us is really a function of how good a job we do right now of limiting the spread,” Konyndyk told MarketWatch.

To that end, the CDC has urged “social distancing” — that is, steering clear of mass gatherings and staying about six feet away from other people when possible — to help slow the transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. And, counterintuitively, a longer period of precautions like social distancing could mean better outcomes in the long run, experts say.

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Posted in Health & Medicine

No normal services in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina for the next two weeks

Christ Saint Paul’stakes the health and well being of our parishioners seriously. With the unknown possibilities of the spread of the coronavirus, the Bishop and CSP leadership has decided for the next two weeks, not to hold our regular services and events.

But we do have new and innovative ways to stay connected to our families to share with you!…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

(Vice) CDC Tells Morticians to Livestream Funerals

Even in grief, the rules of hand hygiene and social isolation apply.

That’s what thousands of funeral directors learned Monday when they joined a Facebook livestream to hear firsthand from the U.S. Centers for Disease, Control, and Prevention how coronavirus will change how Americans die and are buried.

The new disease, which has killed more than 6,500 people worldwide since it emerged in China in late 2019, has put an end to social gatherings around the world. In the United States, the CDC advised organizers to cancel or postpone any events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks across the country. This extends to “large funerals,” said David Berendes, an epidemiologist with the CDC. (It also applies to weddings, which should also be canceled.)

Other countries are grappling with similar issues. In Italy, which has Europe’s largest elderly population, 300 people died on Monday alone, according to the New York Times. Morgues are overflowing and funerals are illegal after the country banned civil and religious ceremonies outright to stop the spread of the disease.

Berendes recommended digital solutions to the mortician’s dilemma: “If livestreaming and limiting events to immediate family is possible, we encourage that,” he said. For those who do visit funeral homes, Berendes recommends having hand sanitizer at the ready and staggering funeral services so that different families don’t overlap.

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Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine

(CLJ) The Catholic Artist in a Neo-Pagan Age

Mariani stands apart from this. His poetry, as explained in my essay, restores the term “confessional” to its sacramental significance. It is not a secret diary blown open by the wind or a police blotter plunging downward in a column of newsprint, as it were, but a prayerful record of self-discovery made in the presence of God. Saint Augustine’s Confessions is the most obvious antecedent alongside those distinctly modern features of his poetry that come from Lowell among others. I return to Mariani’s work, once again, because his own discussion of the vocation of the Catholic poet seems such a fruitful point of departure in answering the question, what must the Catholic artist do, in our day or in any day?

For his answer, Mariani draws our attention finally and above all to the example of Saint Paul, and to surprising effect. In the very center of the Acts of the Apostles, we watch as Paul comes to Athens; he finds a great “market place” of ideas, where “Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” meet him amid the Jews and gentiles of a city that, as Paul himself proclaims, must be “very religious” (17:18; 22). Very religious indeed, as the city is chock full of idols; their various devotions are multiplied by their decadent curiosity, which Luke describes by recording that “all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21). This is not the Athens of Plato, where the question of philosophy was a question of life and death, but the Athens of the Roman Empire, where Roman curiosity has become a kind of indulgent decadence, a place where interest in ideas was only increased by a doubt that any of them finally were to be credited and adopted. They had an interest in wisdom but little hope that anyone actually could be wise.

These pagans had, however, arrived at an intellectual maturity, where philosophical reflection had deepened traditional religion until the bold natural theology of Aristotle, with its prime mover and final cause, and Plato’s absolutely transcendent Good, understood as one god, supreme, father of all, had become something like the common sense of all educated persons.[2] They represent therefore an unfortunate but familiar coupling: genuine intellectual sophistication, rigorous refinement, and decadent unseriousness.

Saint Paul, as he comes to address these pagans in the Areopagus, appeals to both dimensions of their character. To their sound metaphysics and natural theology, he proclaims that the “unknown god” at last has been given a name and may be known to each person most intimately: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth . . . is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’”(17:24; 27-28). More subtly, he corrects their clever unseriousness, by wryly observing, “I perceive that in every way you are very religious,” and by provoking them to recall that, beneath decadent curiosity, lies a genuine eros to know the truth and to be saved, to “seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him” (17:22; 27).

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Posted in Apologetics, Art, Poetry & Literature, Roman Catholic, Theology

Martyn Davie–A Basic Christian Primer On Sex, Marriage And Family Life. Article 6 – Men, Women And Marriage In The World To Come.

In the New Testament we learn from Jesus that those who live in this new creation ‘neither marry nor are given in n marriage, but are like angels in heaven’ ( Matthew 22: 30). This teaching by Jesus does not mean that we shall stop being male and female. As we learn from the example of Jesus, our resurrected bodies will retain the same sex that they have now. This means that if we are male or female now we shall be male or female then.

What this teaching does mean is that in the world to come marriage as we know it, involving sexual intercourse and the procreation of children, will be no more. The number of people God wills to inherit his new creation will have been brought into existence and because there will be no more death their number will not diminish. Hence there will be no need for procreative sex, hence there will be no more need for one flesh unions and hence marriage as it exists now will be no more.

However, this does not mean that marriage as such will cease to be. On the contrary, the New Testament tells us that at the centre of the life of the new creation there will be the ‘marriage of the Lamb’ (Revelation 19:6-9, 21: 2 & 9), the marriage between God and humanity that will endure for eternity.

This eternal marriage is the transcendent reality which marriage in this world foreshadows. In the words of Peter Kreeft; ‘The earthly intimacy with the beloved is a tiny, distant, spark of the bonfire that is the heavenly intimacy with God.’

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Posted in Anthropology, Eschatology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) A Sunday Without Worship: In Crisis, a Nation Asks, ‘What Is Community?

COLUMBIA, MD. — It was Sunday morning, and the vast parking lots of Bridgeway Community Church sat empty.

Instead of greeting thousands of worshipers, volunteers stood in the damp cold, ready to explain to anyone who might not have heard that services are now online only, at least until the threat of Covid-19 has passed.

Inside, the Missions Cafe was closed. The halls no longer resounded with congregants singing or children racing to Sunday school. For a church whose stated mission is to be a multicultural community “where people were sad they had to wait a week to come back,” waiting took on a whole new meaning.

This week, as the coronavirus has spread, one American ritual after another has vanished. March Madness is gone. No more morning gym workouts or lunches with co-workers. No more visits to grandparents in nursing homes. The Boston Marathon, held through war and weather since 1897, was postponed.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(ERLC) The church must be a refuge in the midst of fear

COVID-19 is a great opportunity for witness. Our communities are full of scared people. Depression, anxiety, and suicide are all likely to spike in the next few weeks. I can guarantee you of this: COVID-19 comes paired with a mental health epidemic. Bereft of community, the outdoors, work, and school, individuals and families will face an unprecedented assault on their minds. The Church must respond. We must make our services physically safe places, adopting a higher standard of hygiene than wider society, so that we can provide a refuge of mind and spirit to scared people.

Since COVID-19 is especially dangerous to elders, churches can seize the opportunity to deliver food and basic supplies to older people in their communities so that they don’t have to go out. This will save lives, minister to the spirits of these dear brothers and sisters, and be a witness to all of their watching neighbors.

Since COVID-19 will lead to school cancellations, Christian families can organize parent-shares for small groups of kids, and use these as opportunities for discipleship in the home, which has proven to have an immensely fruitful effect.

Since COVID-19 will cause many people to be afraid, Christians can, when appropriate, meet friends for dinner or coffee and talk about fear, and the God who casts out all fear. We can explain that we’re just as afraid as everyone else, that we aren’t really very brave people: but Christ died for us. Whom then shall we fear? COVID-19? Hardly.

Since shortages of basic commodities are a guarantee, Christians can set an example of community support. Our churches can pool masks, soap, and other supplies from members, distributing as needed. Our church supplies a week of masks to everyone who shows up on Sunday morning, while many of our church families, including my own family, have more-or-less resolved to share our supplies until there is nothing left. When they have two dollops of hand soap left, Christians give the first one away.

This is the witness of our ancestors in the faith since time immemorial; this is the path they have walked; this is how we love our neighbors. We love our neighbor as ourselves, even laying down our lives for them.

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Posted in Health & Medicine, Hong Kong, Parish Ministry

(Washington Post) Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

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Posted in Globalization, Health & Medicine

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Lord Christ, almighty Saviour, we cry to thee for aid against our strong enemy. O thou who art the Stronger than the strong, deliver us, we pray thee, from the evil one, and take sole possession of our hearts and minds; that filled with thy Spirit we may henceforth devote our lives to thy service, and therein find our perfect freedom; for the honour of thy great name.

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou who leadest Joseph like a flock! Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before E’phraim and Benjamin and Manas’seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!

–Psalm 80:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture