Minister's Post, Sun Jul 26

Dear Ones:

The data available are that worldwide, the 7-day average of deaths per day from coronavirus peaked in mid-April. By the end of May it was down to almost half the peak rate. Since then, for eight weeks now, the 7-day-average of deaths-per-day has been climbing. It’s now at 5,500 deaths a day -- about 80 percent of the mid-April peak.

Here in the US, the 7-day-average of US deaths per day at the mid-April peak was over 2,200 -- a day. While new cases started to climb again in mid-June, the deaths per day continued to decline for three more weeks. Since July 5, though, the seven-day-average of deaths per day has been growing, and is now at about 40 percent of what it was at the mid-April peak -- and climbing.

As of this morning, over 640,000 people worldwide are known to have died from Covid-19. That puts the number of deaths worldwide in the last five months at 2.5 percent greater than the estimated number of deaths in an average five-month period had there been no coronavirus. The US will surpass 150,000 total deaths from coronavirus in the next day or so – 150,000 deaths in five months. That’s 12 percent of the estimated number who would have died in an average five-month period had there been no coronavirus.

It’s important to keep in mind that the numbers for the US here are probably much closer to accurate than the worldwide coronavirus death numbers. We have only very sketchy reporting from a lot of countries. Actual deaths from Covid-19 have probably raised the world death rate by a lot more than 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the pandemic is bringing unemployment and significant financial and emotional stress to many of us. Out of that frustration and despair, crime is now increasing in some cities, after an initial lull from the lockdown.

The congresswoman representing our neighboring congressional district, the New York 14th, pointed out this logical and empirically verified connection between unemployment, poverty, and increasing crime. For this, she was accosted on the capital steps by a colleague who called her disgusting, out of her freaking mind – and probably called her much worse – for which he later non-apologized. In addressing the matter this week, in what became the most-watched C-SPAN House clip ever, Representative Ocasio-Cortez called out “a culture of impunity, of acceptance of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

These are times of transition – maybe even transformation. Some among us are finding decency to be a challenge. Some of us always have. The Gentlewoman from New York helpfully reminded us:
“Having a daughter does not make a man decent. . . . Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best, and does, apologize, . . . genuinely, to repair and acknowledge the harm done.”
In these times, and in all times, even in the midst of greatest stress, may we be mindful of treating others with respect and dignity – and mindful of when we fail to, and willing always to acknowledge and repair harm done.

Yours in faith,

Practice of the Week: Appreciate

Moment of Zen: How to Die

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