Minister's Post, Fri Oct 16

My dear companions on our faith path,

These are our times.

Worldwide, the daily new cases continues to go up and up. Almost every day sets a new record in cases per day. The deaths, however, remain flat. Since Jun 1, the 7-day average of deaths has been between 4,261 and 6,002 and has been hovering at right around 5,000 a day for the last five weeks.

Worldwide, through Wed Oct 14:

In the US, the story is similar: new cases going up, while deaths are flat. New cases in the US peaked on Jul 25 at 69,880 (7-day average), and then fell to about half that by Sep 12. Since Sep 12, cases have been rising and reached 53,151 on Oct 14 (7-day avg). Meanwhile the 7-day average of deaths has stayed between 712/day and 882/day for the last 5 weeks.

The US CFR (Case Fatality Rate -- the ratio of the deaths to the number of cases) was about 5 or 6 percent in April and May. The CFR now appears to be about half of that. The CDC, factoring in asymptomatic infections and mild cases not part of official case tallies, arrives at a mortality rate at 0.65 percent.

Why is the death rate falling? There's a rough consensus among researchers that it's probably some combination of these three factors: (1) new cases are more often younger people, who do better at resisting the disease; (2) more widespread testing is increasing the reported cases; (3) improved treatment strategies are saving more lives. Another factor conjectured by some researchers might be that masks and social distancing reduce the viral load recieved by those who do become infected. That initial viral load appears to matter: people exposed to a smaller load may still get sick, but not as sick, and are less likely to die.

Be careful out there!

Meanwhile, you may have heard there's an election going on. We have no idea who will win. Of course, in a lot of ways, it matters a great deal who will win, but we can't control the outcome. What we can control is that we do our part. Living a life of engagement and participation will probablly a bigger determinant of the quality of your life than the outcome. You are a part of this country -- a part of history. By voting you affirm and manifest that you and your country belong to each other -- no matter what the outcome.

These are tough times. Call me if you'd like to talk. I'm here.


Practice of the Week

This week we begin a series of spiritual practices in the "Might Be Your Thing" category. These are practices that aren’t for everyone – but might be just the thing for you. These will be activities that you might be doing anyway, but maybe not as a spiritual practice. First in our series of practices that might or might not be your thing: Gardening. See: HERE

Adult R.E. Sun Oct 18 -- 1:30-2:30

"Choosing A Spiritual Practice,"
led by Rev. Meredith Garmon.
Thinking about taking up a spiritual practice -- or thinking about a new spiritual practice? There are so many ways to cultivate spiritual development -- which ones are right for you? And if you have a spiritual practice, please join us to share what you do. (It's a service to others -- and you might pick up a pointer or two.)
The zoom link is HERE.

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