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2020-10-22

Minister's Post, Fri Oct 23

My dear companions on our faith path,

These are our times.

In the US, as the graphs below illustrate, new cases of Covid-19 are climbing -- as they have been since Sep 12. The rate of new-cases-per-day is now approaching the late-July peak.

Meanwhile, deaths from Covid are staying relatively flat. The bad news is that we're still losing almost 800 people a day (7-day average). The good -- or, rather, less-bad -- news is that the percentage of new cases that lead to death appears to be dropping.
A CDC report this week compared the total deaths in the US from all causes from Jan 26 to Oct 3 to the number of deaths that would normally be expected for this time period, based on death rates in 2015-2019. During these 36 weeks, 299,028 more people died in the US than would have been expected. The CDC finds that 2/3rds of this number were directly attributable to Covid-19. The remaining third of excess deaths were from indirect effects of the coronavirus. These are people who died of such causes as heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease, but would not have died without Covid-19 making hospital care less available and many afraid to seek it.

Among White nonhispanic people, total deaths during those 36 weeks were 12 percent greater than expected deaths. Hispanics have been hardest hit: their total deaths were 54 percent greater than expected. For Black people total deaths were 35 percent greater than expected, and for indigenous peoples, 29 percent greater than expected.

Covid-19 will eventually recede, but with cases climbing and deaths continuing, it clearly isn't doing so yet.

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

Yours,
Meredith

Practice of the Week

This Fall, we offer a series of spiritual practice suggestions 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 – or one of them might be an activity you’d like to take up.

Any activity can be a spiritual practice if you:
  1. establish a foundation of spiritual orientation through the three core daily practices: read spiritual texts, journal (which might take the form of Morning Pages, or incorporate an Idea Journal), and quiet-still time;
  2. engage the activity with mindfulness;
  3. engage in the activity with intention of cultivating spiritual development;
  4. occasionally engage the activity with a group that gathers expressly to do the activity in a way that cultivates spirituality, with group members sharing spiritual reflections before, during, or after doing the activity together.
This week in our series of practices that might or might not be your thing: Quilting. See: HERE

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