Minister's Post, Fri Oct 9

My dear companions on our faith path,

These are our times.

Covid-19 deaths continue.
Worldwide: About 5,000 deaths a day (7-day average). For the last three months it's been fairly flat: between a high of 6,002 average deaths per day for Aug 5-11 and a low of 4.957 average deaths for Sep 27-Oct 3 (4,957 avg deaths per day). Total deaths as of this writing: We know of 1,061,813. This is heartbreaking, yet pandemics have been a normal part of human history at least ever since there have been cities. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed somewhere between 20 million and 50 million people.

US: The week of Oct 1-7, an average of 721 day people died per day of Covid-19. The peak was mid-April when we were losing 2,256 lives a day (7-day average). The death rate dropped steadily until the Jun 29-Jul 5 week, when 519 people died a day (average for the week). The death rate then climbed to 1,177 deaths per day for the week ending Aug 4. Since then, other than a small uptick the week of Sep 9-15, it's been very slowly coming down. However, with new cases climbing ever since Sep 12, we may soon be seeing the death rate also turning upward. Total US deaths as of this writing: 217,056. At the current rate, the US will pass a quarter-million total deaths from Covid-19 about Nov 22.
Using the current reported numbers (though they underestimate both the World and the US death toll, and probably underestimate the world death toll more) -- then the US, which accounts for 4% of the world's population, accounts for over 20% of the world's Covid-19 deaths.

Meanwhile, climate change continues to worsen. Vice President Mike Pence claimed in the debate on Wed Oct 7 that, "there are no more hurricanes today than there were 100 years ago.” Fact checkers pointed out that the number of hurricanes is not the issue. Climate change is making them more severe. OK, factcheckers, but 2020 is seeing an unusually high number of hurricanes. The average number of named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season is 12. Delta is the 25th of 2020, and hurricane season still has over 7 weeks to go. As Delta moves through the gulf, expected to make landfall in Louisiana Friday evening, it'll be the 10th named storm to make landfall in the continental US in 2020. That breaks the record of nine that made landfall in 1916.

As much as the coronavirus hurts, we won't get through it by hating it. As much as climate change -- and ongoing racism, and species loss, and patriarchy -- cause harm, we won't make the world better by hating them, either. The spiritual task is to love what is -- whatever it is. We work to change it, of course, for compassion requires that we ameliorate harms. Let us do so with love, for, as Martin Luther King told us, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

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


Practice of the Week

Take this resilience inventory. For each quality listed, mark a + (plus) by the ones at which you world rate yourself as reasonably proficient. Mark a ^ (up arrow) by the ones in which you don’t feel proficient and want to work on.
Alternative: mark a + (plus) by the THREE at which you're most proficient. Mark a ^ (up arrow) by the THREE at which you're least proficient.

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