Let’s Discuss the Coronavirus/Covid-19: I Didn’t Have Time to Do a Post

Due to some things surrounding the coronavirus (no-I don’t have it) I am running behind. I will try to stick up a post this weekend. People on social media are asking how churches are responding to the virus.Today, my Lutheran church has cancelled all services and activities the church for the next two weeks. Please feel free to discuss the virus. Pray for all of us to stay healthy and safe.

Let us know if you have the virus and just like Kenneth Copeland, we’ll try to heal you through our words. 🙄


Comments

Let’s Discuss the Coronavirus/Covid-19: I Didn’t Have Time to Do a Post — 422 Comments

  1. If you’re wondering why US Federal, State and local governments are all-of-a-sudden getting really serious about this, it helps to survey what has happened in northern Italy, which experienced an outbreak a few weeks ago and did not timely implement measures to slow the progress of the outbreak.

    https://threader.app/thread/1237142891077697538

    basically, the number of patients with symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization for supportive or critical care exceeded the capacity of the local hospitals to provide care, and patients who could have been saved began dying for lack of treatment. Many patients with other emergencies could not receive care either, and some of those did not make it.

    This is what happened in Wuhan China but was avoided in the rest of China due to the aggressive measures to slow the spread of the disease.

    I hope everyone takes this very seriously. You will have heard in recent days of the concept “flatten the curve”

    https://twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/status/1235865328074153986

    this will affect medical outcomes — it’s important to slow the progress of the epidemic in order to protect the ability of the health care system to treat the most serious cases.

    Consult your state public health authorities for their advisories on protective measures.

    Older people and people with prior medical issues are especially at risk. Recruit younger and healthy people to do things like shopping for you. If you are at low risk (younger and no underlying medical conditions), help your vulnerable neighbours.

    This is going to test the strength of community bonds.

    I hope that the churches excel. I Jn 3:16 comes to mind.

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  2. Personally am very frustrated because as a Doc, I can’t test my patients for the virus (only those sick enough to get hospitalized currently get tested in our state unless they’ve been exposed to a known case or traveled to 1 of the listed countries in the last 14 days). So I am sure there are many of the (80% of) “milder” cases in the community spreading it to the vulnerable population because we don’t have the capability of testing. Can we convince people to stay home for 2 wks for any respiratory illness? Seriously doubt it. One of my partners recently had a patient come in who went grocery shopping with a 103 deg. fever… (hello, common sense???)
    Anyway, keep up that handwashing!!

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  3. I’m off work the next three weeks due to schools being closed through the first week of April. My county in California has also banned meetings of more than 250 people until 4/3, so no church activities. I was relieved when school closed because I was jostling multiple requests for homework from students who were being kept home and doing everything I could to keeps clean classroom for 7 sections everyday. I hope the pause will slow the process of transmission.

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  4. Schools in Kentucky and Tennessee are closing …… some for two weeks, some three weeks, and some for four weeks. The kids are loving it, but boy howdy, are they ever going to pay for it in June!

    On the light side …… toilet paper, toilet paper, OMG, toilet paper!!!

    Hopkinsville, KY (Pop. 36,000 or so) has a Walmart and is located about 8 miles from the Walmart Distribrition Center. Hoptown also has several Dollar Stores, a Kroger, Food Giant ….. and so on. But, there ain’t no toilet paper in Hopkinsville, y’all!!

    I know this because my daughter’s MIL and FIL went into some sort of toilet paper DT seizures. To shut them up and calm them down, my daughter put on her safari costume, loaded the baby into the Expedition, and went on an expedition to find the legendary Lost Land of Toilet Paper…….. She found it. It’s a Piggly Wiggly a few miles away. She stocked up. Whew!

    Me and hubby??? Well, bein’ the farm girl that I am, I’m sittin’ pretty with at least a month’s worth of toilet paper, coffee, flour, and so on. I’m just kickin’ back, enjoying an occasional peek at a colony of flying squirrels who have relocated to my husband’s workshop after their big, hollow white oak blew down ……. adorable little critters!!!

    On a more serious note, Samuel Conner and reading along have some good, sound advice. Wash, wash, wash, and check on family, friends and neighbor’s …… especially if they are elderly, have young children, or are physically weak in any way. ****** Any friends undergoing chemo probably have very weakened immune systems and may need someone to run errands. ********

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  5. The following are risk factors for the virus:

    1) Age — folks over sixty need to be cautious

    2) Smoking — in China men were 95% of the fatalities, and men in China smoke incessantly. While weed smoking isn’t an issue in China, it is legal in Canada, and many US states, and the guess is it would have the same effect as tobacco, reducing lung function

    3) Obesity — it puts stress on your lungs

    4) Asthma and Allergies — both reduce lung function

    5) Heavy alcohol use — reduces immune function

    6) Reduced immune function — can be caused by a variety of issues such as transplants

    7) History of pneumonia

    8) Reduced lung function — can be caused by a variety of issues such as second hand smoke, scoliosis (one lung is usually compressed), etc.

    This list is from Stat, a medical website, and is based on the studies from China and Korea which have been published, along with informed speculation by the medical community on what impacts we will see in North America. Smoking is less of an issue here, but obesity is.

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  6. My church has cancelled Sunday services for the next two weeks. Youth group meetings have been suspended indefinitely. Public schools in much of the area, including the county where I live, are closed until mid-April. Aldi and Giant were cleaned out of toilet paper yesterday, though I found some at Target.

    The NCAA basketball tournament may have been cancelled, but we’re now experiencing a different kind of March Madness. Kyrie eleison.

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  7. Praying, for everyone. God have mercy, and help us. May we reach out to Him.

    Listening to an epidemiologist dedicated to studying infectious diseases:
    Dr. Michael Osterholm, various interviews.

    This interview with Joe Rogan (I’m unfamiliar with the interviewer), includes extensive explanations by Osterholm. Interesting. Osterholm gives data & examples. Scroll down to the extended interview:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/03/11/infectious_disease_medical_detective_michael_osterholm_coronavirus_is_going_to_unfold_for_months_to_come.html

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  8. Brian,

    Perhaps a helpful way to think about this is to remember what happened to the large “gathered” church at Jerusalem after Saul started dragging believers off to prison.

    This big gathered group, many thousands in number, stopped meeting openly in Jerusalem and scattered out of the city to other locations (though the apostles remained in Jerusalem).

    What happened to the scattered believers? They probably continued meeting, but in smaller groups. They continued to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection and lordship.

    Granting that the churches have been equipping the people of God for the work of ministry, the temporary suspension of large public meetings ought not to be a major impediment to ongoing work of ministry by the people of God.

    And the crisis will present numerous opportunities to honor God through works of service to others.

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  9. I live in the epicenter of the Covid-19 virus here in Washington state.

    I am an older at risk patient. Things here are calm before the storm feeling…..panic buying is not helping.

    Our governor closed all schools, libraries, many public spaces and sporting events and theaters.

    Most here are well prepared for snow and other emergencies and have good supplies of food etc.

    Enjoy the slow pace, read an e-book from your library, work a puzzle….pray.

    God is bigger than all of this.

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  10. Please pray for me y’all. I’m in SC and CV is in our county and the neighboring. The schools in both counties are closed for a few weeks. My mother, with bi-polar psychosis, is in assissted living. I informed them earlier today that I will be bringing her home on Monday. Now however, at 2:30am I’m reading our Governor has restricted access to nursing homes to end of life situations, beginning earlier at 5:00 pm Friday. I just emailed the director of the home only to receive an out of office until Monday. When he knows we will all be upset at being denied access to our loved ones!! Please pray I will be able to get my Mother Monday without any trouble. Please pray I’ll be able to care for all her needs without being depleted. I’ve been caring for her for over 4 yrs, one of them in my home. That year nearly killed me (jury still out on that actually) as she can do little for herself and I pulled her out of a memory care (misdiagnosed with dementia as well) to try to get her better. Which with God’s help I did and she is now in the assissted living. I’ve been in AFIB for nearly 2 months, comes and goes, and other health issues. It’s not an option to leave her there right now, they have poor hygiene and one of the nurses was drugging her behind my back at night. When I discovered this nothing was done, not one hour of pay lost. I have little trust in them to care for her during this time. She’ll most likely be moving in May to a new facility opening up. So sorry for the long post, thank you for reading my tale of woe and your prayers!

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  11. @Leah Jacobs

    There is a group on Facebook called caring for Elderly Parents. They are very good and the people there are dealing with different situations regarding their loved ones. It’s a place to get advice and support and sometimes to vent. It is mostly Americans but other nationalities like myself are on there. Some are Christian’s but it us not a faith based group. The thing that binds us is caring for a loved one. Just a thought.

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  12. An odd consequence of the virus is that it has almost supernaturally prevented Liverpool from winning the Premier League. Just when it seemed that our unprecedentedly runaway title triumph was unstoppable, a global catastrophe intervened and caused the entire season to be abandoned with us only two wins from the title. History will simply say there was no 2019-2020 season.

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  13. I am concerned that the cure will be worse than the disease in how it impacts our culture and economy. For example, strict travel bans will mean the travel industry will not be able to remain solvent, which will result in layoffs bankruptcies, etc. Similar for companies producing necessary supplies such as food, medical supplies, TP, etc., if they are forced to scale back production. It’s not clear to me that we are headed toward the right balance.

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  14. readingalong,
    Yeah, this testing situation is so frustrating. Right now they’re essentially limiting testing to those who have symptoms and who have also come into contact with known cases. But here in NC there are a total of 15 known cases, around 8 of them in the Triangle. So you’re just not going to get tested unless you know that you came in contact with one of those folks – but we have reason to believe it’s spreading in the community. My wife works at UNC Chapel Hill and they’ve gotten notice that a number of children with CV-like symptoms have come into clinic.

    I think the plus side is that organizations are taking this seriously enough to cancel group meetings, even without strong federal leadership. Two weeks ago we were still thinking that our dance activities would still be going, but now that’s all cancelled, and that’s the right decision, even though it’s not fun. And I think it’s right for churches to cancel their meetings – even though it’s not fun to do so. The biggest super-spreader event in South Korea, Patient #31, did most of her spreading at her mega-church.

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  15. Brian: Another thought; Christian churches may be the wrong thing to do. Times of crisis cause people to look for emotional and spiritual support. Where do they go if a church has closed up? The love and support of a congregation is being kept from them.

    When my church announced a closure for a couple of weeks, I stopped feeling guilty about skipping Sunday service. And I go to a church that never bullies people to attend. This week I received a little pastoral care by email. Phone and text work too, for now.

    Many of our “faith leaders” are basically ordering people to show up. Intimidating their members.

    Forced church attendance caused losses of life during the 1918 flu: “In the deeply pious Spanish city of Zamora, for example, the local bishop defied the health authorities by ordering a novena – evening prayers on nine consecutive days – in honour of Saint Rocco, the patron saint of plague and pestilence. This involved churchgoers lining up to kiss the saint’s relics, around the time that the outbreak peaked. Zamora went on to record the highest flu-related death rate of any city in Spain, and one of the highest in Europe.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/closed-borders-and-black-weddings-what-the-1918-flu-teaches-us-about-coronavirus

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  16. Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s not clear to me that we are headed toward the right balance.

    Thoughtful comment, thanks.

    The US population is about 330 million. The American Hospital Association says we have 924,107 staffed hospital beds (https://www.aha.org/statistics/fast-facts-us-hospitals).

    In my area, hospitals are crowded at the best of times. It would not take much to overwhelm medical facilities here.

    I am feeling good and productive about staying home, taking walks instead of going to the gym, washing my hands even more than usual, and limiting outings. This is how I am protecting loved ones, neighbors, and strangers.

    Yes, I am also harming the economy, and nobody knows what the right balance is. (Reduced work hours have already hit my family.)

    I believe that slowing the spread of infection will save lives, and also lower the risk of engulfing our health care system.

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  17. Leah Jacobs,

    You are on my prayer agenda.

    Just got off the phone with elderly friends for whom I will be shopping in order to allow them to avoid coming into contact with possibly asymptomatic but infectious people in the shops. I’ll go at odd hours when there are few people in the shops (there is a local 24 hr WalMart).

    Some practical suggestions:

    * make a list of every contact with people that you have over the course of a typical month. Envision and implement ways to reduce the frequency of these contacts. In some cases, it may be possible to eliminate these contacts altogether. This “social distancing” is for one’s own benefit and for the benefit of others, to slow the transmission rate. It is an expression of “love of neighbour”, including neighbours whom you will never meet but who will survive the epidemic in part because of your contribution to slowing the transmission rate.

    * Also list every interaction with objects that may have come into contact with infected people. This might seem like an over-the top concern, but there is evidence that the virus can persist on surfaces for days. Hopefully as the weather warms, this persistence time will become shorter, but that is not known yet.

    Frequent handwashing can reduce the risk of infection from contaminated objects. Wash thoroughly. Here is the WHO recommended hand-washing protocol:

    https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

    This is a bit more involved than the “20 seconds” procedure you may have heard on the news.

    you’ll want to have disposable paper with you to use in the final step.

    (A hopeful aside — I read in an online forum that the annual flu epidemic in Hong Kong became noticeably shorter after the SARS epidemic than it had been previously. The anti-virus hygiene measures that protected against SARS transmission also protected against flu transmission. It is protective against all respiratory virus transmission. This works. Do it.)

    An example of both types interaction (people and objects): this couple drives to the local City Hall once a month to pay their utilities bill at a “drive thru” type window with a bank-style drawer for presenting papers. The worker who handles these payments may not be well socially-distanced him/herself and could be infected. Also, that worker handles large amounts of paper from other people who may be infected, and while City Hall will certainly provide some protective gear (gloves), that will not prevent the gloves from becoming contaminated and that spreading to other papers and receipts. The drawer itself will probably be exposed to numerous infected people in coming months and may become contaminated with virus.

    They could avoid this scenario by paying the utility bill electronically, assuming that the payments department has enabled this (which I will research for my own use too). If this is possible, they can enable their bank account to make e-payments (perhaps best to do this with a 2nd account that maintains a small balance just enough to cover the planned payments — this will ease concerns about possible mishaps or fraud against the e-payments account)

    * get a stylus to use with the touch pads in the shops. If possible get one that has a cap over the part that contacts the touch pad. That contact point may become contaminated and if it can be covered when not in use, that would be best. If you are able to make shop payments via “plastic”, that might be preferable to handling cash that has been handled by others. Get or make a sleeve to hold the card when not in use; the inside of this sleeve may become contaminated with virus, but having the card in the sleeve may prevent contamination of your wallet while the virus degrades over time.

    Stay well all, and be kind to neighbours. We are all fighting a very hard battle now.

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  18. I typically don’t comment here except for “technical” or “rules” issues.

    But I got tested. Here in NC. Short version skipping to the end I got the flu but not one covered by this year’s vaccine. And when they said go get tested if you match these symptoms I went in. I think I was the first one my doc’s office dealt with. Turned out to be negative. But between the flu and self quarantine I did a lot of reading. I think I got tested by just being there on the first day the labs could handle a test.

    Churches are going to be Covid-19 spreading centers. Younger folks and youth who are infected in many cases will be asymptomatic. Which means they would be spreading it to everyone there while looking healthy. Then the all of those people go home and take care of various vulnerable groups. Spreading it to them. Just a bad idea.

    This thing is everywhere. Our (the US) lack of widespread testing keeps us from seeing just how widespread it is. But everyone is going to get exposed. It is just a matter of when. The serious medical planning people know this and this is what flattening the curve means. Keep the infection rates below where hospitals run out of beds/respirators and then people have to die. We all need to pray for those with situations like cystic fibrosis. I can’t see how there are many of those left a year or so from now. Personally I’m afraid the deaths of the elderly and lung impaired will change the actuarial tables going forward.

    And anyone who know more than me about this feel free to correct anything I’ve said.

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  19. Friend: I believe that slowing the spread of infection will save lives, and also lower the risk of engulfing our health care system.

    This is very true. But I worry that we will take it to an extreme where jobs will be lost, companies (especially small) will not be able to pay employees, critical supply chains will be disrupted (this is probably our biggest risk), and routine medical issues for many people will escalate to bigger problems. In preventing deaths in one direction we could be increasing them in another.

    My daughter is a very pregnant nurse with a toddler at home. She and her husband both work part time because child care is so unaffordable where they live. It looks like he will be getting his hours cut for his construction job because of the quarantine efforts. My daughter would have no problem picking up extra hours except that she is late enough in her pregnancy that she is not able to. There is a very high risk that they will lose their ability to put food on the table. I am convinced that many in the country face similar or worse financial risks.

    It won’t be too bad if it only lasts for a few weeks. But all the precautions we are taking now are likely to delay the peak of this disease (by design), but that delay could mean an extended financial crisis. Or maybe I just worry too much.

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  20. GuyBehindtheCurtain: deaths of the elderly and lung impaired

    Confirmed by Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist specializing in the study of infectious diseases: high percentage of deaths in China were age 70+ male smokers (men commonly smoke there, women don’t). He says in the US the variable will be obesity – much more common here than smoking. He said 45% of of US population becomes obese while aging.

    Osterholm’s interviews are packed with information.

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  21. GuyBehindtheCurtain,

    I think this is exactly right

    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I think these are valid concerns, but the question facing us is “which evil is lesser, and therefore to be preferred”.

    If, following the suggestion of a figure who shall not be named on one of the cable news channels, we were to simply take a deep breath and let the epidemic run, so that we could get through it quickly, there would be a mass-casualty event, and the casualties would include many among the younger, seemingly less vulnerable, age cohorts who happened to need emergency care but could not get it. The medical system itself would be wrecked (unless care was simply refused to all infected in order to preserve the system for the later benefit of the survivors, but in this case, many medical personnel themselves would become infected via community spread, and we would lose disproportionately the oldest and most experienced people).

    And even among the younger cohorts who are able to fight this off without medical interventions, the long-term implications are not clear. There is some evidence that the virus can inflict lasting lung damage (I am hoping that this only happens in those who progress to pneumonia, which does not occur in the young in most cases), which would make one more vulnerable to possible re-infection in the next “epidemic season”. This is likely to become part of the annual cold season epidemic of respiratory infections, and if it is able to progressively beat people down via repeated infection, slowing transmission will become an existential concern for everyone.

    One hopes that an effective vaccine will be developed with all possible speed.

    “business as usual” risks a repeat of the 1918-1920 Spanish flu epidemic.

    Things are going to change a lot, one way or the other.

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  22. Samuel Conner: One hopes that an effective vaccine will be developed with all possible speed.

    Wizards in this ares of medicine say anything under a year would be a miracle. And a year means taking safety shortcuts.

    PS: As someone in their mid 60s I figured I’d survive without a hospital visit. Now that I’ve had the flu I figure I’m at risk until I get full use of my lungs back. Every day feels better but there’s still a shortness of breath compared to a month ago.

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  23. Samuel Conner: “which evil is lesser, and therefore to be preferred”

    This is the $1M question. In so many cases errors come in polar opposite pairs. Too little quarantine effort is clearly a problem. I suspect too much is equally a problem, but with a different set of terrible consequences.

    It’s already nearly impossible to find the needed paper products, sanitizers, and cleaning supplies needed to follow the protocols. If the supply chain does not catch up soon it could be a disaster. We should all hope that the manufacturing, distribution, and point of sale employees are not staying home from work. Also, what will be the impact of having so many of our products made in China? Have we seen those impacts yet?

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  24. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): bein’ the farm girl that I am, I’m sittin’ pretty with at least a month’s worth of toilet paper, coffee, flour, and so on

    Bein’ an old boy scout in rural America, I learned decades ago to “Be Prepared” … having a month’s supply of essentials on hand is always a good idea … you never know what tomorrow may bring. The toilet paper crisis reminds me of the .22 ammo shortage a few years ago … panic has set in … this “pandemic” = pandemonium. We were at the local WallyWorld yesterday – folks were running by all the food to get to the empty TP aisle … what good is TP if you ain’t got no food?!

    “Piggly Wiggly” … you brought back fond memories of the years I sent in those parts … I bet you can still get Bunny Bread there.

    “Flying Squirrels” … you are fortunate to be able to observe those … although widely distributed in the U.S., they are elusive.

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  25. The NIH is providing excellent information. Just one small example follows.

    Risk of Severe Illness:

    Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

    Older adults, with risk increasing by age.
    People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    Heart disease
    Diabetes
    Lung disease

    https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus

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  26. Brian: The love and support of a congregation is being kept from them.

    As well as the coronavirus. I understand what you are saying, but it is prudent to restrict such gatherings right now. A lot of older folks go to church regularly, and they are the most at risk. “The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” (Proverbs 22:3)

    On the other hand, when things get desperate enough in America, it would be great to see millions of Christians going to church to humble themselves, pray, repent, and seek God’s face (instead of business as usual). We’re not there yet.

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  27. Nick Bulbeck: An odd consequence of the virus is that it has almost supernaturally prevented Liverpool from winning the Premier League. Just when it seemed that our unprecedentedly runaway title triumph was unstoppable, a global catastrophe intervened and caused the entire season to be abandoned with us only two wins from the title.

    Now you know who God was rooting for 🙂

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  28. Ken F (aka Tweed): Also, what will be the impact of having so many of our products made in China? Have we seen those impacts yet?

    Yes. Supply chain efficiency generally comes with the risk of brittleness and multiple points of failure. Multiple redundant suppliers, located domestically, is less efficient but much more resilient.

    I hope that we are able to import substitute. Perhaps Chinese production engineers can remotely advise local manufacturing startups.

    Who knows, maybe we’ll even re-onshore the production of machine tools. Those were among the first capabilities to be lost in the decades after WWII.

    The risk-modelers and the “share price at all cost” corporate managers have not served us well. One hopes that whatever emerges from this crisis will be more robust and better able to weather this kind of thing in future. Of course, if it takes another century for a similar event to arise, our successors will probably let their guard down, just as we did as the Spanish flu pandemic passed out of living memory.

    Regarding paper products, I am starting today to reserve my modest TP supply and will be using newsprint where possible. This, of course, cannot be flushed, but neither can baby diapers, and will end up in the same place. Hmmm… diapers. Now that’s a messy supply chain interruption.

    This is a slightly bizarre thought, but some might find it useful. Back during the Y2K scare, I stocked a couple of gallons of vegetable oil, as it contains ~30,000 calories per gallon. On a per calorie basis, it is cheaper than practically any carb. I still have that oil — it doesn’t spoil in its sealed containers — but it is not the most beneficial kind (I stocked corn oil). I think that canola may be healthier, and olive best of all (and even olive oil is not outrageously priced when computed on a per calorie basis).

    I’m not bunkered — am social distancing to stay well so that I can help vulnerable neighbours.

    This is why the churches need to close NOW. They will be worse than useless for “love of neighbor” if they continue to meet. There may be thousands of new cases transmitted in the meetings that take place tomorrow. Close NOW!

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  29. Max: humble themselves, pray, repent, and seek God’s face

    All of the above can happen without the building & the crowd. Maybe preferably.

    “…when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; they love to pray standing in the synagogues, & on the street corners to be seen by men. They already have their full reward. But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, & pray to your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.…” Matt. 6

    Narcissism, stages, pulpits, platforms, spotlights, & parades not rewarded. Unseen humility, humble action, yes.

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  30. I’ll add that it is easier to heal a sick economy than it is to raise the untimely dead.

    (though if Francis Chan has developed that ability, too, I will gladly welcome him to mass rallies throughout the nation)

    For evidence of that, one can contemplate the US in the ’30s. Of course, full recovery did not take place until the emergency of WWII persuaded the national rulers to open the public purse more fully.

    IIRC, it was Churchill who said that “the Americans always do the right thing … after they have exhausted the alternatives.”

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  31. Bethelehem Baptist has cancelled the next 3 meetings

    https://bethlehem.church/covid19/

    As the situation is sure to be even more concerning by early April than it is now, I think that this is effectively a suspension “until further notice”.

    Poking a bit further around the site, I notice that the latest sermon, by Jason Meyer, is titled

    “Vision 20/20 and Matthew 18”

    I’m guessing that the megas are going to have a difficult time maintaining control of the flocks under conditions of significant “social distancing”.

    Let’s hope that the gifted leaders have done a good job of preparing their flocks for works of ministry.

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  32. Doctor on the East End of London who’s been doing coverage on his YouTube channel “Medlife Crisis”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_Vau7NDjQw
    (Note – this doc has a medical man’s sense of humor. And it shows.)

    Other helpful YouTube channels are “MedCram” (instructional/educational medical videos) and “Dr John Campbell” (doctor in Chelsea, England who’s been giving daily updates). Many of these are referenced in “Chubbyemu” channel’s COVID-19 playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26HeTCO57qcOqYV6-5ZB9xleo_PaHxi4

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  33. Samuel Conner,
    readingalong,
    Friend,
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i need advice:

    i teach music one-on-one in my home. i disinfect the instrument before very lesson. i can also ask each student to wash their hands before each lesson.

    what are you thoughts on continuing on with lessons or cancelling them for timebeing?

    (it will mean zero income. it will make things very difficult financially.)

    but i want to do what is prudent.

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  34. GuyBehindtheCurtain: Does no one here know about cobs? And where the phrase “rougher than a cob” comes from?

    Well GBTC, if your supply is getting low, we have one of those old hand-crank corn shellers you can borrow.
    I have plenty of tree leaves – they are much easier on, uh, sensitive skin.

    Most corn gets machine shelled in the field nowadays. The cobs get plowed under. Two adolescent farmers’ sons saw our corn sheller last fall and asked us what “that thing” was. …… Worked out well ….. we got some corn shelled, and the boys enjoyed it!

    My daughter use to keep toilet paper in a coffee can in the horse’s stable. She didn’t want to have to come back to the house if she had to “go”. I laughed at her and called her a sissy. —- made her angry, but she didn’t give up her CCC (coffee can Charmin).

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  35. Wow! It’s a cold day in you-know-where – GBTC is out visiting! I wanted to say thank you – great site and care of conversation. And yes, sigh, corncobs. Although, being from northern Canada, our traditional material is spruce cones (pine are way too spiky) and the Zellars catalogue.

    And I love TWW commenters – where else do you get good discussion on economics balance with pandemic measures, discussion of supply chain brittleness measures . . And family jokes, football and dark humour, all at once. “Social distancing” will be a good excuse to stop by and lurk more.

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  36. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): It’s BOOK SIGNING DAY, doncha know!!!

    “Police in in Westerley, Rhode Island announced Friday that one of the two children in the town who had been recently diagnosed with coronavirus got an autograph from an NBA player on March 6.”

    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/coronavirus-and-the-nba-child-tests-positive-for-covid-19-after-getting-autographs-at-jazz-vs-celtics-game/

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  37. This is affecting my family because the nursing home where my brothers wife is with stage III Alzheimer’s just cut off all visitation for two weeks. This will be longest period of time, I think, that he has not seen her since they got married. This is a big deal because pneumonia is the number one cause of death in these patients.

    Beyond that, as I have said before here, God has been warning me about a great storm coming for about a dozen years now. In early January I had a dream that warned me that this thing has arrived and was heading directly for “The Church.” And now many congregations are cancelling their 501c3 services because of this brand new plague. And yet, we who call ourselves Christians are so woefully ignorant of God’s ways, what prophecy really is, and the O.T. prophets. Plagues of disease is certainly something God has used to attempt, mostly unsuccessfully, to discipline His people. God is allowing this for a reason. The process of bankrupting 501c3 has begun because they are simply disobedient and have idols in place that compete with the crosses that they display. I have foreseen the coming bankruptcy of churches with the biggest falling first for a long time and now we can watch it happen, though this was not the way I thought it would start.

    So my concern in all this is that those of us who call ourselves Christians look up and repent of our many wicked ways. This has come upon the world because of our wickedness. We regularly discuss some of that here with church abuse cases, but there is far more wrong with what we are doing collectively then just this. We have been doing the same things the ancient Israelites have done and God certainly poured out His wrath on them. God does not change nor do His ways. Our collective denial will just keep us under harsh discipline for a longer period of time. And I have to say this, but I do not believe that regardless how long this goes on or how bad things get that there will be much repentance on our parts. Israel had to have its pride crushed in exile and still they did not learn very much.

    Expect things to get much worse before they get better. Expect our leaders around the world of all political parties to make many stupid decisions that make the suffering and death worse. Expect all of our human efforts to stamp this thing out to ultimately fail. Expect consequences that lead to much financial chaos, that leads to much political finger pointing at other parties, that leads to violence and attempts at political revolution both here and abroad. This is just the beginning. God is doing a wake up call and we are now in this for the long haul. This plague will eventually pass but much of what it begins to unravel will continue to unravel for “all that can be shaken will be shaken.”

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and boy do we need wisdom now. Go with that and God can lead you through this so you come out a person of better character, which is the Gospel. Kick against the goads and watch the peace, love and joy fly right out of your life. God is disciplining His own Church now, so will you benefit from that over time, or will you be crushed by it? Look at Jesus own words from Matt. 21:43, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

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  38. elastigirl,

    This doesn’t exactly apply, but maybe some ideas for you? My local hair salon has new policies:

    -Employees must stay home if they feel unwell.

    -Please don’t come to appointments if you are sick.

    -No financial penalty (or guilt trip) for late cancellations and no-shows.

    -Chairs and sinks disinfected after every client.

    -Reception areas cleaned hourly, on the hour.

    -Whole salon deep cleaned daily.

    My favorite restaurant has added a commitment to limit service (go to delivery only or close down temporarily) if that becomes necessary.

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  39. P.P.S.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfxETe8uKbw
    (what happens at CostCo when they open the doors in the morning)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptcRB0XoiRo “Coronavirus Toilet Paper Fight”
    (NSFW – heavy cussing – but FUNNY!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph9OHf_utY8
    (Supermarket showdown in Oz, with net-nerd commentary. CRIKEY!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJVMvqJPQGI
    (As above, except somebody pulled a knife. DOUBLE CRIKEY!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiQKvfo3l94
    (And it just keeps getting weirder and weirder…)

    This is for real. I’ve been doing topping-off runs which have become reconnaisance missions. Haven’t seen anything spectacular, but everything’s getting stripped. Just this morning a guy phoned me up to tell me he’d spent four figures online for two months’ worth of MREs.

    Milwaukee journalist James Lileks blogged several years ago that in his area, the first shelves to get stripped bare when a blizzard was coming are always “toilet paper and powdered milk”; he speculated at length what sort of survival food recipe could be made from this combination. (Probably still better than the Armageddon Food Buckets Jim Bakker is hawking…)

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  40. elastigirl,

    This is very difficult.

    How well social-distanced are the students?

    This is also a probably concern for the students’ parents, since you are a contact point between families.

    What instruments — could the lessons be conducted out of doors?

    Also, could students bring their own instruments (if portable — obviously piano does not work this way)

    Could students don disposable gloves during the lesson — after the lesson toss used pairs into a lined bin for “biohazards”. Nitrile or vinyl gloves can be had for small money per pair from outlets such as Harbor Freight Tools. They are out of masks and respirators in my locality but still have plenty of gloves.

    Any chance the lessons could be conducted remotely — via SKYPE or similar (sounds crazy, but if the instruments have defined tone, like piano, you are less concerned with tone than with timing and expression. Aim the students’ webcam at their hands so you can evaluate their technique)

    One possibility might be to temporarily pause lessons until testing becomes widespread so that you can be more confident that neither you nor your students or their families are infected but asymptomatic.

    Unfortunately, one of the consequences of the colossal mess-up earlier this year, and ongoingly, in terms of testing capability is that there is very little confidence one can have that the disease is not present in one’s local community.

    I believe that our national leaders are going to be compelled to implement a zero cost testing regime. Testing is much less useful if many people who need to be tested can’t afford it.

    You are on my prayer agenda.

    ————-

    This is an illustration of the kinds of disruptions that Ken F has been expressing concerns over. It’s going to ripple through all of our lives. We’re going to need aggressive 1930s style interventions to keep things running.

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  41. Friend: My favorite restaurant has added a commitment to limit service (go to delivery only or close down temporarily) if that becomes necessary.

    Our bank has requested customers to use the drive-through for all transactions when possible. The local WalMart is getting ready to section-off part of their parking lot for drive-through coronavirus testing. One of our favorite restaurants is a Chinese buffet place – folks are starting to “social distance” it now … I feel bad for the owners.

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  42. Linn: I’m off work the next three weeks due to schools being closed through the first week of April. My county in California has also banned meetings of more than 250 people until 4/3, so no church activities.

    If you’re near San Fran, the banned limit there has dropped to “more than 100”.

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  43. Someone commented that they don’t understand what the coronavirus concern is for our State, since only 2 cases have been confirmed here. I reminded them that the huge flock of starlings invading their bird feeders each day started with a single sighting of the species in our State less than 100 years ago.

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  44. re: Plungers

    Here’s a really useful plumber’s trick that I learned from a friend who learned it from a friend who knows plumbing:

    A better way to unstop sink drain clogs than plunging down is to plunge up .

    Fill the basin with enough water to cover the cup of the plunger (this works best with the rubber cup “Dalek gripper” style plungers. The accordion style plastic ones may not seal well enough). Place the cup over the drain and slowly compress the cup. Slow compression helps to avoid pushing the clog further down the drain.

    Rapidly yank the handle straight up.

    Repeat these steps.

    The clog should eventually be pulled up into the basin. It will be foul, but once the obstruction is disrupted, the mess should drain down the newly opened pipe. Perhaps run hot water for a while and add a non-corrosive maintenance dose of an enzyme or bacteria-based product to help degrade the gunk that is still present.

    I don’t know whether this will work well with toilet obstructions, but I have heard a reliable report of someone who once retrieved a rubber duck that had been flushed down a toilet. I reckon he must have used this method. I did not hear how many times the toilet had been used before it was discovered to be blocked.

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  45. Friend: “Police in in Westerley, Rhode Island announced Friday that one of the two children in the town who had been recently diagnosed with coronavirus got an autograph from an NBA player on March 6.”

    Was this the same player who single-handedly shut down the NBA for the duration?

    You know; the Jazz guy who was clowning around at a post-game interview making a point of touching and rubbing against the microphones and cameras, reporters, and his teammates in the locker room? The day before he was diagnosed and confirmed?

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  46. Max:
    Someone commented that they don’t understand what the coronavirus concern is for our State, since only 2 cases have been confirmed here.I reminded them that the huge flock of starlings invading their bird feeders each day started with a single sighting of the species in our State less than 100 years ago.

    Think of it as a flock (of unknown size) of invisible starlings already present, and one by one they lose their invisibility as they are detected. The problem is that there is a shortage of “starling detection kits”.

    “Unfortunately, one of the consequences of the colossal mess-up earlier this year, and ongoingly, in terms of testing capability is that there is very little confidence one can have that the disease is not present in one’s local community. ”

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  47. Samuel Conner: A better way to unstop sink drain clogs than plunging down is to plunge up .

    This is how I’ve been doing it for years. Works great and no need for chemicals. One point to add: place something over the overflow hole near the top of the sink to plug it a wet washcloth works) – otherwise the plunger will just pull in air from the overflow. This also works well on tub and shower drains – also need to plug the overflow if there is one.

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  48. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Funny!!
    Ah, long gone are the days of old newspapers and tree leaves, huh?

    As long as you don’t use poison ivy leaves. I’ve heard several funny-as-long-as-you’re-not-the-guy stories about that.

    Bonus from my grade-school days in the First 1960s:

    “Stranded!
    Stranded on the toilet bowl!
    What do you do when you’re stranded
    Without no roll?
    Gotta prove you’re a man —
    Gotta use your hand!

    “Wherever you go
    For the rest of your life
    You must prove —
    You used your hand!”

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  49. Ken F (aka Tweed): I am concerned that the cure will be worse than the disease in how it impacts our culture and economy. For example, strict travel bans will mean the travel industry will not be able to remain solvent, which will result in layoffs bankruptcies, etc. Similar for companies producing necessary supplies such as food, medical supplies, TP, etc., if they are forced to scale back production. It’s not clear to me that we are headed toward the right balance.

    My Japanese tour guide just had to cancel his sakura (cherry blossom viewing) tours. I’m of course concerned about him, because this is his living. The people who signed up for the tours said they’d rebook for 2021. Hopefully things will resolve and travel can pick up again.

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  50. elastigirl,

    Zoom may be another possibility, and I believe it is free for small classes. I know someone who uses this for live teleconferencing and likes it.

    https://zoom.us/pricing

    A drawback is that the current servers supporting it may become overburdened as others migrate to “distance meeting” and “distance learning”. I hope they can upgrade their capacity.

    We are running into capacity limits everywhere. “In a crisis, all correlations go to unity”

    You are in my prayers.

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  51. Rich: The biggest super-spreader event in South Korea, Patient #31, did most of her spreading at her mega-church.

    Was that the cultic mega that Mr J mentioned when he hinted a couple days ago about God’s Wrath by sending plagues?

    There’s a couple megas — or should we say “giant petri dishes” in my area. I wouldn’t want to get near the tony suburbs of Dallas, where is sounds like they’ve got a mega on every exclusive block. (Wonder if after the culling, they’ll call for Seven Day Christian Sex Challenges to breed back the numbers?)

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  52. Headless Unicorn Guy: Was this the same player who single-handedly shut down the NBA for the duration?

    Yes. He instantly shut down the NHL too, since they share many arenas.

    Both leagues would have suspended their seasons anyway. The previous day, one mayor declared a state of emergency and limited public gatherings. Their local pro sports team’s ownership had a gigantic hissy and played their scheduled game. It’s better for organizations to make hard, prudent decisions before they either spread contagion or inspire the government to shut them down.

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  53. I decided on Wednesday that I am going to work from home for the duration. My new office (at the data center) is the opposite of social distancing. There are long rows of desks and I am sure I am not six feet from the next person. (I could go on an extended rant about the office, but I’ll restrain myself.) Since I’m a manager, I’m supposed to be in the office to set an example, but besides coronavirus, I’m in the middle of physical therapy for an arthritic shoulder and some of the exercises (to be done 5 times a day) require the use of a pulley. In a room without doors, there’s no place to put the pulley.

    One of my coworkers just got back from a trip to France, just as another coworker went off to St. Lucia. I suppose there are worse places to be trapped. Our boss was about to take time off to go to Disneyland, his favorite place on earth, and he’s disappointed they’re closing, but understands why.

    As for the home front, my brother has been doing the prepping. He’s stocked the pantry and also has a couple weeks worth of prepper meals in a closet. I read something a trusted friend of mine sent me yesterday, and sent it on to him, asking: “Do we have enough food for two to four weeks?” He replied: “for two weeks sure, let me go to the store.” He reported last night that the store was a zoo, but it was strange what was missing and what wasn’t. Canned and dry goods, yes, freezer foods no. He was all, “wouldn’t you buy chicken nuggets for your finicky kids?” I said yes but pointed out that a lot of people live close to the edge financially and just can’t stock up on food.

    We really haven’t said much to mom (age 80 with numerous comorbidities), but anticipate the need for social distancing is going to become an issue if she wants to go to Joann’s or the Goodwill, because we are going to have to tell her no. In any case, since we spend a lot of time together, if one of us gets sick, we’re all going to have to self-quarantine.

    I also bought an uninterruptible power supply–first time in nearly three decades of being online–because two incredibly brief power failures last Saturday knocked my modem and router offline, but shut nothing else down. Not the computer, not the microwave, the oven, the dishwasher, the digital clock….It’s not an issue when I’m off work, but it is an issue when I’m working. I can’t be having brief interruptions like that.

    Keep an eye out for your neighbors–practice social distancing–and WASH YOUR HANDS!

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  54. Ken F (aka Tweed): Headless Unicorn Guy: Was that the cultic mega that Mr J mentioned when he hinted a couple days ago about God’s Wrath by sending plagues?

    A couple days ago? Read upstream in this thread.

    Except he isn’t just “hinting” now, and his sermons are getting longer. Repeating his claim of Private Revelation, this time via a dream.

    To me it seems his comments-becoming-sermons have been getting weirder and weirder over the past month or two. Has anyone else noticed this?

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  55. Friend: Roomie better?

    Yeah. He’s been out of the hospital for a little over a week, building his strength and weight back. (The day he got home – after two weeks of hospital food – he “called in a pizza mission”.) His diabetes is now completely under control, and it seems to have cleared up his skin condition.

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  56. Samuel Conner: A better way to unstop sink drain clogs than plunging down is to plunge up.

    Fill the basin with enough water to cover the cup of the plunger … Rapidly yank the handle straight up … Repeat these steps … The clog should eventually be pulled up into the basin. It will be foul, but once the obstruction is disrupted, the mess should drain down the newly opened pipe …

    Uhhhh … I think I will continue to pray for toilet paper.

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  57. Luckyforward: thoughts

    That was an excellent read, thanks!

    And I’ve just realized what my husband is doing the past few days. Every time he comes in from outdoors, he brings me an acorn.

    He’s trying to cheer me up, sort of like a five-year-old.

    I have completely fallen for this, admiring the newest acorn, comparing it to the others, adding it to the growing pile.

    He’s way more cunning than I thought.

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  58. Friend: I’ve just realized what my husband is doing the past few days. Every time he comes in from outdoors, he brings me an acorn.

    He’s trying to cheer me up, sort of like a five-year-old.

    Perhaps he’s planning ahead. If necessary, you can grind those up into acorn flour and make bread … the Native Americans did that for centuries. Your husband may have been thinking survival food – there’s something about men: they think they must eat every day.

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  59. Luckyforward,

    Channel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee is my go-to station for news and weather.
    Have you seen the videos of tornado damage from Nashville to Cookville? Heartbreaking. I have been in several of the places that were….. just absolutely demolished.
    Tennessee needs a lot more than toilet paper, and a lot more than “prayers”.

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  60. GuyBehindtheCurtain: What makes you think I haven’t already [commented as an alter-ego]?

    😉

    I can’t be certain about this, as obviously not everyone thinks the same as I do. But my alter-egos are all designed as obvious sock-puppets, and none of them pushes an agenda or viewpoint other than the narrow ones necessary to support each comedic premise. Your statement that “I rarely comment here…” didn’t seem to contain the kind of surreptitious wink that I’d expect a regular alter-egotist to use. But, as I say, that’s only a hypothesis!

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  61. Max: Perhaps he’s planning ahead.If necessary, you can grind those up into acorn flour and make bread … the Native Americans did that for centuries.Your husband may have been thinking survival food – there’s something about men: they think they must eat every day.

    We have a slew of oaks in our yard (and a nice hickory — fine nuts for pies). We could gather acorns by the 5 gallon bucket …….. Acorns are bitter, I don’t fancy using them for flour, but it it came down to it ………
    We’ve got 2 Kentucky coffee trees, too. Gotta have my coffee.

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  62. Samuel Conner: Things are going to change a lot, one way or the other.

    I’m going to be optimistic. Covid 19 can be nasty for those who have health issues but it’s not MERS which had a 35% mortality rate. Or even SARS with it’s 10% mortality.

    Governments could learn a lot from managing this pandemic.
    Just got in on a flight from the Philippines on Tuesday so my family is self monitoring. We made it home before everything shut down.

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  63. elastigirl: i teach music one-on-one in my home.

    IMO, safer to hold off on in-person lessons right now, knowing though that it could be several months…In addition to hands, you have to worry about respiratory droplets in a relatively enclosed space, and presumably your students are still young and in the age group most likely to have mild symptoms so to easily spread the disease (and chance of being contagious just before symptoms start as well).
    We went out hiking today, thinking that at least outdoors any infected droplets will still be fairly dispersed, but from the unusual number of people we saw today (even after it started hailing), a lot of others were thinking the same thing!

    But on-line (skype-type) lessons could be a workable idea. A local yoga studio is now offering that as an option for those either vulnerable or worried.

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  64. Samuel Conner: … vegetable oil… contains ~30,000 calories per gallon. On a per calorie basis, it is cheaper than practically any carb.

    Fissile plutonium contains some 1.6 trillion calories* per gallon. This is one reason it’s so toxic; if you so much as lick it, you instantly die of obesity.

    * A food calorie is, strictly speaking, a kilocalorie.

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  65. Nick Bulbeck: Your statement that “I rarely comment here…” didn’t seem to contain the kind of surreptitious wink that I’d expect a regular alter-egotist to use. But, as I say, that’s only a hypothesis!

    I comment on one or two articles per month. In a big month I might have 5 or more comments. Total.

    Now take that, download all the comments and figure out who I am. If you can do it we’ll give you free access to this site for a month.

    🙂

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  66. Pretty much everything has shut down here. I won’t be working the next two weeks, at least. Going to spring clean the house, plant my garden, and catch up on a few sewing projects. I also started a new hobby of flower pressing and journaling.

    I had been going to church online for awhile anyway, so that won’t be a change for me.

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  67. Here is an interesting side note for folks who may, in the event of medical supply chain disruptions, have difficulty replenishing statin medications for hypercholesterolemia.

    Dee … please vet / moderate this and delete if you disapprove.

    Have you wondered why Cheerios claims to be heart-healthy? It has something to with the oats in it.

    Here’s a useful free-text article on the subject, if you want to cut to the chase and avoid my long-windedness

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25972618

    short story — Psyllium fiber laxative can help slow nutrient absorption in the small intestine, which could help with glycemic regulation, and can help lower cholesterol.

    Long story — That something (in oats) is beta-glucan, which is a gel-forming molecule that increases the viscosity of the “chyme”, the fluid contents of the small intestine (ileum).

    Bile, that is released into the ileum to help with the absorption of fats, is recovered and returned to blood circulation at the “far” end of the ileum, where it joins the large colon. Increasing the viscosity of the chime (with beta-glucan rich foods or with psyllium fiber laxative) reduces this distal ileum reuptake of bile and results in more cholesterol passing into the large colon and the stool.

    There is serious consideration of use of this kind of supplemental therapy as adjuvant to statin therapy to allow reduction in statin dose, with attendant reduction of risk of side effects.

    This one is not free text, but the abstract tells the story well enough for a “high level” view

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30078477

    ————-

    This “sequestering bile” in the ileum business hit me unexpectedly. In preparation for a colonoscopy some years ago, I began supplementing with Psyllium fiber (Walmart brand) a few weeks prior in the hope that it would assist in the saline laxative cleanout just before the procedure.

    After the procedure, I was curious about what my “no contents” GI transit time might be and my first “meal” was simply a glass of the fiber therapy. It passed through in 3 hours, same as the saline laxative the night before.

    But the surprising thing was that the “stool”, which was simply a long ropy cord of gelled laxative, was dark green . It was loaded with bile.

    This is not medical advice — consult with your physician. But he/she might reckon that it could be helpful for cholesterol control and, as fiber therapy is thought to have other colon health benefits, it may be useful.

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  68. Brian: I’m not endorsing forced attendance. During the Middle Ages, the spread of the black death, people fled the cities. It was the Christians who stayed and took care of the sick.

    I apologize, Brian. I didn’t mean that you were endorsing forced attendance. Here’s a thoughtful piece about people missing worship: https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/03/13/millions-americans-no-church-sunday-is-coronaviruss-cruelest-closure-so-far/

    I do want you to know what angers me. Preacher Jonathan Shuttlesworth is saying vile things about churches that close. The man opposes hand washing. He’s calling for certain American coastal states and cities to be hit hardest by this disease—oh sorry, prophesying that this will happen. Al Mohler and other SBC types played the martyr just a few days ago when the governor of Kentucky dared suggest that churches suspend worship for awhile. Add those to the pile of Christian hucksters selling snake oil.

    And this from Lori Alexander, another hand-washing skeptic: “Mothers of young children, you can rest assured concerning this virus since no children from zero to nine have died from it and most children have mild cases of this. It seems to mostly be killing the elderly and those with health problems.” Translation: Don’t worry, moms, it’ll only kill Gram and Gramps, diabetics, folks on chemo, and kids over ten.

    These are not like medieval Christians who cared for victims of plague. These people are discrediting the faith and possibly endangering lives.

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  69. elastigirl: someone explain to me hickory nut pie and Kentucky coffee

    In the Midwest and certain parts of the South grow two trees: Hickory and Kentucky Coffeenut. Nuts from the hickory can be used to make a pie similar to pecan pie. Seed from the coffeenut tree can be roasted as a substitute for coffee, but one must exercise care in doing so because the unroasted pods and seeds are toxic. I have sampled the former but steered clear of the latter.

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  70. elastigirl: Cut…. stop…. hold the presses…. someone explain to me hickory nut pie and Kentucky coffee.

    Okay, hickory nut pie is easy to explain — it’s just like pecan pie, except you put hickory nuts in it instead of pecans. I highly recommend hickory nut pies – I have made many of them. They are good, and if you can find the nuts before the squirrels get them, much cheaper to make than pecan pies.

    Kentucky coffee, eh a little more “complicated” and not nearly as tasty. There are these trees (not very common trees) called Kentucky coffee trees. The seeds from the trees can be roasted, ground, and brewed to make a hot beverage something like, but not quite, coffee.
    In the early days, when Kaintuck territory was being “settled”, real coffee was highly preferred but hard to come by. So, people made “Kentucky coffee” as a barely-satisfying-but-better-than-nuthin substitute.

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  71. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): They are good, and if you can find the nuts before the squirrels get them, much cheaper to make than pecan pies.

    As a country gal, you know that the best place to squirrel hunt in the autumn is under a hickory nut tree … you can hear the rodents “cutting” the nuts from a distance to locate the trees.

    Speaking of coffee substitutes, have you ever tried chicory root? Whew! That’ll wake you up!!

    You may have sensed by now, that I live in a nearby State … however, I’m reluctant to say where since the New Calvinists have been trying to pinpoint my location for years 🙂

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  72. For at least 20 years I have heard about the concern of Epidemiologist/molecular biologist/infections disease scientist that a new “virus” could appear that is the result of a common human virus recombining with an animal virus, creating a new virus that is very infectious, with little human immunity, and it would sweep the globe. Also, it originate in an open air market that would fresh, wild animals. The on-line version of “The Lancet”, published on Jan 30, 2020, the following paper was published, and note this final paragraph in the abstract:

    Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel
    coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor
    binding

    http://www.thelancet.com Vol 395 February 22, 2020

    “2019-nCoV is sufficiently divergent from SARS-CoV to be considered a new human-infecting
    betacoronavirus. Although our phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, ananimal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an
    intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans. Importantly, structural analysis suggests that 2019-nCoV might be able to bind to the angiotensinconverting enzyme 2 receptor in humans.”

    This is NOT SCIENCE fiction… this is reality…

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  73. Max,

    We have a hickory tree dead center of our front yard. It always bears heavily and has good nuts. Along about mid-September, fox and grey squirrels drive me KRAZY! They stole all of the nits last fall – we didn’t get a single one from that tree…… But, there are more trees, and I have a big stash of nuts in the freezer! Some grey squirrels have a nest in the top half of big old ash tree about 75 yards from the hickory. I’ve considered taking up squirrel hunting the lazy way – from my front porch rocker ….. no way to do it safely.

    Chicory and Kentucky coffee ……. no to both. Bitter….. the cups full need to be 1/3 honey and 1/3 Jim Bean just to be drinkable.
    I know how to make sassafras tree …. add a little sugar, honey, or even molasses and it it much better than chicory or KY coffee.

    I think I know what state you live in. If I’m right, I have driven across the southern half of it, and I have a great-great-great granddaddy buried there. …….. I don’t think the New Calvinists will mess with me. The mere fact that I am female gives me an unfair advantage. I might just invite them into the house and brew some Kentucky coffee for them! Tee hee.

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  74. elastigirl: i teach music one-on-one in my home. i disinfect the instrument before very lesson. i can also ask each student to wash their hands before each lesson.

    One of the most under-rated wunder (voonder) sundries in existence is hydrogen peroxide 3% solution. It’s widely available and every bit as good as the high priced hand sanitizer products. Mrs. Muff and me have filled a spray bottle with it and use it liberally.

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  75. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    “just like pecan pie, except you put hickory nuts in it instead of pecans.”
    ++++++++++++++

    hickory nuts…. as a kid, one christmas my mom somehow had some hickory nuts in a silver dish as decoration.

    (i myself wanted the magic of glittery tinsel garlands and more tinsel garlands everywhere… none of this natural stuff)

    so i was exceedingly frustrated with these nuts just sitting there.

    i was even more frustrated that it was impossible to get any of them open to see what a hickory nut inside tasted like. the shells were so incredibly hard — it would have taken a power drill, i thought.

    …am i remembering the hickory nuts right? how do you get them open?

    do they taste like pecans? or almonds? or hazelnuts? or walnuts? or brazil nuts?

    i would **love** to try hickory nut pie. never heard of such a thing.

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  76. Good nutrition is essential to maintain a healthy immune system. Given that supply chains will be affected, I recommend growing at least your own vegies.

    When Covid-19 first hit the headlines, I planted seeds of green vegetables — mostluy silver beet (aka chard) and coriander. Silver beet grows easily once you’ve kept the snails off the seedlings, and you can keep harvesting leaves for two seasons from the one plant. Saves having to go to the shops for the thing that lasts the least amount of time in your fridge: green vegies.

    For toilet paper use damp facecloths — wash after use and disinfect as need. Or old hankies, or used paper serviettes, or newsprint.

    For tissues, use handkerchiefs. This is BASIC knowledge for the older generations, esp those who went through the depression.

    Use disposable gloves or something else to cover your fingers when using keypads at banks, supermarkets, etc. Washable gloves are okay, so long as you bag them after use and put them through the laundry later. You can often find old gloves in thrift stores.

    Some door handles can be opened with your elbow, if you can’t use your elbow cover your hand with a piece of your clothing or a glove. Use your elbows to push open push-doors and to close doors. Do not touch the parts of the door with your hand that are normally touched by other people.

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  77. elastigirl,

    Cracking hickory nuts, uhm, a 16 oz. hammer with a big flat rock or anvil , very messy that way. ……
    We have a nutcracker……. not a normal nutcracker …… it’s big, about 12″ long, and 4″ high with a base and a handle….. set it on the table and crack away. It has leverage!

    Hickory nuts are in the same family as pecans and taste very similar to pecans. They do need to be lightly toasted in an oven or toaster oven, to take a bit of a “raw” taste out. I just use my pecan pie recipe and use hickory nuts instead of pecans. They are also good in cookies, muffins as topping, Amish friendship bread, Watergate salad …….. Anything you would use pecans in.

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  78. I don’t comment here much and usually late in threads. Guess I’m doing so again.

    I was put on work from home status for a week on Wednesday when I learned (and reported to my manager) that I was three contacts away from a confirmed coronavirus case. Then on Thursday the company decided to make our five large offices, including mine, work from home for the next two weeks. Later that day our church closed Sunday services for the next three weeks, allowing small groups to make their own decisions, and allowing the food pantry that runs twice a month to run.

    I have realized I am relieved to have the decision made for me. I commute via city bus and eat lunch out at restaurants near the office. So I was aware of the massive exposure risk I took every day just getting to/from work, but also that the restaraunt staff need business to get paid. So I was struggling with “which decision is right” and hoping I could hold out until the weather got warm enough to walk to/from work.

    I had pushed my wife into laying in stocks of non-perishable food and consumables at the beginning of the prior week, so when she went to the grocery store Friday and found it out of stock in some aisles she just shrugged and got what we really needed – mostly perishables. My son is having to “suffer” our having milk of a different milkfat level than his prefernce.

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  79. Continuing from what I mentioned above, I’m sure the restaurant business and workers in that industry are going to suffer significantly. The best data I have seen comes from OpenTable, which is an online reservation system for many restaurants. Here are a couple bullet points of their summary:

    1) In the United States and United Kingdom, we see a 20 percent reduction in total seated diners vs. last year. (All declines cited here are on a year-over-year basis.)
    3) Things seem to be getting worse quickly, though. Yesterday, the U.S., UK, and Canada all declined by around 30 percent.
    4) At the city level, diners are down approximately 45 percent in Seattle, 40 percent in San Francisco, 30 percent in New York, and 25 percent in London, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

    You can see their full post at https://blog.opentable.com/2020/covid-19-coronavirus-restaurant-industry-data/ and there is national/state/city day by day data on a subpage. Note that their comparisons are year over year, so the weekends are shifting. (And I’m not sure what date they used as the year prior for 29 Feb… their guy/gal behind the curtain had to make a choice.)

    Tipping extra at your regular places if you are still going out – or once you can go out again – would be an act of compassion for the waitstaff, whose income comes mainly from tips. I had started this to just a little bit right before I got put on work from home status. Restaurants may also be willing to do take out meals even if they usually don’t.

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  80. Barbara Roberts,
    We always grow a large garden. You don’t want to know what I home can, freeze, and dry! But you have shared some good ideas – made me think of a few things.

    I have kept anti-bacterial wipes, tissues, and paper towels (and many other things) in my car for years (Habit, my daughter and her friends always thought they were 10′ tall and bullet proof) ….. good things for us all to keep handy, just in case.
    Washcloths can be used instead of toilet paper, too. Rinse well after using, and a half cup of concentrated chlorine bleach in the washing machine will take care of the disinfecting.

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry a box of disposable gloves in our vehicles, lest we are forgetful. Zip lock bags are good ideas, too. Ladies: put a few rubber gloves or zip locks in your purses.
    And Walmart has disinfecting stations for the buggies at the entries. Use them. I don’t care if you’re in a hurry. Make time.

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  81. Brian:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Bakker’s 5 gal buckets of mac and cheese.

    Which are $4500 for seven man-years worth, i.e. the entire Great Tribulation for one person. His actual pitch line is “The World might be dying, but you’re eating breakfast like a king!”

    Both NPR and Vice have sampled his 5 gal buckets of the “breakfast like a king”. Neither could go through more than one or two meals’ worth. That bad.
    But he’ll get suckers because it’s Christian(TM).

    “And you’ll only drink milk
    If it comes from a Christian cow”.
    — Steve Taylor, “Guilty by Association”

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  82. Muff Potter: One of the most under-rated wunder (voonder) sundries in existence is hydrogen peroxide 3% solution.It’s widely available and every bit as good as the high priced hand sanitizer products.Mrs. Muff and me have filled a spray bottle with it and use it liberally.

    And still in stock at the local WalMart. I’m not sure if it is known to be highly effective against viral pathogens; oxidative stress can be lethal to bacteria, but viruses don’t have an internal metabolism to disrupt. Still, it is a good bacterial disinfectant, and indispensable to have in the home for first aid.

    Dee or GBTC — strike the remainder if it is too charged politically.

    I have been getting most of my pandemic news from a weblog that I consider to be unusually well curated. The daily links feature is a useful aggregation of the news (along with occasional fluff, human interest, and humor); it’s where I learned of the desperate situation in northern Italy days before the mainstream media picked up on that.

    Today’s links

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/03/links-3-15-2020.html

    contains some hopeful and troubling COVID-19 related items, such as

    hopeful: * plasma of convalescing patients may be therapeutic for those in earlier stages of infection (plausible — serum antibodies). This is really hopeful, I think that a vaccine could be protective, and suggests an interim strategy while that is in development

    * hints of progress in antiviral chemical therapy

    troubling: * studies of the aftermath of the 1918 pandemic suggest the possibility of immune dysfunction, induced by influenza exposure, in the young.

    * evidence of disregard of social distancing concerns in NYC

    Many readers will not like the political “slant” of this site (others will agree with it), but if you can get past that, you may find the news aggregation to be helpful. There is also frequently useful and thought-provoking information in comments, much like TWW, even though it’s a very different kind of site.

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  83. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Hickory nuts are in the same family as pecans and taste very similar to pecans. They do need to be lightly toasted in an oven or toaster oven, to take a bit of a “raw” taste out. I just use my pecan pie recipe and use hickory nuts instead of pecans.

    I suppose this thread is not too far off topic since it sort of pertains to survival/prepper food if necessary.

    Have you ever tried black walnut pie? (another woodland species that is common in many parts of the U.S., with millions of them in Kentucky). Perhaps you have read “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons … he has a chapter in his book on uses for walnuts and hickory nuts.

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  84. Barbara Roberts,

    Wonderful guidance.

    This thread is turning into something of a “homesteading” DIY autarky conversation, which is not a bad thing.

    Dee/GBTC — please toss this out if too far off topic

    Some really useful things I kind of stumbled on in recent years, for gardening.

    a) DIY humidome for germination. If you don’t mind the extract work of transplanting fragile seedlings, you can germinate certain hard-to-grow-from-seed plants with this method. I had very good success with Rosemary last year (I have read that it also works for lavender but have had no success so far):

    in an enclosable flat container with a clear lid (I used Chinese takeout plastic dish-style food containers), place a folded very damp paper towel in the bottom, a coffee filter on top of that (the filter is harder for emergent roots to burrow into, which helps when the time to transplant comes), and the seeds on top of that. Snap the lid on and set in a sunny location. Check daily to make sure the filter is not drying out.

    b) protecting leafy greens from slugs. I grew lettuce in terra cotta pots last year. One can remove these further from the ground, but not so far that they are highly likely to break if tipped over, by setting them on DIY benches made from a row of inverted orchid pots (6″ or 8″ diameter) or regular pots (the orchid pots are bit wider for their height, which seems more stable) with a plank or dimensional lumber laid on top. The slugs have to go a lot further to find the greens, and I did not see any evidence in these “elevated” pots that a single slug succeeded.

    The cabbage moths were much more successful, of course.

    c) One can make inexpensive DIY very tall tomato cages for indeterminate vine style tomatoes (and other vining plants, such as cucumbers) from “livestock panels”. I used 4′ x 8′ “handy panels” from Tractor Supply, and bent them into partly folded trellises (lifting each side 30-45 degrees — one could go further, to 90, but that is very tight cage) on marks about 16-17 inches in from each long side, using a long piece of dimensional lumber to hold down the center of the panel while I bent the sides up. These take a bit of work to install as they have to be dug in to the soil, but if installed 15″ or so deep and the soil tamped, they are very stable — there are 2 sets of horizontals anchoring the cage to the ground. Alternatively, one could cut off the horizontals at the bottom and push the remaining verticals into the soil like a conventional cone cage, but I think this would be a lot less stable.

    If this is too far off-topic, I apologize for clogging the thread and cheerfully accept deletion.

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  85. Since the end of last month, I’ve been dealing with much the same decision to make as Elastigirl.

    For the past few years, I’ve been working as the manager/sole teacher at a small, independent English classroom on the outskirts of a city in Japan. And from the first Monday of this month, the government has ordered all public schools (from elementary upwards) to cancel classes for three weeks, which basically erases the end of the 2019 school year. At present, private tutoring schools like mine are exempt, and we’re being allowed to decide for ourselves whether to continue classes. That decision hasn’t been easy to make.

    On the one hand, I want to do my part to keep my students and their families safe and healthy. Knowing that this virus can be spread by people who aren’t exhibiting symptoms is terrifying. However, the business isn’t mine. I’m running it in place of the owner, who is currently in her home country, tending to family matters. Since the school has been left to me in trust, I want to do my best to keep it going, which won’t happen if classes don’t. Also, I know my kids are going stir crazy, and getting bored out of their minds. I love teaching, and I’m happy to do my job and give the kids (and their parents) a break.

    Adding to my worries, my monthly visits to nursery schools in the area (for English playtime) have all been cancelled for March. Those schools are mostly still open, but they’ve received orders to keep non-family visitors from having contact with the children. That’s a major source of revenue for our school, and there’s a major concern that it will continue to be denied to us if the spread of infection doesn’t slow down soon. English conversation lessons are currently the only source of income we have left. And since I’ve decided not to hold a recruitment drive (this month is the prime period for doing so), it might be very difficult to find new students for the coming school year.

    For the time being, I’ve decided to continue with lessons. None of the classes have more than 4 students, and many are solo lessons. I honestly don’t see how I could carry them out online, or without going to the classroom. I do my best to disinfect surfaces on a regular basis, and keep things clean. The parents haven’t yet voiced any fears about bringing their children, and Japan’s containment measures to date seem to have done a good job of “flattening the curve”, as they say.

    I’m constantly second-guessing this decision, though. COVID-19 is constantly in the news and on social media, and new cases are cropping up every day. Just yesterday, the first infections were confirmed in the same city ward as my school — authorities are still trying to figure out how these two people contracted the virus. I hope to finish the rest of my lessons for this month, but forces beyond my control might take that choice out of my hands. And the owner has already suggested that, if matters don’t improve soon, I might need to take off the next month — or two — without pay. Worst case scenario: The school runs out of money, and shuts down permanently.

    All in all, it’s a somewhat different situation from that in the States, but still very stressful.

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  86. I’ll not kick off anything related to how to deal with living for a few months when social interactions are being curtailed.

    Now anyone promoting or selling “Lotions and Potions”, kerchiefs, and so on that have been prayed over or bless with special powers will be stepped on hard.

    [This was the term my brother came up with to cover things my mother was spending way too much money on for way too long later in her life.]

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  87. Just a comment and Dee may clarify some of this.

    We are ALL going to be exposed. And most will get some form of it. You really want to be healthy when this happens and have your lungs in good shape. As someone getting over the flu I’m on a more avoidance mode that I would be otherwise.

    Face masks that are not certified for viral particulates will most likely NOT keep you from getting infected. But most non trivial masks will keep the wearer from spreading things.

    If you must do things like meet with a variety of people in close situations I’d recommend everyone wearing masks to each protect the other person.

    In situations like music lessons, ugh. Keyboards, bring in a second electronic unit so you can demo things and maintain distance. (No hovering over the student with hands on hands.) As to instruments where you blow, maybe outdoors?

    Remember we are not really sure how long you can be infected and infecting others before you show symptoms.

    Again, everyone needs to understand that we will all get exposed. Anyone not on board with that concept needs to be avoided as they will likely be in a blame game mode if someone close to them gets infected.

    And we all need to understand that the current plans (since there is no vaccine and not much in the way of effective treatment) are about slowing the spread to keep the medical system from being overwhelmed. Think about your local hospital(s). What do they do when all the ventilators are in use and people keep showing up needing such to be alive? Do you put the homeless person who’s 25 years old ahead of someone who is 70 but well off and secure financially?

    This is where Italy is now to some degree.

    Two interesting articles:
    https://www.newsweek.com/newt-gingrich-i-am-italy-amid-coronavirus-crisis-america-must-act-now-act-big-opinion-1492270
    (If only he had written it without the political statements. But then again that would not be Newt.)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/?itid=hp_hp-top-table-main_virus-simulator520pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

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  88. Barbara Roberts: For toilet paper use damp facecloths — wash after use and disinfect as need. Or old hankies, or used paper serviettes, or newsprint.

    Good ideas, thanks.

    If using paper other than toilet paper, it needs to be discarded, not flushed. Some clogs can’t be resolved with a plunger. I’m sure plumbers will have interesting stories about these times…

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  89. Samuel Conner: troubling: * studies of the aftermath of the 1918 pandemic suggest the possibility of immune dysfunction, induced by influenza exposure, in the young.

    Not surprising. Similarly, there is plenty of evidence that getting Measles causes immune dysfunction which lasts for several years:

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/11/measles-does-long-term-damage-immune-system-studies-show

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  90. Friend: If using paper other than toilet paper, it needs to be discarded, not flushed.

    Once I had to foot the bill for a paper-towel-clogged toilet.

    ANYTHING OTHER THAN ACTUAL TOILET PAPER WILL CLOG THE TOILET. (OR AT LEAST HAS A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO CLOG IT.) NOT ONLY ARE EMERGENCY PLUMBERS EXPENSIVE, IN THE MIDDLE OF A CORONAVIRUS PANIC THEY MIGHT NOT COME AT ALL.

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  91. grberry: Restaurants may also be willing to do take out meals even if they usually don’t.

    There are also third-party online delivery services like GrubHub. They cover most local eateries where I am, normally deliver in about an hour of ordering, charging about a 20-30% surcharge for delivery and tip; I don’t know if they’re local to my area or more widespread.

    My roomie normally uses drive-thru windows, and he’s seen mask-and-glove precautions start up this past week at all the drive-thrus he uses.

    “Growing you own food” is NOT possible with me. I live in the midst of a city where there is NO space. Maybe a few square meters in the sparse landscaping, but I’ve been fighting “No Hablo Ingles and the Weedwhackers” for years just to get a couple geraniums and ground cover to survive on those couple square meters.

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  92. GuyBehindtheCurtain: Now anyone promoting or selling “Lotions and Potions”, kerchiefs, and so on that have been prayed over or bless with special powers will be stepped on hard.

    That includes Forsythia Extract, $80-a-vial Colloidal Silver (including Alex Jones’ Magic Toothpaste), $45-a-pop prayer coins, and Kenneth Copeland (richest televangelist in the world) holding his hands up to the camera to heal coronavirus through your TV screen (if you have enough FAITH and pledge enough TITHE, that is).

    “WHAT DOES THE DUCK SAY?”

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  93. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Containerized plants might be respected by the landscapers, since they are above ground level and are clearly “demarcated”.

    Merlot lettuce looks like a decorative plant — deep burgundy color — and is a good source of antioxidants (the leaf pigments — anthocyanins). It is heat tolerant. Perhaps plant a few pots of these (larger pots are better, give ’em at least a gallon of growing medium each) and harvest “by the leaf” rather than “by the head”. It might keep you in salad all Spring.

    For people getting into gardening for the first time, and wanting to grow in containers, I have found “Pro Mix” ~100 liter bales (it fluffs up to an even larger volume than this when removed from the tightly packed bale) to be a very inexpensive (compared with even discount store options) growing medium. Supplement with some slow-release fertilizer or judiciously push the plants with soluble fertilizer (MiracleGro or equivalent).

    Pro Mix BX is supplemented with spores of a soil fungus that can promote nutrient uptake by the plants.

    Last year, at a local hardware store, it was about 27$ per bale, at least 4 times cheaper on a per volume basis, than the next cheapest option I could find locally. The bales are heavy and large; don’t hurt yourself lifting them.

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  94. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    Forgot to include “Miracle Mineral Solution”, AKA drinking industrial bleach as a cure-all.

    “If you drink bleach to cure coronavirus because you read it on the Internet, you deserve everything that comes to you.”
    — Morning drive-time radio reporting on fake coronavirus sure cures

    That’s actually got a Christian tie in through its main advocate (“QUACK!”) setting up a 501c3 church(TM) claiming it as their sacrament or something. In Uganda, it’s being plugged by pastors under the name “Miracle Water”.

    When I was a kid, I used to read my grandmother’s issues of Prevention magazine. Here’s what I learned from them:
    IF THE PITCH STARTS WITH A GRAND UNIFIED CONSPIRACY THEORY ABOUT THE PROFITEERING MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT — ESPECIALLY WITH TEAR-JERKING ANECDOTES — START HEARING THE SOUND OF DUCKS.

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  95. Samuel Conner: Get a “Dalek gripper” style rubber cup plunger

    This won’t work if the clog is in a pipe under a concrete basement floor or in the front yard. We bought a house with a “legacy clog” that included Matchbox cars.* What’s super great is that you can see everything on the plumber’s cameras now! [blecch]

    *Not a substitute for corncobs

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  96. Max: Have you ever tried black walnut pie?

    NO, oh, no, no, no ,no. No black walnut pie.

    We have black walnut trees on out farm, and I’ve tried to make black walnuts “edible” in my book …… not sure it can be done! Those things are an “acquired” taste. I hate seeing all those beautiful nuts go to waste, but a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere.
    The nuts are sooooo sour……. bitter sour…… kinda like badly clabbered raw milk mixed with sulphur water. I’ve toasted them; I’ve boiled them, drained them and spread them out to dry …. no improvement. I’ve tried putting just a few walnuts in friendship bread – it doesn’t take much black walnut to overwhelm everything!
    An 80 year-old friend of ours who was raised dirt poor says, “they ain’t no fixin’ um. Either you love ’em or you hate ’em, just like they are”. Come to think of it, my grandparents and great-grandparents never gathered black walnuts. Nope. They bought a massive amount of English walnuts at Christmastime.

    I black walnuts them in the same category with Kentucky coffee: the desperate means, desperate measures category.
    If push comes to shove, I’ll eat them to survive. Thus far, I’ve been fortunate enough to have never been that hungry.

    That poke is a whole nuther story, though. It’ll be sproutin’ through the ground soon! I like it fried.

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  97. Friend: Preacher Jonathan Shuttlesworth is saying vile things about churches that close. The man opposes hand washing. He’s calling for certain American coastal states and cities to be hit hardest by this disease—oh sorry, prophesying that this will happen.

    Imprecatory Prayer, i.e. Casting a Death Hex on his enemies real or imagined, like an Appalachian Witch-Man or Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen except using God as his familiar spirit/enforcer. (In PA Dutch, Preacher Jonathan Shuttleworth thinks he “can do more than bake bread”.)
    “Just like Witchcraft, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

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  98. Friend: These are not like medieval Christians who cared for victims of plague. These people are discrediting the faith and possibly endangering lives.

    This is perhaps an unworthy thought, but it has occurred to me that some of those among the vulnerable population who will be carried away in this epidemic may have made bequests to their churches. Suspending public meetings to protect these people reduces present revenue; continuing the meetings might increase revenue above the non-epidemic baseline.

    It reminds me of the OT criticism of the shepherds in Israel who feed themselves on the flock.

    about 4% of the population has sociopathic personality traits. And the proportion tends to be higher in the upper reaches of powerful organizations. I think that’s enough to account for what we are seeing.

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  99. Headless Unicorn Guy: There are also third-party online delivery services like GrubHub. They cover most local eateries where I am, normally deliver in about an hour of ordering, charging about a 20-30% surcharge for delivery and tip; I don’t know if they’re local to my area or more widespread.

    The problem with all of these new services is they are a part of the “gig” economy. Which means the delivery people are not employees but contractors who turn on an app when they want to make deliveries. No one is checking their health before they decide to start a shift. No one is checking on their close contacts. Etc… And if this is a second gig and their primary job has reduced their hours or sent them home with a fever they may be trying to make up lost income.

    Be careful of who you want handling your food.

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  100. Samuel Conner,

    Yes, poke is poisonous. Some people are sensitive to skin contact with raw poke.
    The most poisonous part is the root.
    As far as eating it, ya gotta know when to pick it……… early, tender young shoots, no more than knee high. The more mature the poke plant gets, the more poisonous it becomes. Cooking it actually takes the poison out of the young shoots. Don’t eat it raw.
    Parts of the rhubarb plant are also poisonous.
    Raw elderberries are poisonous, too, but they make some fine jelly!

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  101. Ken F (aka Tweed): Also, what will be the impact of having so many of our products made in China? Have we seen those impacts yet?

    So far it’s just been pitifully shoddy and crappy merchandise on store shelves, but yeah, you do raise a sobering question:

    What eventually happens to a nation that guts its manufacturing base and produces very few durable goods on its own shores?

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  102. Muff Potter,

    It is a bit more complicated than that. Modern cell phone would cost $4K or more if not made in China. The cost reductions comes from being able to have a factory with 50,000 to 100,000 or more people at one time. We can’t do that here. Or much anywhere else.

    Plus there are all kinds of products where only a world wide demand allows it to be made at a reasonable cost. As someone put it if we really stop allowing in “foreign” products at some point a implantable medical device will stop being made as the chemical treatment needed for the parts in it is only made in a factory in Vietnam. Say 20 gallons per year.

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  103. Muff Potter: So far it’s just been pitifully shoddy and crappy merchandise on store shelves, but yeah, you do raise a sobering question:

    It used to be that way, but now China makes just about all the products and technologies we use. They also produce most of the world’s rare earth elements. And I read they produce around 80% of our medical supplies and medicines. Not the we could not produce them here, but the costs to do it there are so much lower.

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  104. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Parts of the rhubarb plant are also poisonous.

    This has been somewhat over-stated over the years. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which causes kidney damage; and enough of it will cause fatal kidney damage. But to ingest enough oxalic acid to fatally damage [generic]your kidneys would involve eating 5kg of rhubarb leaves which, apparently, taste pretty unpleasant anyway. In fact, several plants that are widely eaten as salad vegetables – including parsley, chives and spinach – contain more oxalic acid than rhubarb leaves do.

    Still, don’t eat rhubarb leaves. They’re bad for you and (I’m reliably informed, though I’ve not tried them myself) taste disgusting.

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  105. A bit of tech “counsel” to help the elder believers in one’s social reach (assuming that the elders’ infrastructure is already suitably configured. Some will be.)

    Earlier this week I fitted up the elderly couple to use their living room TV to watch their church’s livestreamed services. They attended in person last week but nervously avoided a group activity afterward, and this week stayed home. Thankfully, their church decided in the last day or so to suspend the public meetings in order to protect the vulnerable members and attenders.

    Provided that there is

    * a TV with either VGA or HDMI inputs and

    * a internet-connected PC with VGA or HDMI outputs

    one can connect the two with a suitable cable.

    This is desirable to exploit the larger display of the TV and, especially, the beefier speakers (especially so if the home PC is a laptop or netbook).

    Monoprice has excellent products at good prices (though the shipping is significant, but not unreasonable). If HDMI to HDMI, it may be best to get the thinnest possible cable, as the thicker (and somewhat cheaper) ones may not install well in confined spaces. The thinnest ones are very flexible and convenient to route from TV to PC and to fold into a tight coil for storage when not plugged to the PC (this couple uses a laptop; in a desktop setup, perhaps the PC would remain fixed and the storability of the HDMI cable might be a less significant consideration)

    IF the PC is VGA output only and the TV has only HDMI inputs, one can get a VGA + audio to HDMI adapter from Monoprice. This is a powered device and will need to be plugged in to household AC power. An HDMI cable to go from the adapter HDMI output to the TV HDMI input will also be needed.

    I’m not sure about HDMI at the PC and VGA only available at (an older) TV. I don’t think the Monoprice product above is bi-directional and don’t know if there are HDMI to VGA adapters.

    —-

    The TV controls should permit choice of video source. This couple’s TV had a PC source (which is probably the VGA connection); we used one of the HDMI ports.

    If you do this, it may be prudent to write clear instructions on how to set up (if a portable laptop arrangement that will be town down between uses) and tear down the video connection and how to configure (and unconfigure when done) the TV, and navigate to the live-stream. Perhaps do a few dry runs.

    And .. it worked.

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  106. Muff Potter: Medieval ‘Christians’ routinely blamed the Jews for various contagions back then.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I did find some articles and sources that give Christians high marks for mercy during plagues, but all are written by Christians themselves (modern or medieval).

    Here’s an article about the tendency to blame human groups and animals for disease, usually inaccurately. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/health/01plague.html

    I love the clever popish work-around at the end:

    During the Black Death, Pope Clement VI issued an edict, or bull, saying Jews were not at fault. He did not, of course, blaspheme by blaming God. Nor did he blame mankind’s sins. That would have comforted the Flagellants, the self-whipping sect who were the bull’s real target; they often led the mobs attacking both Jews and the corrupt church hierarchy, and were considered heretics. Nor did it blame Möngke Khan or Yersinia pestis. It would be 500 years until the “germ theory” of disease developed.

    No, the pope picked a target particularly tough to take revenge upon: a misalignment of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.”

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  107. We had our first case in the area yesterday. It was someone in a nursing home. Very disappointed in the churches in our area. The overwhelming majority were open for business and even quite boastful about their lack of fear and their abundance of faith (same kind of talk that snake-handlers use). Drove around town and the church parking lots were fuller than normal. I guess the Italians’ warnings (not to mention the CDC and infectious disease doctors’ pleadings) are falling on deaf ears. Sad.

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  108. Beakerj: Who falls for that?

    Desperate people. Seriously.

    In a podcast about the Wetterling family, after their child was abducted, they admit now to listening to every kook that called them with “information” because they were so desperate. With empathy for where they were at, this explains it to the rest of us. Oh my, how our hearts ache for what they went through, and listening to the crazies didn’t help them at the time, but it’s obvious why they did. https://www.apmreports.org/in-the-dark/season-one

    Note to self: be there for people who are desperately in need in our Christian fellowship, and walk with them in their truth with real love and practical help. That’s, IMHO, what TWW & Dee do successfully. No denying the ugly of what happens, and providing a platform to address it. Hearts are healed. Sometimes crimes (i.e., Savage) are addressed and predators put out of the church – after all these years, almost a miracle.

    With the virus, we can do practical things, and pray, but not make false promises.

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  109. While I agree that most (all?) of us will be exposed to Covid19 in the coming days/weeks/months, I wonder if the effects will be as equally “dangerous”. Not trying to make light of ANY infection, just hoping to get some info.
    Isn’t it true that viruses mutate at a regular rate? Will we who self quarantine/social distance ourselves be infected later on with the same strain of virus, or will it be different, and therefore less potent/virulent? I suspect that’s one of the things being determined by CDC and the experts, but time can’t, as far as I know, be sped up for this type of testing. 14 days of waiting is still 14 days of waiting. Case in point for an example: the many deaths in WA at the nursing home. A news report I read/heard noted that many of the workers were also infected. Yes, they’re being watched and treated, but is that “second generation” of contraction going to do as much damage to that group as to the original carriers/infected?
    Thoughts by some of you with medical experience and more scientific know-how than me?

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  110. Muff Potter: Medieval ‘Christians’ routinely blamed the Jews for various contagions back then.

    “Jewish law preserved the Jewish people through this terrible dark period of plague. It imposed a sanitary standard on the Jew far above the ordinary sanitary standard that medieval Europe had.” – https://www.jewishhistory.org/the-black-death/

    Noted: “some could go half a lifetime never washing their hands while Jews were commanded by OT law to wash several times a day.”

    Maybe with viruses jumping from creatures to humans at market places, OT food laws could also improve world health. Merits a look.

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  111. Ava Aaronson: Maybe with viruses jumping from creatures to humans at market places, OT food laws could also improve world health. Merits a look.

    The bat-to-person link has not been proven for covid-19. But what you’re describing has often led to slaughter of blameless animals (in addition to people). From the same NYT article—written in 2009 by the way:

    “Most human diseases originate in animals. While culling animals sometimes makes sense as a public health measure — for example, culling chickens to stop an outbreak H5N1 avian flu — animals are also sometimes “punished” pointlessly. In May [2009], the Egyptian government slaughtered thousands of pigs belonging to the Coptic Christian minority, despite international protests that doing so was racist against Copts and medically pointless because the disease was already in people. When the swine flu arrived anyway — in a 12-year-old American girl, the first confirmed case — the government vowed to hunt down the last few pigs hidden by poor families and kill them on the spot.”

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  112. Friend: During the Black Death, Pope Clement VI

    In Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century”, she speculates on how the pope survived and noted the pope’s physician had him sit between two roaring fires in the middle of summer. I suspect that made the pope particularly inhospitable for the fleas known to pass the bubonic (but not pneumonic) plague.

    I’d like to follow up on something I stated earlier about not getting really good directions from my evil too big to fail employer. Late Friday night, an email went out telling employees what to do in situations ranging from “I have coronavirus,’ “I think I have coronavirus,” “I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus,” “My child’s school/daycare has been closed” and “I am in a high risk group.” Basically, not to get in the weeds here, but my employer has waived the seven day waiting period for people to go on short term disability, given five days off to parents to try and find alternate care, and for those of us who are high risk and have the ability to do so, permission to work outside of the office.

    I am personally hoping that my amoral employer’s example will help other employers make similar decisions. I realize this is easier for large employers to do rather than smaller, but the more we can flatten the curve, that’s good, right?

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  113. Barbara Roberts,

    Zucchini is easy to grow, too. And last I checked, still in supply at the grocery store. Shred it, squeeze the water out with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth or reusable nut-milk bag, freeze it in muffin tins, pop out the zucchini-sicles into a gallon bag for easy storage, and presto. Throw a chunk or more into lasagna sauce, spaghetti sauce, taco meat, enchiladas, pancakes, pulled pork sandwiches, etc.

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  114. GuyBehindtheCurtain: It is a bit more complicated than that.

    No contest here computer guy. Capital has always chased cheap labor abroad. All I’m saying is that it’s not sustainable in terms of all the hidden costs when the piper comes callin’ and demands payment. Plus (my opinion) it’s more obscene than old fashioned pulp pornography.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_JLPWu0t78

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  115. Ava Aaronson: Maybe with viruses jumping from creatures to humans at market places, OT food laws could also improve world health. Merits a look.

    I am in hearty agreement! There had to be reason(s) for Torah’s specific descriptions of clean and unclean meats.
    BTW, I can’t wait for Passover here in my locale, cuz’ it’s the only time of year in these parts that I can get a decent jar of gefilte fish.

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  116. Steve,

    “the churches in our area. The overwhelming majority were open for business and even quite boastful about their lack of fear and their abundance of faith”
    ++++++++++++

    so incredibly self-centered

    (short-sighted, stupid, sastonishingly sirresponsible… i’m sure i could come up with more ‘s’ words)

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  117. Perhaps there is something to be said for sending emails to churches in one’s community appealing to them to suspend large meetings for the sake of their own people and of the wider community.

    My county is not yet reporting confirmed cases, but adjacent counties are and it’s a plausible guess that there are undetected cases in-county. Aggressive measures now may keep those numbers lower until such time as widespread testing becomes possible for the sake of contact tracing of confirmed cases.

    I read something sobering today — in Wuhan, China there are 1800 teams (> 9000 people) of
    epidemiologists tracing contacts (who are then tested) in an attempt to prevent further community spread. They are succeeding.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1234186320995639296.html

    BTW, “fomites” are objects that can become contaminated and transmit infection. Keep washing hands!

    US cannot do this kind of containment yet due to inadequate testing capacity. By the time the testing capacity grows to meet the needed level, the case load may exceed our ability to do contact tracing for the purposes of containment.

    Maintain your social distance if at all possible.

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  118. Ava Aaronson: Confirmed by Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist specializing in the study of infectious diseases: high percentage of deaths in China were age 70+ male smokers (men commonly smoke there, women don’t). He says in the US the variable will be obesity – much more common here than smoking. He said 45% of of US population becomes obese while aging.

    Osterholm’s interviews are packed with information.

    And I am so glad I’ve lost 95 pounds. I’m still about 40 overweight, but…

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  119. elastigirl,
    The little church that we attend in The SF Bay Area. was one of the few that didn’t close and do live streaming. Our average attendance is 30. We were down to 25 with people sitting in every other row and every other seat. The sermon was about connection and how badly the lack there of can affect people, especially the elderly.

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  120. Leslie,

    sounds like a positive thing. with the small # of people it sounds like you were able to manage a degree of ‘social distancing’.

    larger groups would not be able to do this (which is what i was responding to). sacrificing wisdom and prudence (which may be looked down on as ‘worldly’) on the alter of ‘faith’ is happy-go-lucky foolishness — which other people will pay the price for.

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  121. Leslie: The sermon was about connection and how badly the lack there of can affect people, especially the elderly.

    This reminds me of a time when I had a life-threatening illness, and my doctor had a truly scary personal demeanor—abrupt, saying I had a 30% chance, telling me things were going to hurt instead of saying “just a pinch.” But he was an excellent clinician.

    At that time I made up a rule: Just keep me alive. I’ll work out my own happiness.

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  122. March 15 interim guidance from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention:

    “… CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

    Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

    This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.” …

    Full document: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html

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  123. elastigirl,

    This little Methodist Church we stumbled on by accident in June. The pastor put on Nextdoor that he was starting a bible study on Revelation. After not being in a church for 10 years we decided to go. We LOVE the pastor. He is young,humble and Korean. The Methodist church was dying, very few people, mostly elderly. Lately some younger families have been joining. As a church member said “ We may be small, but we are mighty.” We are happy here. The people are warm and loving, as is the young Pastor.

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  124. so, all kids are home from school for the foreseeable future. the on-line school instruction will kick in next week.

    they want to go over to friends’ houses.

    italy seems like the model example of what to do, however. (staying at home)

    (this is very sweet — itallians singing to each other from the open windows & balconies. there are 3 little videos; don’t miss the 3rd one)

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-lockdown-italians-are-singing-songs-from-balconies.html)

    –what do you all think? is it best for my kids to stay at home? (middle school/highschool/college)

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  125. elastigirl: –what do you all think? is it best for my kids to stay at home? (middle school/highschool/college)

    Our strategy:

    -Lead by example, and tell kids what/why. Talk about local restrictions. Husband and I are staying home as much as possible. Offspring are limiting outings.

    -Make sure kids know the basics, and gently remind them to wash hands, etc.

    -If their friends come over, ask them what their families are doing. Tell them your house rules.

    -If your kids go out, remind them about hygiene and distancing. Have them ask about house rules.

    -Listen for their fears. Provide context and solid information.

    -Keep home cheerful and welcoming.

    -Make sure everybody has projects, hobbies, time alone, time together, etc.

    -Walking is good exercise.

    -Movie streaming recommendation! The 2019 documentary “Apollo 11” is gorgeous and uplifting, and it has a happy ending. Rated G!

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  126. elastigirl,

    This might be a good year to take up gardening, if there is sufficient space with good sun.

    SUGGESTION: shelter in place, as much as possible, with as few interactions as possible, for a number of weeks, until the testing situation improves enough that the public health authorities can determine the degree of spread in your community.

    I do think that the laboratory-based testing situation is going to improve, and at some point we may even have S. Korea style rapid response testing. But for the moment, we are grievously limited.

    With too little testing capacity, conventional garden-variety epidemic control measures are less effective because it is harder to determine who is infected and needs to be quarantined.

    If one is going to err, early in an epidemic, it is probably better to err on the side of more social distancing than less.

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  127. Samuel Conner: SUGGESTION: shelter in place, as much as possible, with as few interactions as possible, for a number of weeks, until the testing situation improves enough that the public health authorities can determine the degree of spread in your community.

    What happens when your food and TP stockpiles run out?
    I’m sure I’m good for a few weeks, but what then?

    I also cannot work from home, but that’s not that critical — I’ve stopped using Metrolink and driving in, and I figured out how to fuel up with minimal risk of contagion. Since some of my shop CAN work from home, that will lessen the number of possible exposures.

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  128. elastigirl: italy seems like the model example of what to do, however. (staying at home)

    Italy is also the model example of what NOT to do — ignore the situation and go Business as Usual until everything explodes and hospitals are triaging and only treating those who can be saved (NO high-risk patients). This overwhelming the hospitals has boosted the death rate in Italy from 1-2% to 6% and rising. Warehouses have been converted to hospital overflow and churches to morgues.

    YouTube comment threads are notoriously unreliable, but has anyone encountered teens walking up to “geriatrics” and deliberately coughing in their faces? And thinking this is All Very Funny?

    Anecdotes of that have surfaced a couple times, as well as one from NYC of young healthy virile Millenials (what used to be called “Yuppies”) laughing over the whole situation — “That’s THEIR Problem – they can all hurry up and die already”.

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  129. Friend: March 15 interim guidance from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention:

    “… CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

    Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

    Unfortunately, a lot of Megachurches are refusing to do this. When the subject came up in Conway, Arkansas, “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus”. The Big Five Baptist churches in town deadlocked on the issue and did NOT suspend services, only institute some precautions. (op cit Professor Fea’s blog “The Way of Improvement Leads Home”.)

    I expect a major cluster outbreak in that town. And in Lynchburg VA, where Liberty U alone refuses to suspend. And at a few (and maybe more) Dallas Megas. There’s already been one major cluster outbreak at a Korean Mega.

    But then, if the SECULAR world does X, Christians MUST do the Opposite of X.

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  130. elastigirl: larger groups would not be able to do this (which is what i was responding to). sacrificing wisdom and prudence (which may be looked down on as ‘worldly’) on the alter of ‘faith’ is happy-go-lucky foolishness — which other people will pay the price for.

    What do you mean, “may”?
    As I mentioned just above, It’s Already Happening.

    May as well give you the link and the commentary I did at Wondering Eagle:

    During the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, one dicoese in central Spain responded by calling a novena to a patron saint against pestilence. (In defiance of the SECULAR health authorities.) For nine days the churches were packed with prayers and devotions, including kissing the relics of said saint.

    That town had the highest per-capita death rate of any in Spain.

    Flash forward 100 years, to the big Baptist churches in Conway, Arkansas:
    https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/03/15/one-pastor-said-half-of-his-church-is-ready-to-lick-the-floor-to-prove-theres-no-actual-virus/

    Once again, if the SECULAR world does X, Christians MUST do the Opposite of X.

    Thing is, a lot of the backstory to this has a lot to do with cross-contamination from Political Conspiracy Theories and Culture War Politics, which this blog does NOT go into. But it’s still a factor in play.

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  131. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    The college students coming home to this area have not been very aware of the virus. I’m educating them, one at a time. Most are actually scared of covid-19 but don’t know how to protect themselves. Joking around is a clue about their fear. (Coughing on people is just depraved. Ye gods…)

    For what it’s worth, the public reaction in this region has been fairly calm and cooperative.

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  132. Samuel Conner: My county is not yet reporting confirmed cases, but adjacent counties are and it’s a plausible guess that there are undetected cases in-county. Aggressive measures now may keep those numbers lower until such time as widespread testing becomes possible for the sake of contact tracing of confirmed cases.

    Especially since the USA and UK really screwed the pooch when it came to testing. For instance, Connecticut was given ONE test kit for the entire state. ONE. They don’t expect test kits to appear in any quantity for at least another week, during which projections from other epidemics the number of infected will almost double. UCLA had to start producing their own.

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  133. Headless Unicorn Guy: Thing is, a lot of the backstory to this has a lot to do with cross-contamination from Political Conspiracy Theories and Culture War Politics, which this blog does NOT go into. But it’s still a factor in play.

    If you want to pursue this subject offsite, here are two blogs which are tracking that angle:
    David “Eagle” Bonner (DC area) at Wondering Eagle:
    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/

    Professor John Fea (Messiah College, PA) at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:
    https://thewayofimprovement.com/
    (Note – comments closed due to heavy work schedule)

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  134. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    The suggestion is carefully qualified by “as much as possible”. One should periodically replenish the pantry, and that should be done prudently, via socially-distanced methods, if possible.

    Even in Italy, the groceries and pharmacies are not closed — people are advised to shelter in place, but are not forbidden to acquire necessities.

    I’m off to a local grocery now; hopefully not packed (will turn around if it is), to pick up items requested by the elderly couple, and a few things for myself. Then an email appeal to the leadership of the church I passed yesterday that had a full parking lot.

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  135. Headless Unicorn Guy: I expect a major cluster outbreak in that town. And in Lynchburg VA, where Liberty U alone refuses to suspend. And at a few (and maybe more) Dallas Megas. There’s already been one major cluster outbreak at a Korean Mega.
    But then, if the SECULAR world does X, Christians MUST do the Opposite of X.

    This is an unkind thought, but it looks to me that this kind of thinking is a really clear example of Romans 1 “under the sun wrath of God”, where idolatry of some kind (the public meeting is more important than people’s lives) leads to darkened understanding, bad decisions and bad practices, and the final outcome is … death.

    “Faith” in Jesus’ death on the Cross can’t save you from that kind of wrath, if you insist on disobeying the OT call to “wisdom”. If you get one thing, get wisdom. It will help to save your life.

    I suppose that there will be some Darwinian selective pressures in coming months that will lead to some suppression of the more suicidal memes circulating in the churches. I hope that the leaders of these groups are permanently discredited.

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  136. KenF: . Similar for companies producing necessary supplies such as food, medical supplies, TP, etc., if they are forced to scale back production. It’s not clear to me that we are headed toward the right balance.

    What we are trying to do is not overwhelm our health care system. People will die if we do. Economic impact may be serious, but I would value lives over money. Balance is not the answer in this scenario.

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  137. Headless Unicorn Guy: They don’t expect test kits to appear in any quantity for at least another week, during which projections from other epidemics the number of infected will almost double. UCLA had to start producing their own.

    I think that it is likely that when large-scale testing gets underway, there will be a very rapid increase in the number of reported confirmed cases. Per the Johns Hopkins pandemic dashboard, US confirmed cases have been increasing at about 30% day over day for the last few days (doubling roughly every 60 hours). I don’t think that (and I earnestly hope that) the underlying epidemic is actually spreading that fast, but it perhaps gives a sense of how rapidly the reported numbers could increase once our awareness of the extent of spread is not being constrained by the testing capacity limits; presumably for a number of days the daily % increase will exceed what we are seeing now in our current testing-capacity-shortfall situation.

    Maintain your antiviral hygiene practices and your social distancing measures.

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  138. Samuel Conner: This is an unkind thought, but it looks to me that this kind of thinking is a really clear example of Romans 1 “under the sun wrath of God”, where idolatry of some kind (the public meeting is more important than people’s lives) leads to darkened understanding, bad decisions and bad practices, and the final outcome is … death.

    I look at it more as “Putting God to The Test”.

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  139. Samuel Conner: I think that it is likely that when large-scale testing gets underway, there will be a very rapid increase in the number of reported confirmed cases.

    I’m certain of it. Given the time frame, I’d figure on adding at least two (and more likely three) zeroes to the present figure. Which will trigger another panic.

    (I consider the current US & UK numbers the “propaganda number” as per the scene from Chernobyl: “They gave them the propaganda number. Two thousand Roentgens, not fifteen thousand.”)

    On YouTube, Dr John Campbell of Chelsea, England has been chronicling and analyzing the numbers and news on his “Dr John Campbell” channel for several weeks. And he says pretty much the same thing.

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  140. Samuel Conner: I’m off to a local grocery now; hopefully not packed (will turn around if it is), to pick up items requested by the elderly couple, and a few things for myself.

    Try to find out what their “off hours” are (minimum customers) and availability. I’m planning on hitting my regular grocery around midnight and looking into their online ordering for pickup.

    Then an email appeal to the leadership of the church I passed yesterday that had a full parking lot.

    If they give you the “O Ye of Little FAITH (tsk tsk), remember that “shaking the dust off your shoes” is also Biblical.

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  141. Max: On the other hand, when things get desperate enough in America, it would be great to see millions of Christians going to church to humble themselves, pray, repent, and seek God’s face (instead of business as usual). We’re not there yet.

    Why do I see that scene from The Stand where the group in Boulder is cleaning up from Captain Trips and they go into a church sanctuary?

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  142. Muff Potter: reason(s) for Torah’s specific descriptions of clean and unclean

    Some of the unclean are bottom-feeders, IOW, they eat garbage. Since the NT, it’s not sinful to eat these, & there’s no need for “slaughter” as someone up thread mentioned. Just an indication to be wise about what one consumes.

    A biologist has written about her study of parasites, and though neither Christian nor religious, she subsequently follows the OT food laws, for health. (What she found out & the correlation with what God forbid back then.) We have her book.

    About the virus we are facing, hygiene & personal space are good.

    A Jewish friend has said that in her view, some Christians do not understand “set apart”, which she was raised with as a practicing Jew. Jumping into the soup does not wash our sins away. Jesus does that at the foot of the Cross where we approach individually on our knees.

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  143. Steve: Very disappointed in the churches in our area. The overwhelming majority were open for business and even quite boastful about their lack of fear and their abundance of faith (same kind of talk that snake-handlers use). Drove around town and the church parking lots were fuller than normal.

    From Coffee With Jesus:
    LISA: Why did that guy who was handling rattlesnakes at his church have to die, Jesus?
    JESUS: Well, Lisa, because he was handling rattlesnakes at his church.
    LISA: But he said there’s a verse in the Bible that says we can pick up snakes. He was acting in faith.
    JESUS: He was acting like a circus clown, Lisa. And he’s finally learned the lesson from that verse in the Bible that says not to test me.

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  144. dee: schools cancelled

    Our schools have closed. I view it as a public good, since youngsters are typically excellent vectors of contagion. And many school kids receive care from grandparents old enough to be at risk of complications.

    For sure there are major disadvantages, but I believe school closures will lead to reduced strain on hospitals, and will save lives.

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  145. Beakerj:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    That Kenneth Copeland video was terrifying. Who falls for that?

    Enough Social Security checks to make Copeland a near-Billionaire.

    From Coffee With Jesus:
    CARL: And he said if I “sowed a seed of faith” you’d bless that gift and increase it ten, a hundred, a thousand fold!
    JESUS: So you called the toll-free number, pledged some money, and now you’re expecting me to give you a return on your investment.
    CARL: Well, those rates are a lot better than I can get at any bank, Jesus.
    JESUS: Did you happen to notice, Carl, that the man pitching this scheme was seated on a gold throne and wearing a three-thousand dollar suit?

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  146. Jeffrey Chalmers: . Epidemiologist have been predicting this type of senario for years, right down to potential lack of ventilators… I need to stop or I will be put in moderation…

    I concur. There have been concerns about a pandemic for decades. Many thought Ebola was the one. I am thankful that was not it. It was a gruesome disease.

    I’m trying to remain optimistic on this one but it is increasingly difficult given the economic implications.

    Interestingly, my daughter became friends with a health professional on the Mercy Ship.He goes for about a month each year. he decided to extend his stay. he decided to extend his time due to the problems with returning to the US. She just heard that the Mercy Ship is suspending surgeries for the time being due to the health crisis. I’m not sure why but I bet it’s to avoid a generalized infection. The ship is not set up for widespread quarantine.

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  147. Max: If necessary, you can grind those up into acorn flour and make bread … the Native Americans did that for centuries. Your husband may have been thinking survival food – there’s something about men: they think they must eat every day.

    I bought bread flour and yeast. In a pinch, I can feed myself on homemade bread for ages…

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  148. You might be interested in why my psoriatic arthritis has an upside during this time. I take two prescription medicines which have been quite effective. Xeljanz XR and Plaquenil (Hydroxycholriquine). Apparently the Plaquenil is being used to treat coronavirus. Here is one article but Google it. Even the NIH is looking into it.
    https://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/potential-pipeline-medications-for-the-coronavirus.

    My mother’s independent elderly complex is limiting visits to only one family members are pushing the Purell type cleaners when one enters along with asking all sorts questions. She is 91. I’ve decided not to bring her to our house because my husband is constantly seeing patients which puts me at risk as well. he told me to *Keep drinking that Palquenil milkshake!*

    How many of you have family living in your home that must treat patients? Does that concern you?

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  149. dee,

    It is really “uncanny” how close “to the script” this is playing out compared to the Academic seminars I have attended. . I have a paper in which they sequenced the genetic material of the virus from eight very early patients….. the eight patients virus were all VERY similar, and ALL had genetic material from a bat….. (as seminar I attended predicted- at least a wild animal virus) this paper was published online January 30, and they discuss the virus being in the US then….
    At the rate it is going this virus will sweep the globe in the 3-6 months, unless the “curve is flattened”….

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  150. grberry,

    I know I’m going to sound like a preppier, alto I assume you that I’m not. A year ago, I came to the conclusion I was tired of worrying about stores running out of food, etc. during storms, etc. So, I went to the Dollar Store and stocked up on canned good like Dinty Moore Beef Stew, etc. Yes, I know. I like to cook and prefer my food but this was good for emergencies. I stocked up on flashlights, batteries, etc and put them all in my *storm closet.*

    A few weeks back, we finally installed a whole house generator. We live on some land that has a gazillion huge pine trees which tip over during storms and after the last power outage, we decided to get one. This reminded me to check the expiration date on the canned goods. Some of the cans expire later this year.

    So, I got to thinking and decided to get 10 days with of freeze dried food, that won’t expire for 25 years. It’s enough to feed 4 people. It looks pretty yucky but it is there for emergencies.

    So, am I crazy or prudent given where I live?

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  151. Headless Unicorn Guy: I expect a major cluster outbreak in that town. And in Lynchburg VA, where Liberty U alone refuses to suspend. And at a few (and maybe more) Dallas Megas. T

    This is historically normal for LU. I remember a bad snowstorm up there when I was a student living off-campus, and they announced school would go on as normal even though everyone else was closed. And one of my professors had a 3-strike policy on tardies and absences and enforced it on me even though I tried to get to school and ran off the road and had to be towed. Showing him the tow receipt did nothing. Luckily, I wasn’t out of strikes and my friend with a 4-wheel drive drove me to school for a couple days after that.

    There was very little charity for a place that claimed to be about sharing God’s love with the world.

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  152. David: Case in point for an example: the many deaths in WA at the nursing home. A news report I read/heard noted that many of the workers were also infected. Yes, they’re being watched and treated, but is that “second generation” of contraction going to do as much damage to that group as to the original carriers/infected?

    Not sure if anybody answered you, but this virus is worse for older/sicker people. That’s why the workers who were infected are not getting as sick. It has nothing to do with virus mutation. You can read up on the virus to get this info..

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  153. Headless Unicorn Guy: [Max:] …when things get desperate enough in America, it would be great to see millions of Christians going to church to humble themselves, pray, repent, and seek God’s face.

    Stipulating that you’re quoting someone else, who cautioned against crowded worship services as covid-19 spreads…

    This week, the loudest Christian voices in America are mocking people for protecting themselves from a worldwide pandemic.

    I am having trouble imagining a disaster that would cause millions to beg for mercy at a church.

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  154. HeadlessUnicornGuy: When the subject came up in Conway, Arkansas, “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus”.

    What church is that? The biggest one I know of has gone online I believe. I have seen SO many local churches cancelled in Arkansas. We have had cases in four counties in central arkansas, including iirc faulkner.

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  155. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Growing you own food” is NOT possible with me. I live in the midst of a city where there is NO space. Maybe a few square meters in the sparse landscaping, but I’ve been fighting “No Hablo Ingles and the Weedwhackers” for years just to get a couple geraniums and ground cover to survive on those couple square meters.

    Someone else suggested containers. Those can help. You can’t get a huge crop out of containers. We’ve had a chive crop for years occupying about a square foot of a container, and could already go out and harvest and keep doing so until autumn snowfall – even though daffodils are just starting to bloom locally. You can get all the mint you’ll ever want – and that stuff is so willing to spread the wheedwackers may be fighting it for years. We’ve done a potato plant in a container and got about a half dozen decent sized potatoes at the end of the year. (That was low cost because we already had the container and dirt, just planted a potato that had been left at the back of the closet too long and started sprouting.) Ornamental peppers can do well in containers, those who love their spice might check out peppers.

    You can also do hanging pot tomatoes. If you have any windows that get sun and don’t need to be closed for privacy reasons, that should work. Fresh cherry tomatoes are always good. We plant one or two cherry tomato plants outside each year and usually get a good crop despite losing significant volume to squirrels, rain, and forgetting to pick. Try searching “hanging pot tomatoes”. Some other edible plants can do hanging pots also – check out https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/containers/vegetables-for-hanging-baskets.htm

    Medicinally, aloe vera makes a good houseplant.

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  156. David: Isn’t it true that viruses mutate at a regular rate?

    Most do. This one has roughly 30,000 RNA “letters” in its coding. It is mutating at a rate of roughly two letters a month. The vast majority of the mutations are irrelevant to the behavior of the disease but do help scientists group/trace transmissions chains. The ones that matter could make it worse or better.

    See https://bedford.io/blog/ncov-cryptic-transmission/ for some more detail. It was that post that pushed me into deciding my family needed to buy supplies. I’m glad it did, it put us a week ahead of the local panic reaction. The author continues to post on twitter as the science develops, see https://twitter.com/trvrb and read threads. He has posted revision threads in response to feedback from other scientists (not randos) in at least one case I’ve seen.

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  157. dee: I am so sorry for the outbreak in Washington. Do they have a handle on why? I heard an infected person visited a nursing home which caused the outbreak there.

    Read the bedford.io blogpost I linked to in my prior comment and some of his early March twitter threads. One of the early January arrivals from Wuhan came back on January 15 and was not found to have the disease until January 19. In those four days (plus whatever testing delay before it was positive and they were isolated), they managed to start a transmission chain. It spread undetected in the community for six weeks, and probably there were around 400 community cases by the time the case #2 was identified. One of those ~400 visited the nursing home and it became highly visible.

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  158. Headless Unicorn Guy: but I’ve been fighting “No Hablo Ingles and the Weedwhackers” for years just to get a couple geraniums and ground cover to survive on those couple square meters.

    You do know that you could get branded a ‘racist’ for that little quip over at any one of the ‘progressive’ ixtian blogs? You know, the ones where they hate their own whiteness almost as bad as Winston Smith hated working in the Ministry of Truth?

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  159. dee: A few weeks back, we finally installed a whole house generator. We live on some land that has a gazillion huge pine trees which tip over during storms and after the last power outage, we decided to get one. This reminded me to check the expiration date on the canned goods. Some of the cans expire later this year.

    So, I got to thinking and decided to get 10 days with of freeze dried food, that won’t expire for 25 years. It’s enough to feed 4 people. It looks pretty yucky but it is there for emergencies.

    So, am I crazy or prudent given where I live?

    My parents former house was way out at the end of an electric delivery line with few customers (from the last traffic light, a few miles down a peninsula, across a bridge onto an island, off onto a side road, down a ways, off another side road, 15 minute drive) and essentially every winter they had at least one 24 hour power outage. It just made sense for them to get a generator. You sound like you might be in the same sort of situation, and thus being prudent.

    The balance between prudent preparation and imprudent preparation is a matter of risk and benefit judgment. Risk management is a luxury available to those of us above the “barely making ends meet” level of economic well being. The best form of risk management is participating in a real community with a functional economy. Then insurance (for major individual financial events) and personal preparation can back that up. Keeping an eye on better forecasts than the nightly news gives is also good, just as our farming forebearers kept an eye on the sky.

    I got lucky (so far) on this one because I was watching better forecasts than the news was giving.

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  160. Friend: Good to see that the church’s own message is not defiant or complaining.

    My impression (and perhaps I am biased) is that that announcement has a tone of “we’re doing this because we have to; we’d rather gather to worship God as we customarily do (and we would have done that without the compulsion of the State order).

    And that could convey to the flock the implication that “this isn’t as big a deal as the authorities are making it out to be”

    I hope that’s not the intent and not the effect, but I would have been much more encouraged to see a clear acknowledgement of the gravity of the situation. The first sentence of the 2nd paragraph seems to me to imply that the congregation does not have objective grounds for fear or a sense of insecurity; that is for the ‘others’ in the world outside. The emphasis on Divine predetermination of outcomes could have the effect of weakening the people’s sense of the importance of their individual contributions to the slowing of the progress of the epidemic.

    It is not hard for me to imagine some congregations, a year from now, surveying their self-inflicted wreckage and wondering, like Paul’s imaginary interlocutor in Romans 9, “no-one resists His will; why then does He still blame us?”

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  161. SamuelConner: The emphasis on Divine predetermination of outcomes could have the effect of weakening the people’s sense of the importance of their individual contributions to the slowing of the progress of the epidemic.

    We know that dumb decisions to hold massive events directly contribute to the spread of disease, both from previous examples (1918 philly vs st louis for example) and now, where we are seeing a number of cases from mardigras, turn into more and more cases.

    That’s not predetermination that’s bad decision making.

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  162. Lea: That’s not predetermination that’s bad decision making.

    It’s both, from the perspective of “strong sovereignty” — God decrees the means as well as the ends. Funny how we’re migrating back toward that theological issue; it’s always lurking in the background.

    Just as “divine predestination” can have the effect, in some church traditions, of demotivating the laity to engage in outreach, I think that it could have the effect of demotivating people from making the strenuous efforts that are needed to pursue the public interest in the midst of the present emergency.

    Perhaps in such contexts, “love of neighbor” could motivate significant effort to pursue the well-being of one’s neighbors and the wider community. But that presupposes that “love of neighbor”, if even present, is conceived of in terms broader than simply “helping them to escape post-mortem punishments”.

    I worry that the current manifestations of “church” are going to prove, in at least some cases, to be very bad for all of us.

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  163. grberry: We plant one or two cherry tomato plants outside each year and usually get a good crop despite losing significant volume to squirrels, rain, and forgetting to pick.

    We have a lot of squirrels in our area. We got some of those plastic flower pinwheels from the Dollar Tree to decorate the garden (per my 4-year-old’s request), and they seem to have had an unforeseen side benefit of keeping the squirrels and birds away.

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  164. Thomas J (aka “Stonewall”) Jackson is famously reputed to have not worried about enemy fire, reckoning that he was invulnerable to anything aimed at him until the from-eternity-past appointed moment of his passing would arrive. Ironically, in the end he was the victim of a friendly fire incident, shot by his own pickets while returning to friendly lines from a night-time reconnaissance.

    I worry that this mentality, which is probably not hard to find in some corners of modern US Protestantism, could have the consequence that people who think this way may not feel a “love of neighbor” duty to engage in either self-protective or other-protective measures.

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  165. Samuel Conner: this mentality, which is probably not hard to find in some corners of modern US Protestantism

    Not just Protestantism and not just in the US. In the past few days, have heard several Catholic and Orthodox priests say that Communion has never transmitted germs in over 2000 years. And holy water is safe to drink (although drinking it is not even the norm).

    These are not the majority voices, but people do listen to them.

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  166. Friend: These are not the majority voices

    Thankfully, our local catholic diocese put out a message that rules were suspended on attendance/communion, things were being put in place to ensure less transmission and I think one of the things was not doing the holy water stuff…Happily I’ve seen a lot of precautions being taken in my general area.

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  167. Friend: Not just Protestantism and not just in the US. In the past few days, have heard several Catholic and Orthodox priests say that Communion has never transmitted germs in over 2000 years. And holy water is safe to drink (although drinking it is not even the norm).

    These are not the majority voices, but people do listen to them.

    Sigh … they probably would not be persuaded even by a controlled trial of the hypothesis that Communion cannot infect or that Holy Water cannot be contaminated with airborne pathogens.

    OTOH, there will probably be some retrospective case studies of these very things in years to come.

    I imagine that in future they will be studying and writing about what we are experiencing as long as, or longer than, we and our predecessors have been studying the great Spanish Flu pandemic.

    We’re making history 🙁

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  168. It was business as usual at the “church” where I used to attend. It’s a 9Marx affiliate (150-200 during a typical Sunday morning service) that “absence shames” in good times. I wonder what type of message the pastors are sending out this week. They don’t have the capability to livestream, so I would guess they were nearly full yesterday, although there are numerous older folks that may have some wisdom that they’ve acquired over the years.

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  169. In the county where I live, we had our first presumptive positive case reported on Saturday (3/14). The young man in question was already over it by the time it was reported and contracted it from out of country (European) guests that had already come and gone.

    Most (not all, but most) music gigs (including one of mine) had already been cancelled or postponed. All other public gatherings have been cancelked / postponed, including all school / University sporting events. A major, national annual sporting event that takes place at the end of May was just cancelled today. We’re waiting to see if they will cancel a major annual music festival. It takes place the end of June and draws upwards of 50,000 people for the weekend from all over the world – I’ll be shocked if it isn’t cancelled. Both the public schools and the university are on spring break. The public schools are on a minimum of 3 week hold on returning to class – may be until May. The university is going the route of virtual online classes for now. Some fast food places have closed their dining rooms and gone to drive thru / delivery only. Many restaurants are encouraging takeout or delivery with no-contact delivery options. Grocery stores have reduced their hours and are limiting the number of certain items (tp, hand sanitizer, etc.) that can be purchased per day per person. The hospitals have stopped allowing vistors. Most churches have gone to online only services (a notable and not surprising exception being my former church). My current church is doing a live stream service where only the pastor and worship team are on site. They will do this for three weeks and them evaluate if it needs to go longer.

    My sister, who is homebound, was negatively impacted by the freaking hording. She has to do her grocery shopping online and when she placed her order, the site said Walmart had TP in stock. By the time they put her order together, they were out. She only had 2 rolls left to last her a month. I reached out to a friend who runs a local non-profit that helps homeless families and she sent someone to my sister with TP from their stock.

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  170. I live in a senior/disabled building owned by Catholic Charities. The community room, workout room have been closed. No group activities or van trips. If guest enter the building they must sign in. Meals-on-Wheels are still delivering. Some of their drivers are staying home.

    My church still held services. A neighboring Congressional church held a prayer vigil.

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  171. Brian,

    Our very large school system is now distributing two meals a day to students in the free/reduced program. Because of a covid-19 diagnosis, every school building is completely off limits. The meals are being distributed from 29 school parking lots. State-certified food handlers are serving the children. By my calculation, each site will feed over 1,800 children twice each weekday, and also provide weekend bags.

    About 52,000 children are in the program.

    Lord have mercy.

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  172. I made a little trip to Russellville, Ky today (pop. 7,000). They have a Walmart, and I thought May that Wally World hadn’t been hit as hard a the ones in bigger towns. Boy was I wrong! ……So glad that I habitually stock up!
    No toilet paper, no kleenexes, no potatoes, no onions, no bread, no buns, no peanut butter, etc, etc, etc …….
    I had intended to get a couple of cans of baby Lima beans (for Brunswick stews). I had to cans in the cabinet, but since I made B. stew tonight, I thought maybe I’ get a couple more cans. No baby Lima beans….. none….. nada…… zilch. Can somebody tell me who in the pea-pickin’-blankety-blank hordes baby limas??????????
    So, I went to the Dollar General Store and purchased 3 of their last 5 loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread, and a few other things.

    I tried to get a hair cut today, but I still have a nasty cough and sneeze “seizures” from the really bad RSV and sinus infections that I had. I explained that to the manager —– the possibility that I might get half of a haircut and then get kicked out because I started coughing and triggered a panic in the salon. The manager told me that they would not cut my hair today. Eh, no hard feelings. I can understand their position.
    Jails are closed to visitors, restaraunts were ordered to close at 5:00 pm tonight, restricted visitation at nursing homes and assisted care facilities……

    The first Kentuckian died from corona virus today……. a 66 year-old man from Bourbon County who had health complications/risk factors.

    My 76 yo dad and 73yo mom have been on my case about venturing out in public because I have a compromised immune system like they have room to talk …..pfffft, I have a better chance than either of them.
    Are we having fun, yet?

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  173. elastigirl,
    My daughter met with a tutor in our neighborhood. When the tutor moved, we began meeting on Zoom. It actually works even better! The relationship was already established, and now there’s no driving involved. It might take a little experimenting, but being able to teach remotely is a great tool to have in your teaching toolkit! I’m sure there are many squirreled up kids right now along with parents who are looking for some structure. Could be a good time to try.

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  174. Samuel Conner:
    The wording of this announcement from J MacArthur’s church

    https://www.gracechurch.org/community/posts/1898

    gives me the impression that they would not be changing their meeting plans if not compelled to by the State of California.

    One wonders if the members are heeding calls to anti-viral hygiene measures and social distancing.

    After reading that link, it’s so encouraging to see that you can still drop off your virus-riddled offering at the church office! Wouldn’t want them to miss out on THAT now, would we? (All written in ‘sarcastic’ font!)

    Honestly, I think that’s the ultimate reason the metas are putting up such a fuss. But our little church even drug its heels for a bit before realizing that staying open would put the majority of the congregation in the center of the disease’s crosshairs. Most members are in the 65 and up crowd. Pastor will now be preaching to a video camera for a little while!

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  175. Root 66,

    A perfectly ordinary typo, that perhaps has the useful effect of granting the opportunity to riff on the concept of a “meta church”. In present day usage, “meta” as an adjective has the meaning “self-referential”

    That strikes me as a useful new term to describe many of these groups.

    If one reads Acts from the perspective of “strong sovereignty”, one would be inclined to conclude that the persecution that scattered the big gathered church at Jerusalem was intended for that very purpose. God did not want that congregation to remain a gathered congregation; He preferred that it be scattered.

    Acts 8:4 suggests a possible reason to prefer a “scattered” to a “gathered” group.

    The numerous small churches that coalesced here and there after the scattering did not remain under the direct instruction of the apostles — no internet in those days.

    One wonders if the leaders of the present great mega-churches (or, perhaps better, “meta churches”) will connect these dots.

    Or will they show themselves to be “meta pastors”

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  176. Lea: massive events directly contribute to the spread of disease

    The massive exchange of cash each day in America is concerning me. I suspect that the porous surface of paper money (one of the most filthy things in our society) might harbor the virus for hours/days as it is circulated. Puts a new slant on Biblical references to money as “filthy lucre.” Wash those hands folks!

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  177. ishy: This is historically normal for LU.

    New from Liberty:

    Coronavirus Information and Updates

    Current Operating Status: Liberty University remains open, most residential classes go online

    In light of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s emergency ban on public gatherings of 100 or more people, Liberty University will transition most residential classes to an online digital format starting Monday, March 23.

    https://www.liberty.edu/students/health-wellness/coronavirus/

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  178. dee: So, am I crazy or prudent given where I live?

    IMO, it is prudent to have a 2-4 week (or longer) supply of food on hand regardless of where you live. Beyond the current flu threat, natural disasters of one form or another threaten all regions of our country causing disruption in transportation and food availability. Our “emergency” food supply includes rice, oatmeal, dried beans, powdered milk, chicken bouillon, peanut butter, honey, dried fruit, canned vegetables, canned fruit, pasta, pasta sauce, nuts, granola bars, and COFFEE. We rotate these items for 2+ years of shelf life and also have a supply of dried beans, rice and pasta preserved in mylar bags packed with oxygen absorbers providing a 25-year shelf life. Not a big stash, but enough to keep us going for a while.

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  179. Muff Potter: You guys like bluegills too?

    There is no greater sport (IMO) than fly-fishing for bluegill with popping bugs or dangling a cricket or worm in front of them under a bobber … a species that can out-fight any other pound-per-pound and great eating! Other fishermen always grant me “social distancing” when they observe me whipping my fly rod madly over a pond.

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  180. Because of the mandatory shelter in place ruling that just came out in the SF Bay Area even our little church of 30-35 is suspending church services and bible study for 3 weeks. I am a tax accountant and my office is shutting down for 3 weeks. We are going to try to accommodate as many clients as we can while working from home. The last time I checked the tax deadline has not been extended, although I expect that it will be. My son, son in law, and two grandsons are carpenters. They will not be getting paychecks for as long as the shutdown lasts. My Daughter and daughter in law are teachers and will be getting paid.

    Parking lots at the grocery stores are packed, and lines of 10-20 people at the grocery stores. Online groceries are two weeks behind schedule.

    There is definitely some shaking up going on in the world. I am watching in wonder to see God’s hand in this. Curiously I am at peace.

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  181. Mr. Jesperson:
    For your daily Bible meditation: “So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba 70,000 men.” – Just one of many such verses easily found with any concordance.

    You really have a one-track mind on this, don’t ya?

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  182. dee: I take two prescription medicines which have been quite effective. Xeljanz XR and Plaquenil (Hydroxycholriquine). Apparently the Plaquenil is being used to treat coronavirus.

    According to MedCram, hydroxychoroquine allows zinc to pass the cell wall and mess up the virus’s reproduction. (They’ve tried both choloquine and hydroxychloroquine and the latter seems to work better.) This is dependent on zinc levels, so if the zinc levels are low it has to be teamed with a zinc supplement. Since it’s an existing drug, Italian doctors are using it out of desperation.

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  183. dee: I am hoping that the warmer weather might cause the virus to slow but they don’t know for sure.

    Warmer weather as we get into spring WILL cause influenza itself to taper off, and losing all the flu cases will free up SOME capacity. My local hospital was jammed with flu cases BEFORE coronavirus started taking off.

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  184. 9Mark Dever spurns streaming option:

    http://www.bpnews.net/54467/covid19-variously-impacts-sunday-worship-across-us

    “Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., has canceled worship through March 31, with no livestream option offered…Unlike [other churches], Capitol Hill Baptist Church will not offer online worship…pastor Mark Dever said Thursday in a letter to congregants…’During this time that our church is closed to public services, we will not be streaming services online,’ Dever wrote.”

    A Twitter missive explained that eschewing streaming is about respecting God, these weeks will be a time for the parishioners to think about what they’re missing:

    https://twitter.com/MarkDever/status/1238424118506262528

    Dever: “a video of a sermon is not a substitute for a covenanted congregation assembling together and all the various means of God’s grace in that. I think it would be healthier to respect God’s strange providence in a period of abstinence from meeting together.”

    -Is there a practical or theological reason why you aren’t live streaming?

    Dever: “Yep. A providential time of abstinence could have good, chastening soul benefits. More useful than a part of a service people may mistake for a substitute. Many benefits of the assembly could usefully be mourned over, appreciated & longed for.”

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  185. Max,

    Crappies are pretty good, but I luv those channel cats with hushpuppies! But, it’s still too chilly here for the cats to be bitin’……. wah.
    Don’t forget to take a jacket with you – the weather in March can be unpredictable, and the wind seems colder out on the water.

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  186. Muff Potter: Jackals and hyenas (the two-legged variety) that’s who.
    They care nothing for anybody or anything that can’t cater to their immediate desires.

    That just irks me. But, oh well, no great loss. I’m sittin’ on enough frozen corn, blackberries, strawberries, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnip greens, hickory nuts, dried apples, chicken, pork, beef, venison, and fish ….. plus enough canned tomatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, jams, jellies, and pickles (beets, squash, cucumbers, jalapeños)…… plus I keep a variety of dried beans, noodles, and rice ….. whole wheat, self-rising, all-purpose, and rye flour with cornmeal to boot …….. to sink four or five 14 foot John boats ………
    I’ll give the scraps to my dogs – hyenas and jackals aren’t getting anything! I’ll set live traps for them. Ha!

    I am a “prepare for everything” pack rat. I have the knowledge and the necessary items to preserve food and the storage space for it. So, I do it. Just cain’t help myself….. We always raise a big garden and I freeze, can, and dry foods. It’s just ingrained in me by preceding generations.

    It really bothers me when I think about people who live in cities who don’t have the opportunity or the space to store enough supplies for a week, let alone ……. eh, kinda go off the deep end, like I do.

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  187. Jerome,

    What a terrific “all-or-nothing” attitude…so typical of a 9-Marxist! Punishing people by withholding the Word from them, since they can’t ‘do church’ the way that Dever feels that they should, is pretty low. Hopefully folks there will realize that they’re better off WITHOUT that kind of biblical-brow-beating, and will eventually choose to worship elsewhere!

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  188. Jerome,

    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    It’s interesting to me that in the extracts Jerome provided, Dever emphasizes the “covenanted” character of the group that is temporarily “fasting” from its customary Sunday exercises. Perhaps it’s just my deepening cynicism, but I am tempted to see in this an intended message to his congregation that “you signed a contract to continue under my/our [CHBC elders’] authority unless and until we release you”.

    I share Ken F’s hope that this emergency will have beneficial and transformative effects on the current preferred ways of “being church”.

    —-

    I also hope that this will be the death of the televised healing ministries. That grift has been going on far too long. This is really snarky, I suppose, but I think that FC got started a few decades late.

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  189. Jerome,

    I’ll give Dever this: he’s respecting the biblical precedent of Acts 8: when acute suffering (in the form of persecution) overtook the first “megachurch”, in Jerusalem, and the people scattered, the apostles lost contact with them.

    Any interesting point that I have not seen explored (but someone must have written about this) is that IIRC we don’t really see “the Church gathered” in Israel mentioned in Acts after this. The apostles are still prominent, at least up to Acts 15, but the focus shifts to outreach to Gentiles, first in Israel and then in the wider Mediterranean.

    It’s at least conceivable to me that the big church in Jerusalem did not ever regather in its former glory under the apostles.

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  190. Jerome: Dever: “a video of a sermon is not a substitute for a covenanted congregation assembling together and all the various means of God’s grace in that.

    This is so dumb, but it shows that they think there is magic in assembling, and that god cannot do the same from a distance? Social media doesn’t count as assembling, even as I saw on facebook live last sunday many church members commenting how much they appreciated the service and holding a gathering of sorts. I would say this call just sounds like laziness, but I think maybe they really believe it. Which tells you what they think of older/infirmed members who cannot physically attend.

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  191. Max: and also have a supply of dried beans

    I have noticed that dried pinto beans, if not cooked timely, tend to further dry out to the point that they will not soften much regardless of how much I cook them (at normal range-top conditions; perhaps pressure-cooking would help — don’t have that kind of cooker).

    If anyone knows how to deal with this, I would appreciate guidance. I did not rotate all of my dried beans. Prior to the emergency, I had started feeding them to the compost worms.

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  192. Lea: This is so dumb, but it shows that they think there is magic in assembling, and that god cannot do the same from a distance?

    I think that it is conceivable that there is something special, that could be described in terms of the language of “means of grace”, in the practice of “assembling together”. It’s an hypothesis that has been on my mind for several years.

    Short story: I suspect that the work of the Holy Spirit is substantially (perhaps not exclusively, but substantially) mediated through interpersonal relationships characterized by “love one another”.

    Longer story: I think this is why, in the great “Supper Discourse” in the 4th Gospel, the two great themes are “Love one another” and “I will send the Spirit after I depart”.

    I also think this is why, in that discourse, Jesus asserted that the Spirit would not come until after his departure. The apostles did not love one another, they were competing for high office in the coming kingdom, and were more interested in currying favor with the coming king, Jesus, than with either loving one another or ministering to Israel. So Jesus had to remove himself from their midst in order to force them to face, and begin to love, “one another”.

    It’s just an hypothesis, but I think it may be the least implausible account of Jesus’ puzzling remark that the Holy Spirit would not come while Jesus remained visibly present among them.

    ——

    OTOH, the kinds of “assembled together” mass assemblies that take place in the mega-churches (or is that “meta churches”?) do not much facilitate “love on another”, so if this hypothesis is valid, perhaps there is not much Holy Spirit ministry happening in the current ways of being a mega/meta church.

    Perhaps the emergency will change our ways of “being church” in ways that could promote God’s work among us.

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  193. SamuelConner: I think that it is conceivable that there is something special, that could be described in terms of the language of “means of grace”, in the practice of “assembling together”.

    I found, though it surprised me, that watching facebook live video with church members names popping up *felt* like assembly in some way. Seeing the ministers do their sermon and readings, doing their part to maintain that community was nice. It’s a shame Dever can’t see that.

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  194. Lea:
    Lea,

    What I’m saying is, community and assembly may be about something more than sitting in the same room.

    No disagreement from me about that.

    A paradox of the present situation, that I found nicely put at another ‘blog (the “NC” blog I mentioned previously), is that under “normal” circumstances, to increase one’s distance from others is a form of antisocial behavior. Under the present extreme circumstances, such distancing is pro-social — it’s an expression of “love of neighbor”, a way of pursuing others’ interests as well as one’s own.

    Perhaps the concept that is being impressed on us all, that we all have something to contribute to others’ safety and well-being, has lessons for what it means to “be a church”; perhaps the lessons will be learned as the churches are forced to be different from what they are accustomed to being.

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  195. Lea:
    SamuelConner,

    I have some rice and dried beans in my emergency stash and they are old. they will probably taste terrible. I have no intention of touching them unless everything else is long gone.

    Probably still better than the ones from Jim Bakker’s Armageddon Food Buckets Only $135 Each! (Only $4500 for seven man-years – the entire Great Tribulation!)

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  196. href=”#comment-422486″>Max,

    “and also have a supply of dried beans, rice and pasta preserved in mylar bags packed with oxygen absorbers providing a 25-year shelf life.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    did you get these at your local mylar-bag-packed-with-oxygen-absorber shop?
    .
    .
    we’ve not planned ahead. 2 reasons, i think. lack of storage space, and a business trip to india a number of years ago — the dichotomy of extreme poverty and wealth was so troubling. i sort of made a pact with myself to live a more spartan existence.

    (i sort of got over that :|)

    i’ve still tended to fill the kitchen with just enough food for the week.

    but now i’m experiencing not having stocked up, and see the wisdom of it.

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  197. elastigirl: i’ve still tended to fill the kitchen with just enough food for the week.

    I always shop by the week and get stressed if i have too much food in the fridge/freezer (aside from extra cheese and butter), but I have staples too so I could make any number of things…but it would be high carbs. I have to basically force myself *not* to buy another thing of pasta every week.. When I went shopping saturday I got some extra flour/sugar/butter.

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  198. Samuel Conner: It’s just an hypothesis, but I think it may be the least implausible account of Jesus’ puzzling remark that the Holy Spirit would not come while Jesus remained visibly present among them.

    Makes a lot of sense. Most likely it wasn’t THE reason, but one of several.

    “God Lives in the Real World”, and reality is not so neatly divided.

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  199. Samuel Conner: It’s interesting to me that in the extracts Jerome provided, Dever emphasizes the “covenanted” character of the group that is temporarily “fasting” from its customary Sunday exercises. Perhaps it’s just my deepening cynicism, but I am tempted to see in this an intended message to his congregation that “you signed a contract to continue under my/our [CHBC elders’] authority unless and until we release you”.

    “Death Will Not Release You.”
    — LASFS joke phrase about Fandom – NOT done seriously like Dever

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  200. Headless Unicorn Guy: Note the parallels.

    Great piece! Quoting Billy Sunday:

    “We can meet here tonight and pray down an epidemic just as well as we can pray down a German victory. The whole thing is a part of their propaganda; it started over there in Spain, where they scattered germs around, and that’s why you ought to dig down all the deeper and buy more Liberty bonds. If they can do this to us 3000 miles away, think of what the bunch would do if they were walking our streets. There’s nothing short of hell that they haven’t stopped to do since the war began–darn their hides.”

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  201. elastigirl: did you get these at your local mylar-bag-packed-with-oxygen-absorber shop?

    I got mylar bags (quart and gallon sizes) and oxygen absorbers a couple of years ago when I was in a prepping mood … still have a supply of both on hand … I got them from Walmart online at the time (just checked, they still list them) … plenty of videos on YouTube on how to pack food in the bags and handling of oxygen absorbers for packing dried food staples to yield a 25-year shelf life – beans, rice, pasta, etc. I store the packets in 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids. It’s the old Boy Scout in me: “Be Prepared”

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  202. Samuel Conner,

    I have pressure cookers – they only cook the beans faster…… much faster!
    In addition to what Max, said, which is one correct way …. you can put dried beans in a pot of water; bring them to a full boil, them turn the heat down to a low boil. Let them simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Then drain the water off. Add fresh water and cook as usual. That is what I usually do.
    Dry beans and rice also keep better, long term, in a freezer or an airtight, preferably glass, container.

    As far as letting food items get old ….. Eh yeah, the first 5 years we married, hubby thought I was crazy; now, he thinks I’m crazy like a fox (you really can fool some of the people all of the time…. Giggle)
    I write the date of storage on absolutely everything…. homegrown, storebought, cheese, meat, vegetable, spices…… everything. When I buy/grow more, I rotate cans, bags, etc.

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  203. Rain Girl,

    “we began meeting on Zoom. It actually works even better!”
    ++++++++++++++

    thank you, Rain Girl. I’ve been thinking about this the last few days, troubleshooting by way of discussion with my husband on how best to do this.

    need to find a good way to prop up the device (phone, laptop, ipad) — don’t want to waste time during lesson having to adjust and readjust for a good view. need to come up with easy and quick set up for students’ families.

    ach…change… i was settled so nicely into my routine. i like change, but new normals have numerous problems to solve.

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  204. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Dry beans and rice also keep better, long term, in a freezer or an airtight, preferably glass, container.

    I’ve been packing beans, rice, and pasta in quart and gallon mylar bags with oxygen absorbers … supposed to have 25-year shelf life. I store them in 5-gallon plastic buckets. This is “just-in-case” emergency food if/when I run through canned stuff.

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  205. Max,

    Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    These beans (pintos) are really old, as in “multi years”. Soaking and cooking softens them to a point, but they remain crunchy, and have a disagreeable flavor. Were stored in glass, but probably not completely airtight.

    Some old black beans tested today are similar, and have a sourish odor. Cooked flavor (soaked overnight, cooked and cook water discarded, then cooked further) is mildly disagreeable, andthey are, like the pintos, disagreeably crunchy. That batch went to the compost worms.

    Max — it might be prudent to break open one bag of the “last resort” beans and cook them to see how they turn out. What I am finding might be oxidation, in which case yours may be fine. But if it is dehydration, you might have similar difficulty making them palatable.

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  206. Samuel Conner,

    Sounds like it’s time for you to get a new batch of emergency beans! While canned beans are disappearing quickly from local stores, there is still a supply of dried beans (for now). I’ll follow your advice to see how my dehydrated beans have been doing by opening a bag and checking them out … I trust that they are OK since they have been protected from the effects of oxygen, moisture, and light since packing.

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  207. Friend: [Mark Dever] “I think it would be healthier to respect God’s strange providence in a period of abstinence from meeting together.”

    What a wacky, kooky thing to say.

    But, but, he’s basing it all on God’s Word!
    First Corinthians Seven, verse Five!
    (Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again HCSB)

    Explained on the 9Marksist website:

    https://www.9marks.org/pastors-talk/episode-119-on-when-the-church-cant-gather-2/

    transcript:

    8:13
    9Mark Dever: “While I’ll certainly miss the assembly tomorrow and…the Sunday after that and…the Sunday after that–I don’t know if this is going pass more quickly or take more time than the Spanish Flu–but I do think that there will be a keen sense of appreciation the next time we are able to assemble as a church.”

    Jonathan Leeman: “This will be the first time you’ve not attended a church in how long?”

    9Mark Dever: “Um, in my memory I can’t remember a Sunday where I haven’t attended a church.

    Jonathan Leeman: “And there’s a sense of mourning…but I also hear you saying, and tell me if this is right, there’s almost a, what you’re recommending is, and this may seem like a strange connection, a strange text, First Corinthians Seven “Do not”–uh, where Paul is [inaudible] husbands and wives not to not be intimate together but if they do, only for a season, and for prayer.

    9Mark Dever: “Yeah…This is equivalent to that. Yeah, you’re not going to livestream your marriage. You know, you can’t reproduce, and it’s unhealthy to think you can…”

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  208. Yesterday was the last day the local indoor climbing wall opened; from today it’s closed indefinitely. Wartburgers will be pleased to know that we at least had a decent session of it; I got round the first crux on the new 6c route using the pink holds resembling brains (we call them “The Brains”). Didn’t manage the top crux, but that’s still progress. Lesley made it through the lower crux of a new 6a+ and, in fact, finished the route with only a couple of rests. So it wasn’t a bad last session.

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  209. Jerome,

    Nick Bulbeck,

    Lea,

    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Perhaps we should welcome this mention of 1 Corinthians 7:5 …

    The immediate prior context, v.4, clearly states that the wife has authority ( exousia
    ) over the husband’s body, and vice versa .

    If this part of Paul’s letter is useful in a diffuse and extended sense an analogy to the present situation, how much more useful it is for its plain implications for the debate over complementarianism!

    —–

    Regarding the specific content of the Dever/Leeman discussion, I somehow think that the people’s mourning is not going, in coming months, to primarily be about the fact that they can’t gather on Sundays.

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  210. Max: Sounds like it’s time for you to get a new batch of emergency beans!

    Dried beans (with whole grain rice) are my staple even in ordinary times; wonderfully helpful for … regularity, a decent protein source and wonderfully inexpensive on a $/calorie and $/gram protein basis. I have a decent stock of “fresh” beans for the next couple of weeks.

    These old beans are from the island of misplaced containers. I’d like to use them up at the start, if they are usable, to stretch out my fresh supply. Sort of like using newsprint to stretch out the TP.

    Poking around the internet, it appears that old beans do become more difficult to cook tender as they age. This might happen even for beans that were stored perfectly. There is a claim that pressure cooking (which is faster because at elevated temperature) can soften them. That makes sense to me; higher temperature might break more bonds (I’m guessing these would be “hydrogen bonds” among the carbohydrate and protein chains) and promote liquid water infiltration into the bean tissue. Perhaps time to get an instant pot, if those are still available.

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  211. Samuel Conner: Dried beans (with whole grain rice) are my staple even in ordinary times; wonderfully helpful for … regularity, a decent protein source and wonderfully inexpensive on a $/calorie and $/gram protein basis. I have a decent stock of “fresh” beans for the next couple of weeks.

    Yes, indeed. The preppers know this and have been stocking up. A diet of beans + rice is a good source of proteins, supplying all the essential amino acids found in dairy, meat, poultry and fish. I just got back from a bean & rice run at local groceries to supplement what I already have on hand (just-in-case). All gone, of course, except one lonely bag of “parboiled” rice, which I grabbed. Most folks don’t know that parboiled rice is an excellent long-term storage item, loaded with nutrients. Grab some if still available in your area.

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  212. Jerome: 9Mark Dever: “While I’ll certainly miss the assembly tomorrow and…the Sunday after that and…the Sunday after that–I don’t know if this is going pass more quickly or take more time than the Spanish Flu–but I do think that there will be a keen sense of appreciation the next time we are able to assemble as a church.”

    What is Dever worried about?!! As a New Calvinist, he should know that sovereign God has already preordained before the foundation of the world who will get COVID-19 and who won’t. No use exercising your free will to meet or not to meet. (when pushed to this level, one realizes how warped his theology is)

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  213. Max: No use exercising your free will to meet or not to meet. (when pushed to this level, one realizes how warped his theology is)

    It is not hard to construct an argument that the churches should continue to meet in mass assembly (“do not forsake the assembly of believers”) regardless of the public health advisories or threatened penalties for disobedience to them (“it is better to obey God than to obey men”).

    Combine this with “strong sovereignty”, and one is led to conclusion that God intends to sicken every person in every church.

    What could that mean? Perhaps it’s “the Rapture”, but by an unexpected method. Now who wants to not be “left behind?” /snark

    And one would look down on the Acts 8 church at Jerusalem, at the time the world’s only megachurch. What cowards those first Christians were, scattering from Jerusalem rather than remaining so that, in God’s purposes, they could be dragged off by Saul, tried, and put to death.

    I think this is the end of the megachurch movement, membership contracts or not:

    Excommunication?: everyone is already kept away from “The Table”, which can only be provided by ordained elders. Are they going to go door-to-door to officiate when they already don’t visit sick and shut-ins?

    Shunning?: How does that work in an era of mandatory social distancing? Are they going to identify everyone’s IP address and block the people who are under discipline?

    Farewell, megachurches. It was good grift while it lasted.

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  214. an item posted yesterday

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/king-jesus-church-florida-coronavirus_n_5e7120e8c5b60fb69ddf6f66

    “in the presence of God, no virus can stand”.

    So when that church is established to have been the source of a cluster of infections, will he conclude that God was not present there that Sunday?

    If you get one thing, get wisdom. It will save your life.

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  215. Samuel Conner: This is IMO even worse than turning the Temple into a marketplace.

    I sure hope that Pastor knows how to efficaciously “pray to the Father in Jesus’ name”. I think they are going to need some healing.

    Healing, nothing.
    He’d better have Bethel’s Dead Raising Team on speed-dial.

    In Korea, one infected person at a megachurch infected over 1300 others at her mega. (Which means 200 hospitalized and 20 dead, going by the averages in that country.) She’s called the Super-Spreader. Look for this Superapostle’s Mega (and other similar ones) to be topping that, spawning multiple clusters.

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  216. Samuel Conner: an item posted yesterday
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/king-jesus-church-florida-coronavirus_n_5e7120e8c5b60fb69ddf6f66
    “in the presence of God, no virus can stand”.

    Note that in one of the videos, this Megapastor is titled “Apostle”.

    “If you come across a preacher who titles himself ‘Prophet’ or ‘Apostle’, RUN!”
    — my writing partner (the burned-out preacher)

    And giving his sermon/address posed against a backdrop of at least SIX American flags…

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  217. Lea: I never buy dried beans – always prefer canned and america’s test kitchen backed me up that they were better. I only bought dried for mild prepping purposes.

    Same here. We have a supply of canned beans with 2-year shelf-life and emergency packs of dried beans with 25-year shelf-life to tap if necessary. Mild prepping would describe us, as well. Beans and cornbread are tough to beat … hmmmm, I’ll make some tomorrow!

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  218. Samuel Conner: “Unfortunately, one of the consequences of the colossal mess-up earlier this year, and ongoingly, in terms of testing capability is that there is very little confidence one can have that the disease is not present in one’s local community. ”

    The one thought I am not seeing presented is that we honestly do not know how widespread this ‘epidemic’ genuinely is. How many commenting here have been tested, or know many who have? For that matter, how accurate are tests that simply suggest particles of RNA are present, which may or may not demonstrate a virus which is the cause of disease. This, instead of causing more panic, should help to lessen our fear. A well-respected researcher in the medical field recently published an article with the title “In the coronavirus pandemic, we’re making decisions without reliable data”. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/?fbclid=IwAR1cl7nTKdTBdrRll-dQv4DczVeHDU90IQYV0gK-xiHB3IpEDnMfkSBsIio

    Dr. John Ioannidis is also the author of one of the most referenced medical articles of all time, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/ entitled, “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science”. It starts out stating, “Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors – to a striking extent – still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice? Dr. John Ioannidis has spent his career challenging his peers by exposing their bad science.”

    If, as many even in the medical field and popular press have posited, if this ‘epidemic’ is more widespread than commonly believed, that means that the declared death rates could be far, far lower than are being suggested. It has also been suggested that the typical symptoms are far less dangerous in the average victim than the most extreme threats to the severely immune compromised people. Acknowledging some of these possibilities, and thinking rationally, just might lower the fear factor a bit, and generate more rational responses to a more realistic threat.

    Not to downplay death, but hundreds of thousands of people die every year from what is called flu or pneumonia, not to mention countless other causes. Pneumonia is also not normally tested for the presence of a virus, but is simply what the medical field terms the process of fluid gathering in the lungs, which is very common in the elderly and dying, virus or no. Could it not be reasonably suggested that it is simply a normal symptom of the body shutting down from various causes, be they old age, disease or extreme trauma?

    I am not being flippant, or devaluing anyone, but I am amazed at this great fear of dying. We all die. We could get cancer, be in a car accident, or succumb to a viral disease today, tomorrow or at any time. I’m just wondering why it seems, all of a sudden, we appear to not comprehend that death is a normal part of life which we all must face and privately deal with.

    There are people who choose to put trust in their God-given immune systems as their best, albeit not failsafe, hope of living a reasonably long and healthy life. These people are not fools, cranks or dismissive of the value of others. Many of them have advanced degrees, and have devoted their lives to studying such practices.

    They have simply looked at the reality of the health state in our world, and have made the choice that a reasonable health option is following traditional, commonly understood health-supporting practices like getting enough nutrition, sleep, exercise, etc.

    I heard someone dismissively saying such people would ‘saw their own arm off’ before they would seek medical care. I am not sure most are that extreme. I did not stay home and bleed to death when I experienced hemorrhaging a few years back; but I do normally prefer to support my health through natural, traditional means in anything other than trauma care. Nor is this a threat to anyone else.

    Whatever health practices individuals choose to pursue, there is not yet, as far as I know, any assurance of never being exposed to pathogens, toxins or any other known cause of death. There is much talk of the importance of vaccines, but the truth is, the most a vaccine can possibly do is increase your own personal immunity. They do not create a forcefield that makes pathogens unable to invade. This is the myth that has gone unaddressed. If viral pathogens exist, people will be exposed to and carry them, vaccine or no vaccine. I would assert that the claims of herd immunity would fall under Ioannidis’ description of common medical beliefs that are “misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong”.

    I have lost a father, mother-in-law and father-in-law in the last few years, long before any global pandemic arrived. They were elderly and in poor health, and like all in this category, eventually died. I have a mother who is 86 years old, still lives on her own, and is in generally good health, but neither she nor I doubt that her days are numbered. As are yours and mine. This is the reality of human life.

    I know this blog is very pro-allopathic medicine. Everyone has the right to make such a choice. Bu the reality is, people lived and thrived long before modern medicine came along. In fact, before ‘modern’ health problems were brought into existence by ‘modern’ living practices, we had little need of much of the now essential ‘modern’ medicine.

    Laugh me down, but personally, I am much more concerned about the multiple toxins and non-natural substances with which we have poisoned our air, water, food and our own physical bodies with than I am any known or unknown viral pathogen.

    I happen to believe that God did a pretty darn good job designing the human body. The human immune system was designed, if properly supported, to protect people from pathogens and minor toxification. This is supported not only by much medical literature, but the continuing existence of life on earth long before the arrival of modern medicine.

    I just thought it was perhaps time that at least one voice suggested that there are some people in this world who fear less the pathogens they must confront than the governments and the damage they can do in their management thereof. Especially when the freedom of choice and movement is determined expendable in the pursuit of so-called ‘safety’.

    Ok, shoot me.

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  219. TS00: I know this blog is very pro-allopathic medicine

    Of course we are. I’m a nurse by training. My husband is a doctor. My daughter is a Peds critical care nurse. My s-i-l is a dentist.My daughter’s life was saved by a pediatric neurosurgeon.You can believe what you want. However, just because I buy into allopathic medicine doesn’t mean I haven’t considered the alternatives. I have and I’ve found them wanting.

    I wish you well in what you have chosen for your own health. We have enormous freedom to explore this world that God has given us. There are all sorts of religious based naturopathic websites out there that would wholeheartedly agree with you.

    You won’t get a fight from me. I believe in freedom of conscience.

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  220. TS00,

    I’ve been closely following the news out of China since 17 February, with alarmed concern about the question of the true Case Fatality Rate, since that would have implications for what to expect when the epidemic reached US, as it seemed clear even then that it would. It has been my hope that the alarming fatality rate in Wuhan/Hubei province and the less alarming, but still high (compared with our seasonal flu epidemic), rate in the rest of China would prove to be over-estimates — artefacts of undersampling of the true extent of the infection.

    I now think that hope will not be fulfilled. My understanding is that China has succeeded in containing its epidemic through standard epidemiological methods — identification and treatment/quarantine of all infected patients through contact tracing. IOW, I think that it is unlikely that the reported cases in China (outside of Hubei province) greatly undersample the true extent of the infection.

    (the one counterargument to this that I can think of is the hypothesis that there might be a large population of people who became infected but never became infectious before they recovered and so did not contribute to the spread of the disease. These cases, if they exist, don’t affect the progress of the epidemic.)

    My suspicion is that the China ex Hubei case fatality rate of about 0.9% should be our baseline expectation, provided that our hospitals do not become so overwhelmed that they cannot provide supportive care to rescuable acute cases.

    About a mI was hoping that the true “Case Fatality Rate”, were the total number of infected

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  221. Samuel Conner,

    Sorry about the surplus text at the end; bad editing on my part.

    —-

    NYC medical system moving toward “overwhelmed”, with 10-fold increase in identified cases in one week. We are going to pay for not being able to aggressively contact trace and test in prior weeks.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/coronavirus-in-ny-deluge-of-cases-begins-hitting-hospitals/ar-BB11tKpb?ocid=spartanntp

    the shortage of ventilators for severe pneumonia patients is a particular problem.

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  222. Samuel Conner: IOW, I think that it is unlikely that the reported cases in China (outside of Hubei province) greatly undersample the true extent of the infection.

    A medical practitioner I have known for many years has close personal contacts in Wuhan. (He does not live in America.) According to his understanding, many people in Wuhan were infected and chose to remain home and unidentified, recovering on their own. Many were more afraid of the ‘official’ treatment than the virus. The same is likely true in other countries as well, as most would be unlikely to seek testing unless their symptoms progressed to a certain level of seriousness.

    If this is true, the death rate could potentially be much lower than is currently being suggested. There are many who consider this a very real possibility.

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  223. TS00,

    I agree that the data out of Wuhan are incomplete; the case fatality rate in that province is likely to exceed the true rate under conditions of normal hospital functioning — Wuhan’s hospitals were overwhelmed, as northern Italy’s have been. I think this has less power to interpret the data from the rest of China, where the epidemic was kept under control from a much earlier stage.

    I’m curious how this proposal eases the alarm that one might be inclined to feel in contemplation of what has happened in Italy, or appears to be starting to happen in NYC.

    Perhaps we should be expanding our hospices rather than our hospitals to deal the anticipated high case load? That sounds snarky but is not intended to. We either control the epidemic or deal, in one way or another, with the looming large numbers of pneumonia patients.

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