All posts filed under: Current Affairs

Coronavirus: How Will We Ever Be Safe Inside? – The Atlantic

Current Affairs

Quick post to point people to this article in The Atlantic. Derek Thompson collects the best and most recent information about how the coronavirus is spread. He points to what South Korea learned studying a particular spreading event in an office building: Coronavirus: How Will We Ever Be Safe Inside? – The Atlantic: In its conclusion, the Korean CDC writes that the spread of the virus was almost entirely limited to the one floor “despite […]

TEOTWAWKI?

Current Affairs

TEOTWAWKI. “The End of the World as we know it” is an old meme. You can read countless sci-fi novels (I have!) that use a moment of cataclysmic change to frame the narrative arc of the hero’s journey (a la Joseph Campbell). Watch Star Wars, watch the Avenger’s Movie series, etc and you’ll see what I mean. So does this present season of pandemic presage a turning of the age in human history? Maybe? Likely […]

What might come next?

Current Affairs

How Will the Coronavirus Change Us? – The Atlantic: When AIDS came into the world, disease researchers reconsidered, loudly warning of new pandemics. Journalists wrote books with titles such as The Coming Plague and Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. But not many nonscientists took these warnings to heart. The American public has not enjoyed its surprise reentry into the world of contagion and quarantine—and this unhappiness seems likely to have consequences. Scholars […]

A Prayer As We Reopen Our Communities

Current Affairs

God of pilgrims and all who journey, walk beside us as we begin down the path of restoration and recovery in our communities. Help us as we transition to a new way of being your people. Let us encounter you in friend and stranger. Help us to care for our neighbor and the outcast. May all be safe and may our new life right the wrongs of the old. This we ask in the name […]

Information Algorithms Are Proving Deadly in this Pandemic

Current Affairs / Science

The Internet and its communications technologies are allowing us to work from home in the midst of this pandemic, to stay in touch with each other and “shelter in place” in ways that simply wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago. But like most technological advances, it’s become a veritable Sword of Damocles. It has developed so quickly that we simply haven’t had time to adapt completely to what it makes possible. That’s particularly […]

Pandemic: Turning the system volume to 11

Current Affairs

Every week in this pandemic, the Episcopal Church’s bishops and their senior staff have a thirty minute briefing from leaders around the wider church. Most of us tune in for it. For me the most useful bits have come from hearing observations from a woman who coordinates ERD’s disaster response teams. (ERD=Episcopal Relief and Development) What she shares comes from hard won experience responding to epidemics, earthquakes, fires, famine and storms around the world. There’s […]

What will church look like as we return to the buildings?

Current Affairs / Rhode Island / Weblogs

My colleague (and friend) Jim Hazelwood, the Lutheran bishop of New England, posted a letter about the first steps in the COVID-19 recovery process. He’s been a key conversation partner with the Episcopal bishops in New England and what he shares here both represents a large part of my thinking and includes some helpful suggestions I hadn’t thought of. He writes particularly of the immediate stages of returning to the buildings as the state governments […]

NYT: Coronavirus Antibody Tests: Can You Trust the Results?

Current Affairs / Science

Before we can re-open things and start the recovery phase of this pandemic, we need to know if people have had COVID-19 and recovered, or if they are still susceptible. I’ve seen speculation about issuing people who’ve recovered some sort of digital certificate of immunity. Possessing the certificate would allow the bearer to enter buildings, return to work, go to church, etc. But there’s a problem. Apparently there are a number of inadequate tests being […]

Rhode Island COVID-19 and the Tuesday jump

Current Affairs / Rhode Island / Science

Yesterday Rhode Island reported its highest number of new positive tests for coronavirus so far. But is this a cause for worry that things are unexpectedly going sideways, or is it something else? “Dr. Drang”, an engineer and data expert, has noticed a consistent bump in the national numbers every Tuesday for almost a month now: The Tuesday jump – All this: These plots are for the daily figures, and you can see by the […]

Song of Plagues – wisdom for us in a time of pandemic

Current Affairs / Religion

Is there wisdom in scripture for us in the midst of a pandemic? The library of books that we call “the Bible” is filled with literature written in all sorts of contexts over thousands of years. For the Bible’s “song book”, the Psalms, that’s especially true as they were written as laments or praise, supplication or complaints, depending on the experience of Hebrew people at the time they were composed. A moment like we’re experiencing […]