Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 211832 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3090 on: January 16, 2021, 12:45:34 PM »
Wisconsin was in lock-down for two and an half months when all this started.  Then our Supreme Court overruled the governor.  Politics aside I am grateful to have the choice to keep my church open.  Personally I think it has made a real difference in the lives of my people.  Even without strict quarantine rules many are still making measured choices on gatherings.  One couple that I will marry in March has elected to have only immediate family present (less than 20) and live stream the service. Funerals are routinely live streamed to allow for smaller groups. Our fire department has offered a Zoom option for monthly meetings for quite a while now, as has the Wisconsin District of the LCMS. Next month will be my first in-person meeting with the district's BOD since last winter.  From the members in my parish I have gathered that many who were infected got the virus from interaction with children (both in school and at homes), and while caring for infected family members. Yet, the local Lutheran school has remained open and I don't know of one time they ever had to close it down due to infections.  At some point we simply learn to live with the risk, calculated and mitigated, taking reasonable precautions, but still living our lives.  I suspect the virus will remain in the overall population for years in pockets here and there, breaking out occasionally, maybe becoming a somewhat seasonal issue like other flu viruses.  Based on changes in the virus of late it shows a great ability to adapt by morphing into something just a little different.  That will go on for a while.  We can't stay locked up forever.   
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St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3091 on: January 16, 2021, 12:53:13 PM »
Peter writes:
The point is that the places without lockdowns haven’t actually done any worse on the disease front than the places with lockdowns.
I comment:
I would need a lot more refined statistics before I totally bought into that. You’ll have to find a lot of numbers to convince me that crowded bars, crowded restaurants , crowded dance floors, sports events, and similar activities don’t cause huge numbers of infected  people.
Are the draconian lock down measures backed by substantial, refined statistics or does that justification depend on just common sense while demanding any easing of restrictions be backed by hard statistics? The extensive lock downs came with a high cost, not just money - and money not just out of the pockets of the wealthy but small business owners and their employees - but in lives. Are those sacrifices justified by statistics or just, "well it seems reasonable that..."?
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3092 on: January 16, 2021, 01:37:41 PM »
As I read through the study cited by Peter, I found nothing surprising.
Lock-downs do not totally stem the spread of the virus.
Lock-downs do work in minimizing the spread of the virus.
Lock-downs have an impact on the economy and related factors.
No surprises there.
But behind the lines of this and related reports is a disturbing thought.
If we have to make a decision between more people being sick, more people dying and businesses suffering or closing, we ought to lean towards lessening the impact on businesses.
Guess Who, guess which segments of the populace have been more fervent in protecting (opening up) "the economy" than in protecting the lives of people?

I carefully read the article posted by Peter, the Newsweek article, and the report of the actual study.  The report only touches on the costs of intervention as a reason to carefully consider both costs and benefits.  It does not attempt to measure the costs of various interventions, only the benefits.  It does mention that some of the benefits observed are likely due to individuals making their own choices based on the risk they perceive but does not attempt to measure this either.

The study report compares more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (mrNPI aka lockdowns) to less restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (lrNPI including masking, social distancing, etc.).  The report indicates that mrNPI and lrNPI are both effective, but that mrNPI is not more effective than lrNPI.  This is not the first research to reach this conclusion.

The science says that we are NOT making a choice between "more people being sick, more people dying and businesses suffering or closing".  The science says that the choice is between businesses staying open and "businesses suffering or closing" without any improvement in the number of people being sick or dying.  There is an obvious reason to choose lockdowns if we were faced with the first choice, but why would we want to choose lockdowns when we are faced with the second choice?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 01:39:42 PM by James S. Rustad »

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3093 on: January 17, 2021, 12:39:20 PM »
Crude executive summary of my Moderna I experience:

<8 hours = no issues "felt like Superman"
9 - 28 hours = worst hangover of my life (chills, total loss of appetite, off and on headaches)
29 - 28 hours = "is this menopause...what are these hot flashes?"
29 + hours = back to normal

Very crude Reader's Digest condensed version: For the next day and half felt hungover with menopause.

Individual reactions will be as unique as our fingerprints; nevertheless, my counsel is:
Do not schedule anything important within 36 hours of receiving the vaccine.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 12:54:19 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3094 on: January 19, 2021, 09:17:12 AM »
I am still hoping to get my vaccine this week or next.  However, it is interesting that we are still advised to wear masks and practice social distancing even after vaccination.  It takes time for the vaccination's effectiveness to build up. According to the linked article below: "...protection doesn't start until 12 days after the first shot and that it reaches 52% effectiveness a few weeks later. A week after the second vaccination, the effectiveness rate hits 95%."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/12/956051995/why-you-should-still-wear-a-mask-and-avoid-crowds-after-getting-the-covid-19-vac?utm_source=pocket-newtab
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St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Randy Bosch

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3095 on: January 19, 2021, 09:37:16 AM »
I am still hoping to get my vaccine this week or next.  However, it is interesting that we are still advised to wear masks and practice social distancing even after vaccination.  It takes time for the vaccination's effectiveness to build up. According to the linked article below: "...protection doesn't start until 12 days after the first shot and that it reaches 52% effectiveness a few weeks later. A week after the second vaccination, the effectiveness rate hits 95%."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/12/956051995/why-you-should-still-wear-a-mask-and-avoid-crowds-after-getting-the-covid-19-vac?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The wearing of masks and social distancing after vaccination and a hoped for (if ever) "all clear" is also respectful of people who haven't been able to receive a vaccination for a long list of reasons - even beyond which phase or on which list they are allowed to participate.

JEdwards

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3096 on: January 19, 2021, 07:19:55 PM »
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(20)30293-4/fulltext

Some additional support for an incremental benefit of masking, over and above that provided by social distancing, in reducing transmission.

I certainly see light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that a successful vaccination campaign and continued emphasis on masks and social distancing will get us back to normal by summer.  I even took a gamble and paid for the airfare and rental deposit for a long-planned trip to the Costa del Sol to celebrate 25 years of marriage.

Jon

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3097 on: January 19, 2021, 09:01:16 PM »
Just got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Man, talk about a well-oiled machine. They said come early to register and do insurance and all that, so I left my house around 7:10 for a 7:40 appointment and was back home by 7:45. (The hospital is only about a mile away, but you had to park in the garage and take a skywalk to the correct door, but that was all explained in advance.) They had volunteers at every doorway, multiple tables for every stage of sign-in, and a steady flow of people, but no wait times anywhere. The only delay was the 15 minutes of sitting around afterward in case you had a reaction.

     

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3098 on: January 26, 2021, 05:04:30 PM »
On January 21, LCMS President Matthew Harrison emailed a pastoral letter to all rostered LCMS church workers concerning the Covid-19 vaccines. This pastoral letter and accompanying fact sheet may be accessed at https://www.lcms.org/about/leadership/president . The concern being expressed by some is whether or not these vaccines were developed using fetal cell lines derived from abortions. It was suggested that further information may be found from the Charlotte Lozier Institute at lozierinstitute.org/update-covid-19-vaccine-candidates-and abortion-derived-cell-lines/ .


According to the Lozier Institute, the two FDA approved vaccines approved so far, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, do not use aborted human fetal tissue in the design, development, or production of the vaccines. They were, however, tested using human fetal cell lines, a process that is common to many medicines and vaccines. Others of the vaccines being developed do use human fetal cell lines.


While the LCMS has long opposed abortion, it has not adopted any official position concerning the use of vaccines that have been developed, tested, or produced using human fetal cell lines. There is also not a complete consensus on this issue within the pro-life community. It is noted that concern for life exists on both sides of the vaccination question, concern about the use of aborted fetal cells in the development of vaccines as well as concern for the well-being of our neighbors who are endangered by the virus. There seems to be no clear simple answer as to the morality of using these vaccines or not.


The fact sheet encourages us that "Christians should respect the consciences of one another on a question where Scripture ad the Synod have not spoken expressly." And encourages members of the LCMS to "Educate themselves about the vaccines; Consult with trusted health care providers, clergy and those who may be impacted by the decision; and Act on the basis of informed conscience as to receiving the vaccine."


Meanwhile in his pastoral letter, Pres. Harrison encouraged us in our discussions with others to remember James 1:19: "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger," and listen carefully and openly to the points of others.


Personally, I think that Pres. Harrison is writing reasonably and responsibly on this matter. This is a matter on which Christians may in good faith disagree
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3099 on: January 26, 2021, 05:28:53 PM »
https://antiochian.org/regulararticle/836

Statement Regarding Developments in Medicine: COVID-19 Vaccines & Immunizations

Friday, January 22, 2021

Christ "came not to heal the healthy, but the sick; not to save the righteous, but sinners" (Mark 2:17)

As the world continues to battle COVID-19, we are ever grateful to the frontline workers – including medical professionals, emergency responders, and scientists – for their unwavering dedication to making the world a better place.

In light of the same, given our clergy and lay faithful are seeking archpastoral guidance regarding developments in medicine, such as COVID-19 vaccines and immunizations, we offer the following guidance:

Scripture encourages us to respect and protect the body as the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). At the same time, it discourages us from either tempting or testing the Lord (Matt. 4:7). And as your spiritual shepherds, we affirm and assure you that it is neither wrong nor sinful to seek medical attention and advice. In fact, we welcome interventions that provide us more time for spiritual renewal and repentance.

We therefore encourage all of you – the clergy and lay faithful of our Church – to consult your physicians in order to determine the appropriate course of action for you, just as you do for surgeries, medications, and vaccinations, in cancer treatments and other ailments. Indeed, while your own bishop, priest, or spiritual father remains prepared to assist you with spiritual matters, your personal doctor will guide your individual medical decisions.

We trust that whatever course of action you and your doctor decide upon will also benefit the rest of the community. If we work together – in a spirit of sincere compassion and care for one another – we will soon be able to gather together as a full community in our churches once again. We miss you very much and eagerly await the day when we can all exchange the kiss of peace in the Divine Liturgy!

Conveying our paternal blessings with love in the Lord,

Archbishop Elpidophoros, Chairman
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Metropolitan Joseph, Vice-Chairman
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Archbishop Michael, Treasurer
Orthodox Church in America

Metropolitan Gregory, Secretary
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA

Bishop Irinej
Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America

Metropolitan Nicolae
Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas

Metropolitan Joseph
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia

Bishop Saba
Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church in North America

Metropolitan Tikhon
Orthodox Church in America​
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3100 on: January 26, 2021, 10:37:23 PM »
From the Vatican http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20201221_nota-vaccini-anticovid_en.html

Quote
Here, our objective is only to consider the moral aspects of the use of the vaccines against Covid-19 that have been developed from cell lines derived from tissues obtained from two fetuses that were not spontaneously aborted.

1. As the Instruction Dignitas Personae states, in cases where cells from aborted fetuses are employed to create cell lines for use in scientific research, “there exist differing degrees of responsibility” of cooperation in evil. For example, “in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision”.

2. In this sense, when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available (e.g. in countries where vaccines without ethical problems are not made available to physicians and patients, or where their distribution is more difficult due to special storage and transport conditions, or when various types of vaccines are distributed in the same country but health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated) it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.

3. The fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally licit is that the kind of cooperation in evil (passive material cooperation) in the procured abortion from which these cell lines originate is, on the part of those making use of the resulting vaccines, remote. The moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent--in this case, the pandemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive. It should be emphasized, however, that the morally licit use of these types of vaccines, in the particular conditions that make it so, does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion, and necessarily assumes the opposition to this practice by those who make use of these vaccines.

4. In fact, the licit use of such vaccines does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses. Both pharmaceutical companies and governmental health agencies are therefore encouraged to produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated.

5. At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary. In any case, from the ethical point of view, the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one's own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good. In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed. Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent. In particular, they must avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, and who are the most vulnerable.

6. Finally, there is also a moral imperative for the pharmaceutical industry, governments and international organizations to ensure that vaccines, which are effective and safe from a medical point of view, as well as ethically acceptable, are also accessible to the poorest countries in a manner that is not costly for them. The lack of access to vaccines, otherwise, would become another sign of discrimination and injustice that condemns poor countries to continue living in health, economic and social poverty.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3101 on: January 27, 2021, 11:43:06 AM »
From the Vatican http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20201221_nota-vaccini-anticovid_en.html

Quote
Here, our objective is only to consider the moral aspects of the use of the vaccines against Covid-19 that have been developed from cell lines derived from tissues obtained from two fetuses that were not spontaneously aborted.

1. As the Instruction Dignitas Personae states, in cases where cells from aborted fetuses are employed to create cell lines for use in scientific research, “there exist differing degrees of responsibility” of cooperation in evil. For example, “in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision”.

2. In this sense, when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available (e.g. in countries where vaccines without ethical problems are not made available to physicians and patients, or where their distribution is more difficult due to special storage and transport conditions, or when various types of vaccines are distributed in the same country but health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated) it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.

3. The fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally licit is that the kind of cooperation in evil (passive material cooperation) in the procured abortion from which these cell lines originate is, on the part of those making use of the resulting vaccines, remote. The moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent--in this case, the pandemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive. It should be emphasized, however, that the morally licit use of these types of vaccines, in the particular conditions that make it so, does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion, and necessarily assumes the opposition to this practice by those who make use of these vaccines.

4. In fact, the licit use of such vaccines does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses. Both pharmaceutical companies and governmental health agencies are therefore encouraged to produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated.

5. At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary. In any case, from the ethical point of view, the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one's own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good. In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed. Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent. In particular, they must avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, and who are the most vulnerable.

6. Finally, there is also a moral imperative for the pharmaceutical industry, governments and international organizations to ensure that vaccines, which are effective and safe from a medical point of view, as well as ethically acceptable, are also accessible to the poorest countries in a manner that is not costly for them. The lack of access to vaccines, otherwise, would become another sign of discrimination and injustice that condemns poor countries to continue living in health, economic and social poverty.

Peace,
Michael
That seems to be a very reasonable way to look at this issue.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3102 on: January 27, 2021, 12:09:10 PM »
That seems to be a very reasonable way to look at this issue.
I think that the Vatican and President Harrison are on the same page on this.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3103 on: January 27, 2021, 01:22:32 PM »
That seems to be a very reasonable way to look at this issue.
I think that the Vatican and President Harrison are on the same page on this.

Peace,
Michael

Father Slusser, I'll borrow from the other thread that is now talking about names of denominations and say that of course the Vatican and Pres. Harrison are in agreement...they are both Catholics.  LOL

I'm just glad that the Vatican has followed the lead of Missouri on this topic.  Hahaha.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

JEdwards

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3104 on: January 29, 2021, 12:04:10 PM »
Dose #2 of Moderna vaccine was followed by about 24 hours of fatigue and chills.  No missed work, and back to normal after 24-36 hours.  Other colleagues have reported similar experiences.  Seems consistent with the reports from the trials, and definitely a small price to pay in the effort to bring the pandemic to an end.

Peace,
Jon