Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 680672 times)

David Garner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6165 on: February 10, 2022, 10:34:12 AM »
I should note, "Helpless" might be my favorite all-time Neil Young song.  And "Deja Vu" was released the year I was born, so it has that added nostalgic draw for me.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6166 on: February 10, 2022, 11:08:14 AM »
My general supposition is when someone tells me there is a vast conspiracy involving world governments and major corporate interests and only a few people know about it, but they're on a well publicized podcast talking about it and they haven't been assassinated yet, they're probably just seeing ghosts.
Birds aren't real.
Neil Young has spoken to the reality of birds:

"Blue blue windows behind the stars
Yellow moon on the rise
Big big birds fly across the sky
Throwing shadows on our lives."

Neil Young is attempting to warn you using an allegory.  The "Big big birds" are surveillance drone replica birds that watch us every day.  "Throwing shadows on our lives" refers to the evil of government surveillance.

Randy Bosch

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6167 on: February 10, 2022, 12:51:37 PM »
Good look at one application of the "Precautionary Principle" (I'm more comfortable with Nassem Nicholas Taleb's analysis of it, but this works) regarding reactions to and actions because of COVID-19:

https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/danger-caution-ahead

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6168 on: February 11, 2022, 08:59:58 AM »
I thought it interesting to see in the New York Times a much more nuanced approach to the contentious "follow the science" mantra that has been at the center of more than a few debates here and elsewhere:

The misery of the Covid-19 pandemic — with its death, illness, isolation and frustration — has left many Americans desperate for clear guidance on how to live safely. People want to protect themselves, their family and their communities, especially the most medically vulnerable members of it. This instinct is both understandable and profoundly decent.

But it has led to a widespread misunderstanding. Many people have come to believe that expert opinion is a unitary, omniscient force. That’s the assumption behind the phrases “follow the science” and “what the science says.” It imagines science almost as a god — Science — who could solve our dilemmas if we only listened...

People have to weigh the risks and benefits. They let their kids play sports, but maybe not violent ones. They don’t drive in a snowstorm. They ignore the C.D.C.’s advice about medium-rare burgers and heed its warnings about medium-rare chicken.

The current stage of the pandemic presents its own set of hard choices and trade-offs. If you wade into the angry, polarized Covid debates on social media and cable television, you will find people who try to wish away these trade-offs. They pretend that science offers an unambiguous answer, and it happens to be the answer they favor....

The truth is that Covid restrictions — mask mandates, extended quarantines, restrictions on gatherings, school closures during outbreaks — can both slow the virus’s spread and have harmful side effects. These restrictions can reduce serious Covid illness and death among the immunocompromised, elderly and unvaccinated. They can also lead to mental-health problems, lost learning for children, child-care hardships for lower-income families, and isolation and frustration that have fueled suicides, drug overdoses and violent crime.

Balancing the two is unavoidably vexing. “We need to be better at quantifying risk, and not discussing it in a binary way,” Dr. Aaron Carroll, the chief health officer at Indiana University, told me...


The New York Times: The Morning, February 11, 2022

It seems now we are able to acknowledge that how we respond to COVID is not one-sided and that science is not the absolute that provides all clear and unmistakable answers.  It seems we are now acknowledging that there were more risks to what we did to avoid some risks; that while we were responding to some dangers we were creating situations that gave rise to other issues. 

Too bad this could not have been said earlier....

Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6169 on: February 11, 2022, 09:07:23 AM »
I thought it interesting to see in the New York Times a much more nuanced approach to the contentious "follow the science" mantra that has been at the center of more than a few debates here and elsewhere:

The misery of the Covid-19 pandemic — with its death, illness, isolation and frustration — has left many Americans desperate for clear guidance on how to live safely. People want to protect themselves, their family and their communities, especially the most medically vulnerable members of it. This instinct is both understandable and profoundly decent.

But it has led to a widespread misunderstanding. Many people have come to believe that expert opinion is a unitary, omniscient force. That’s the assumption behind the phrases “follow the science” and “what the science says.” It imagines science almost as a god — Science — who could solve our dilemmas if we only listened...

People have to weigh the risks and benefits. They let their kids play sports, but maybe not violent ones. They don’t drive in a snowstorm. They ignore the C.D.C.’s advice about medium-rare burgers and heed its warnings about medium-rare chicken.

The current stage of the pandemic presents its own set of hard choices and trade-offs. If you wade into the angry, polarized Covid debates on social media and cable television, you will find people who try to wish away these trade-offs. They pretend that science offers an unambiguous answer, and it happens to be the answer they favor....

The truth is that Covid restrictions — mask mandates, extended quarantines, restrictions on gatherings, school closures during outbreaks — can both slow the virus’s spread and have harmful side effects. These restrictions can reduce serious Covid illness and death among the immunocompromised, elderly and unvaccinated. They can also lead to mental-health problems, lost learning for children, child-care hardships for lower-income families, and isolation and frustration that have fueled suicides, drug overdoses and violent crime.

Balancing the two is unavoidably vexing. “We need to be better at quantifying risk, and not discussing it in a binary way,” Dr. Aaron Carroll, the chief health officer at Indiana University, told me...


The New York Times: The Morning, February 11, 2022

It seems now we are able to acknowledge that how we respond to COVID is not one-sided and that science is not the absolute that provides all clear and unmistakable answers.  It seems we are now acknowledging that there were more risks to what we did to avoid some risks; that while we were responding to some dangers we were creating situations that gave rise to other issues. 

Too bad this could not have been said earlier....
It was said earlier. By lots of people, including many in national government and many in this forum. Every example of the science being ambiguous, of people having their reasons for doing different things, of experts disagreeing, of harmful side effects of mitigation strategies, etc. was ridiculed as dangerous, alt-right, anti-vaxxer, conspiracy-theory misinformation. 

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6170 on: February 11, 2022, 09:16:34 AM »
I thought it interesting to see in the New York Times a much more nuanced approach to the contentious "follow the science" mantra that has been at the center of more than a few debates here and elsewhere:

The misery of the Covid-19 pandemic — with its death, illness, isolation and frustration — has left many Americans desperate for clear guidance on how to live safely. People want to protect themselves, their family and their communities, especially the most medically vulnerable members of it. This instinct is both understandable and profoundly decent.

But it has led to a widespread misunderstanding. Many people have come to believe that expert opinion is a unitary, omniscient force. That’s the assumption behind the phrases “follow the science” and “what the science says.” It imagines science almost as a god — Science — who could solve our dilemmas if we only listened...

People have to weigh the risks and benefits. They let their kids play sports, but maybe not violent ones. They don’t drive in a snowstorm. They ignore the C.D.C.’s advice about medium-rare burgers and heed its warnings about medium-rare chicken.

The current stage of the pandemic presents its own set of hard choices and trade-offs. If you wade into the angry, polarized Covid debates on social media and cable television, you will find people who try to wish away these trade-offs. They pretend that science offers an unambiguous answer, and it happens to be the answer they favor....

The truth is that Covid restrictions — mask mandates, extended quarantines, restrictions on gatherings, school closures during outbreaks — can both slow the virus’s spread and have harmful side effects. These restrictions can reduce serious Covid illness and death among the immunocompromised, elderly and unvaccinated. They can also lead to mental-health problems, lost learning for children, child-care hardships for lower-income families, and isolation and frustration that have fueled suicides, drug overdoses and violent crime.

Balancing the two is unavoidably vexing. “We need to be better at quantifying risk, and not discussing it in a binary way,” Dr. Aaron Carroll, the chief health officer at Indiana University, told me...


The New York Times: The Morning, February 11, 2022

It seems now we are able to acknowledge that how we respond to COVID is not one-sided and that science is not the absolute that provides all clear and unmistakable answers.  It seems we are now acknowledging that there were more risks to what we did to avoid some risks; that while we were responding to some dangers we were creating situations that gave rise to other issues. 

Too bad this could not have been said earlier....
It was said earlier. By lots of people, including many in national government and many in this forum. Every example of the science being ambiguous, of people having their reasons for doing different things, of experts disagreeing, of harmful side effects of mitigation strategies, etc. was ridiculed as dangerous, alt-right, anti-vaxxer, conspiracy-theory misinformation.

Yes, I certainly heard it elsewhere.  I just wish that media outlets, such as that quoted above, could have been more nuanced as we were working out way through this and less monolithic in their pronouncements, especially regarding experts and science.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Richard Johnson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6171 on: February 11, 2022, 09:45:26 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

David Garner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6172 on: February 11, 2022, 09:49:24 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?

Under the American system of government, there are limiting principles on the power of the governing authorities. So this strikes me as far too simplistic.

No one was arguing we should be subject to the governing authorities when President Trump was trying to get Vice President Pence to throw out electoral votes, for example. And with good reason.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6173 on: February 11, 2022, 09:49:46 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?

The "governing authorities" for US citizens would be, above all, the Constitution which elected (and non-elected) officials are obligated to obey. 

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6174 on: February 11, 2022, 09:52:46 AM »
Richard writes:
Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?

I comment:
Excellent point; a very excellent point and how ironic it is that those who usually scream loudly about obeying the law are now involved in the most egregious violations of the law. See the discussions on the clear violations of the presidential records act, violations committed throughout the past administration, and even in ways that hindered the incoming administration. Top-secret documents carried off. Presidential records destroyed. And as yet, we don’t even know if we got all of them back. But 14 boxes?

P.S. to Pastor Bohler:
Unless those authorities are convicted of having violated the Constitution, we are obligated to assume that they’re acting lawfully. That means their “orders“ are valid.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6175 on: February 11, 2022, 09:53:35 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?
Being subject to the governing authority does not mean agreeing, never questioning, or insisting that the authorities are wise and prudent. It means doing what they say (despite their periodic foolishness) unless they command you to sin. The problem was the governing authority overstepping the bounds of its authority to quell dissent and unjustly label and punish anyone who expressed a contrary opinion.

In short, doing in a timely way what the NYT is belatedly doing is not refusing to be subject to the governing authorities.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6176 on: February 11, 2022, 09:58:36 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?

Sometimes, it appears, that various parts of the government do not always agree or follow the same guidelines. For example, we have had differing approaches from states vs. federal.  At the moment the CDC has doubled down on their guidance about wearing masks in all indoor settings, including schools, while several states are lifting mandates on this, most interestingly several states led by Democratic governors.  There is always a balance, in our system, between the rights and authorities of state government over against federal authority.  I think we saw this play out in real time during the pandemic.

Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6177 on: February 11, 2022, 09:59:59 AM »
As an aside, our VP expressly stated she would not get a vaccine if the president told her to unless that president were one she approved of. Does that promise to disobey the governing authority despite not being commanded to sun disqualify her from holding high public office? I don’t think so. But then, I don’t think any president would have the right to command her to take the vaccine against her will.

Rob Morris

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6178 on: February 11, 2022, 11:23:50 AM »
It's interesting to me that the whole "be subject to the governing authorities" (in this morning's daily lectionary reading) kind of got lost in this whole discussion. It was cited sometimes early on, when churches were being asked to suspend in-person worship, but as things progressed, it sort of fell by the wayside. Doesn't being subject to the governing authorities" apply whether we agree with them or not, whether we think they are foolish or not, even whether we think they've come down on the wrong side of the risk/benefit ratio? When there are conflicting opinions even among scientists or doctors, aren't the "governing authorities" (e.g., the CDC) to be given the benefit of the doubt in requiring masks or vaccinations or whatever?

Or have we so succumbed to American individual liberty that we Christians can simply not give a rat's ass about what the governing authorities, in their best judgment, ask of us?

Without wishing to give offense, I wonder how much your view is colored by the fact that you are retired. Hardly a month has gone by in the last two years in which significant time has not had to be spent at both council meetings and elders’ meetings to try to judge how best to understand, apply, and follow the governing authorities’ instructions. Add in the personal and pastoral conversations…

Maybe you feel like that discussion hasn’t happened. (And perhaps it hasn’t happened here.) I, on the other hand, have had that discussion once or twice a week for the last two years.

Maybe my situation is the exception and yours is the rule, but not only do I challenge your proposed conclusion, I also disagree with the premise.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #6179 on: February 11, 2022, 11:25:11 AM »
As an aside, our VP expressly stated she would not get a vaccine if the president told her to unless that president were one she approved of. Does that promise to disobey the governing authority despite not being commanded to sun disqualify her from holding high public office? I don’t think so. But then, I don’t think any president would have the right to command her to take the vaccine against her will.

It might disqualify her from leadership in the church of Christ, which is rather different.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS