Author Topic: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections  (Read 38407 times)

DeHall1

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2020, 08:12:34 AM »
I spent time last night on You Tube.  I viewed a number of presentations  of the hymn 'Abide With Me.'  Was surprised to learn the hymn is sung in English soccer stadiums at  championship games. NFL, please take note.
I’m familiar with “Abide With Me” being sung at Wembley Stadium (for the FA Cup Final).  What other stadiums is it sung in?

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2020, 09:18:05 AM »
I spent time last night on You Tube.  I viewed a number of presentations  of the hymn 'Abide With Me.'  Was surprised to learn the hymn is sung in English soccer stadiums at  championship games. NFL, please take note.

One can hear "Abide with Me" sung at Vespers in a church here: https://youtu.be/Ueg7wjk4MF8?t=711

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2020, 11:30:17 PM »
My wife and I spent the evening playing pinochle with our sons in Seattle and Denver through https://www.trickstercards.com.


It didn't allow us to cheat. :)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2020, 09:37:37 PM »
I wrote and posted the following reflection on Facebook a few days ago. There were the usual negative comments from people attacking my doubts, but I was quite surprised be the number of people who said I managed to express feelings they themselves were also having, but couldn't articulate. It's a rather pessimistic observation, but I can't help but feel times are rather pessimistic.



A Reflection

To say the last two weeks have been difficult is a massive understatement. In that short span of time, I have lost so much dear to me. The restaurants and cafés where I socialized are now closed. My job, to which I was just beginning to acclimate after 6 months of sheer misery, has been replaced virtually by the incessant clanging of Microsoft Teams. Wedding plans I have worked on for years have been cancelled, vanished. All because of a virus, too small to see without a microscope, that condemns its victims to drown in their own lungs, borne into this world by a single individual insane enough to eat a bat. The sense of loss I have is visible, palpable, and very, very frightening.

I have cried until there are no more tears to cry. I have thought until there are no more thoughts within. I have vomited in despair, lain awake until passed out from exhaustion, and denied, bargained, fought, and pleaded with God. I have scoured my mind and applied all the sheer force of reason and analysis the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program has imbued me to all the information, news, and data I could possibly consume to find an answer to the loss. There has been none.

COVID-19 is coming, and the sheer enormity of this pandemic condemns me to suffer. My own poor choices place me into a high-risk category, meaning that when - not if - I contract this disease along with 80% of humanity, I will likely be among the worst-off and most desperate of patients. The reality of our slapshod, slovenly healthcare systems means that I will most likely be refused testing and treatment and sent home to die in isolation, clutching a handful of cash made worthless by the legal theft of quantitative easing. I pray - desperately - that the post-nasal drip and occasional chest tightness I've been dealing with for five days is seasonal allergies and not the slow-burning harbinger of coronavirus' inexorable creep towards me.

So, for the first time in my almost thirty years, I have had to seriously confront my own mortality. While we all know prima facie that we will die, and that random chance makes this a possibility each day, it is quite different to actually see your own guillotine. I have always considered it impossible for a living being to truly imagine and understand death. Most religions promise an afterlife in some form, and most forms of Christianity would guarantee that I will make it to heaven. But there is little to no evidence of an afterlife in which to place some hope, a situation which is worsened by my general inability to exhibit faith in any meaningful way.

However, having now plumbed the depths of what exactly non-existence may entail, I have come to peace with my own mortality. I will die, probably sooner than later, essentially almost instantly on any historical or natural time scale. The sadness of potentially missing out on so much of life is tempered by the realization that I am almost certainly guaranteed never to realize I am missing it. Death is, cruelly, the burden of the living.

In this knowledge, though, there is some consolation. Other living people will be able to experience the same things I experience - and much more. The seasons will continue their rhythmic change. Animals and nature and weather will continue their lives and processes and patterns unaffected. The sun and moon will continue to rise and set for probably several million more years. I have come to find all this very comforting. That comfort has made me unafraid. And that confidence is power.

This is no way, shape, or form means that I am laying back and waiting to die. I am far too prideful and selfish in my desire to do the things I want to do today, tomorrow, and fifty years from now to give up yet. Coronavirus will come and make me suffer but I have far too much toughness and willpower baked into my genes that I will make it suffer, too. Tomorrow morning, after I wake up and regret and delete this post, I will again throw myself into the endless turpitude of Microsoft Teams. I will continue to work towards my own goals while grieving for all that has and is and will be lost, including, eventually, my own life. There is simply nothing else left to do.

John_Hannah

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2020, 08:07:09 AM »
I wrote and posted the following reflection on Facebook a few days ago. There were the usual negative comments from people attacking my doubts, but I was quite surprised be the number of people who said I managed to express feelings they themselves were also having, but couldn't articulate. It's a rather pessimistic observation, but I can't help but feel times are rather pessimistic.



A Reflection

To say the last two weeks have been difficult is a massive understatement. In that short span of time, I have lost so much dear to me. The restaurants and cafés where I socialized are now closed. My job, to which I was just beginning to acclimate after 6 months of sheer misery, has been replaced virtually by the incessant clanging of Microsoft Teams. Wedding plans I have worked on for years have been cancelled, vanished. All because of a virus, too small to see without a microscope, that condemns its victims to drown in their own lungs, borne into this world by a single individual insane enough to eat a bat. The sense of loss I have is visible, palpable, and very, very frightening.

I have cried until there are no more tears to cry. I have thought until there are no more thoughts within. I have vomited in despair, lain awake until passed out from exhaustion, and denied, bargained, fought, and pleaded with God. I have scoured my mind and applied all the sheer force of reason and analysis the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program has imbued me to all the information, news, and data I could possibly consume to find an answer to the loss. There has been none.

COVID-19 is coming, and the sheer enormity of this pandemic condemns me to suffer. My own poor choices place me into a high-risk category, meaning that when - not if - I contract this disease along with 80% of humanity, I will likely be among the worst-off and most desperate of patients. The reality of our slapshod, slovenly healthcare systems means that I will most likely be refused testing and treatment and sent home to die in isolation, clutching a handful of cash made worthless by the legal theft of quantitative easing. I pray - desperately - that the post-nasal drip and occasional chest tightness I've been dealing with for five days is seasonal allergies and not the slow-burning harbinger of coronavirus' inexorable creep towards me.

So, for the first time in my almost thirty years, I have had to seriously confront my own mortality. While we all know prima facie that we will die, and that random chance makes this a possibility each day, it is quite different to actually see your own guillotine. I have always considered it impossible for a living being to truly imagine and understand death. Most religions promise an afterlife in some form, and most forms of Christianity would guarantee that I will make it to heaven. But there is little to no evidence of an afterlife in which to place some hope, a situation which is worsened by my general inability to exhibit faith in any meaningful way.

However, having now plumbed the depths of what exactly non-existence may entail, I have come to peace with my own mortality. I will die, probably sooner than later, essentially almost instantly on any historical or natural time scale. The sadness of potentially missing out on so much of life is tempered by the realization that I am almost certainly guaranteed never to realize I am missing it. Death is, cruelly, the burden of the living.

In this knowledge, though, there is some consolation. Other living people will be able to experience the same things I experience - and much more. The seasons will continue their rhythmic change. Animals and nature and weather will continue their lives and processes and patterns unaffected. The sun and moon will continue to rise and set for probably several million more years. I have come to find all this very comforting. That comfort has made me unafraid. And that confidence is power.

This is no way, shape, or form means that I am laying back and waiting to die. I am far too prideful and selfish in my desire to do the things I want to do today, tomorrow, and fifty years from now to give up yet. Coronavirus will come and make me suffer but I have far too much toughness and willpower baked into my genes that I will make it suffer, too. Tomorrow morning, after I wake up and regret and delete this post, I will again throw myself into the endless turpitude of Microsoft Teams. I will continue to work towards my own goals while grieving for all that has and is and will be lost, including, eventually, my own life. There is simply nothing else left to do.

Thank you, Robert. You are honest. You speak what we all know deep down. Blessings.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2020, 09:50:22 AM »
In reference to a recent post reflecting on the fears associated with this pandemic, this article, in my opinion, is worth the read.  It may be that our greatest enemy in the end is not the virus but our own incessant fears. Our fears will do more long term damage than this micron-sized microbe.

https://medium.com/the-mission/why-coronavirus-should-be-the-least-of-your-worries-d6ed6abe75bc?fbclid=IwAR0zAX-3ilobSDKaukcyh8xZaD3RDupcYSNA7cW78x8JZwKuiu68z0aUHwk

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

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2020, 10:06:14 AM »
There was a strong piece this morning by a black evangelical reaching out to those who continue to hold in person worship services as an act of defiance against the devil and the intrusions of government.  The idea is "we are not afraid" of this demon virus and we're not afraid to gather and hold hands with one another because we must obey God rather than men.  So even as here in NYC I spend a ton of time calming people's fears, we're not in the business of flying off and saying that we can engage in reckless behavior.

We often sing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," which contains this verse:  What have I to dread/what have I to fear/leaning on the Everlasting Arms/I have blessed peace/with my Lord so near/leaning on the Everlasting Arms."  Leaning on Jesus.  Very comforting.  So the last time we sang it on live-stream, I said, don't lean on me; in fact, don't touch me.  And I won't touch you.  But you can always lean on Jesus.  In him there is nothing to fear.  Be at peace.

It is weird to be in touch without touching, though, here in EmptyStreetVille.

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2020, 10:28:07 AM »
Agreed that we cannot be consumed by fear of the virus. But that could lead to a casual attitude towards mitigation of the disease or protection for others.
And in my not-so-humble-opinion, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" was a phrase that seemed to have caught on and did some good, given its time and source. Today? Not so sure.

That makes absolutely no sense. There is a world of difference between fear and acting prudent and in love for one's neighbor.

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior ..." (Isaiah 43:1-3a)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 11:39:04 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2020, 12:24:35 PM »
Uncontrolled fear vs. prudent concern for one's neighbor revealed itself when the first wave of panic hit the stores. If resources should become increasingly scarce, and as unemployment numbers continue to rise, we are going to witness a much different face of our communities than we are accustomed to seeing.  This kind of fear (vs. healthy concerns for safety) is going to lead to the exacerbation of all kinds of societal problems, not least of which will be increased violence, depression, and substance abuse. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2020, 01:41:01 PM »
It may be that another very real and very dangerous and destructive illness in our society shows itself in the need for Dr. Fausi to have bodyguards these days, because there are credible threats against him from people who believe that his word and his work is an effort to undermine the president. These threats come after certain elements of the Twitterverse abound with conspiracy theories about people out to get the President.

My goodness, I hate to be the one to break this difficult news to you, but a crazed partisan shot a congressman a couple of years ago.  You have my deepest sympathy at you hearing this difficult news that the destructive illness you lament has been going on longer than you realized.  Apparently your quarantine lifestyle preceded the current pandemic.

Crazies are not unique to one end of the political spectrum...something I shouldn't need to say, but apparently do.
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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2020, 02:42:43 PM »
It may be that another very real and very dangerous and destructive illness in our society shows itself in the need for Dr. Fausi to have bodyguards these days, because there are credible threats against him from people who believe that his word and his work is an effort to undermine the president. These threats come after certain elements of the Twitterverse abound with conspiracy theories about people out to get the President.


The Washington Post article upon which this all seems to be based says this:


The exact nature of the threats against [Dr. Fauci] was not clear.  Greater exposure has led to more praise for the doctor but also more criticism." 


For reasons that are anything but clear, the Post article goes on to describe some of the criticism of Fauci from far-right pundits.  The Post for some reason chooses not go into criticism of Fauci from other points on the ideological spectrum or of Dr. Birx from anyone.


The key point, though, is that the Post does not link pundits' criticism to any security threats, and indeed makes clear that it lacks facts establishing any such link.  But, as you like to say, carry on.




Eileen Smith

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2020, 03:10:58 PM »
Agreed that we cannot be consumed by fear of the virus. But that could lead to a casual attitude towards mitigation of the disease or protection for others.
And in my not-so-humble-opinion, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" was a phrase that seemed to have caught on and did some good, given its time and source. Today? Not so sure.

That makes absolutely no sense. There is a world of difference between fear and acting prudent and in love for one's neighbor.

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior ..." (Isaiah 43:1-3a)

The piece above (bold) is my confirmation verse.  I've always loved it and it helps guide my life.  But to the discussion, in the midst of this time I think of something Pastor Johnson shared early on in the discussions .... be mindful, not fearful.  I cannot control what is going on around me nor can I control what may be in our future (more virulent, more hoarding, perhaps even violence), but I can be mindful. 

Richard Johnson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2020, 07:15:37 PM »
Figuring out how to do "virtual worship" is a real challenge, as we're all discovering. What's the balance between "keeping it familiar" and "not just trying to do a regular service with no worshipers, but adapt to the new situation"? My daughter (who has the benefit of a parishioner with video editing experience) put this Palm Sunday procession together, which I think is really quite remarkable:

https://www.stpaulspittsford.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmSundayProcession.mp4?fbclid=IwAR2rjU4Ea19cnFLUhIxaQXCIQWnraREBSxGjv5HC9InM6e8VQAZa5Nuc5kM

We sort of copied the idea at our church, but with much less expertise, so we just used still photos rather than video. It wasn't nearly as engaging, but still quite moving to see the faces of people we are missing.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Eileen Smith

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2020, 07:33:59 PM »
Figuring out how to do "virtual worship" is a real challenge, as we're all discovering. What's the balance between "keeping it familiar" and "not just trying to do a regular service with no worshipers, but adapt to the new situation"? My daughter (who has the benefit of a parishioner with video editing experience) put this Palm Sunday procession together, which I think is really quite remarkable:

https://www.stpaulspittsford.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmSundayProcession.mp4?fbclid=IwAR2rjU4Ea19cnFLUhIxaQXCIQWnraREBSxGjv5HC9InM6e8VQAZa5Nuc5kM

We sort of copied the idea at our church, but with much less expertise, so we just used still photos rather than video. It wasn't nearly as engaging, but still quite moving to see the faces of people we are missing.

Thank you for sharing this very beautiful video. 

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2020, 08:05:07 PM »
Figuring out how to do "virtual worship" is a real challenge, as we're all discovering. What's the balance between "keeping it familiar" and "not just trying to do a regular service with no worshipers, but adapt to the new situation"? My daughter (who has the benefit of a parishioner with video editing experience) put this Palm Sunday procession together, which I think is really quite remarkable:

https://www.stpaulspittsford.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmSundayProcession.mp4?fbclid=IwAR2rjU4Ea19cnFLUhIxaQXCIQWnraREBSxGjv5HC9InM6e8VQAZa5Nuc5kM

We sort of copied the idea at our church, but with much less expertise, so we just used still photos rather than video. It wasn't nearly as engaging, but still quite moving to see the faces of people we are missing.

This is very good!  Kind of stuck in Brooklyn, we went to the Brooklyn Terminal Market where all the flowers come into the borough, got a lovely palm plant in a big pot, put it on rollers and the palm itself - immune to COVID19 - processed from the entrance of the sanctuary up to the altar.  It did start waving along the way - in the spirit of the day.

Dave Benke