- Vaccination rates correlate more cleanly but still not perfectly.
- Florida is the #1 tourist destination in the summer in the United States. California is #2, and Texas is #3. Tennessee is #4. So, yeah, we might expect COVID-19 surges there no matter whether or not people are vaccinated. (Number #5 is New Jersey, but they are one of the most vaccinated, and their numbers are good. Do with that what you will. I'm just giving stats.) In the winter, there's all these other spots that get hot.
- Being outdoors or having well ventilated places is better than being indoors or poorly ventilated in terms of slowing the spread of COVID-19. In July and August, Southern folk spend a lot of time indoors because it's ridiculously hot...and air conditioners spread the virus in enclosed spaces. Meanwhile, Northeners are outside because it's finally nice. You might have noticed our numbers were bad in the spring - when Southerners were outside and our heating systems were doing their thing in enclosed spaces. Watch for numbers to swap in the fall. This is all about "viral load" which will and can break through built-up immunization both natural and chemical.
- In states where schools have started, numbers are climbing because #seepreviousbulletpoint
- The most unhealthy states are in the South. No offense intended; it's just a health fact. That's going to make people with comorbidities susceptible to becoming much more sick when they do get COVID-19. Mississippi (122, 662 cased per million; 2,570 death per million) is just going to get hit harder than California (102, 813 cases per million; 1,640 deaths per million from COVID) by the time all is said and done.
- There's probably something to be said for how many people in a given area have already recovered from COVID-19 and have a bolstered immunity because of that. I can't find those stats broken down by state, but it would not surprise me that the more recovered folks there are, the lower the current numbers.
Friday, August 20, 2021
Saturday, August 7, 2021
In Part One, "1619 To The Civil War: Slavery Before Emancipation," I noted the biblical basis for caring about the history and the legacy of racism in our country before giving an overview beginning in 1609 through the Civil War and Emancipation. Basically, we should care because Jesus cares. If you have not yet read the first post, I encourage you to do so. There is a lot of information that will add context to what you are reading.
"Emancipation To The Great Migration: Jim Crow, Reconstruction and Sundown Towns" continued to look at the sinful impact and harsh legacy from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. So what can we do as Christians in response to racism and discrimination? I see a response happening in three different ways: how we respond personally, how we respond in our churches, and how we respond in political policy and governance.
In From The Red Summer To Today: The Lived Experiences Of This Generation, I ended by quoting Esau McCauley:
Jesus asks us to see the brokenness in society and to articulate an alternative vision for how we might live. This does not mean that we believe that we can establish the kingdom on earth before his second coming. It does mean that we see society for what it is: less than the kingdom. We let the world know that we see the cracks in the facade. Hungering for justice is a hungering for the kingdom. Therefore the work of justice, when understood as direct testimony to God’s kingdom, is evangelistic from start to finish. It is part (not the whole) of God’s work of reconciling all things to himself.
This is the focus of this post.
How we respond personally
Christians are called to the most basic and most daunting of commands: to love others as Christ has loved us. It really does boil down to this. The book of 1 John is clear that if we don't love others, we don't love God. Paul makes clear in his writing that there is no room for artificial divisions or hierarchies in the church. To his first century, predominantly Jewish audience, the divisions were male/female, Gentile/Jew, and slave/free. These kinds of barriers fall once we do life together with Christ as our Lord as God intended.
There is no room whatsoever for judgment or the assigning of worth and value based on irrelevant distinctions. It doesn't mean that we ignore that these differences exist - I mean, men and women are different - but it does mean that those differences do not order the attribution of value, worth, or dignity. So it is with us today in the discussion of shades of melanin. If Paul were writing today, I suspect he would add black/white.