Mary Oliver: Attention to the Natural World — UUS:E Virtual Worship, July 12, 2020

 

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements (Marsha Howland)

Prelude: “The Light” (Improvisation by Leah Coloff, cellist and Mary Bopp, pianist)

Chalice Lighting

Opening Words “Morning Poem” (Mary Oliver) (Spoken by Marsha Howland)

Opening Song (Sarah Dan Jones) (led by Jenn Richard)

When I breathe in, I’ll breathe in peace;

When I breathe out, I’ll breathe out love.

Introduction to the Service (Sandy Karosi)

Poem “Praying” (Mary Oliver) (Spoken by Deborah Kargher)

Time with Gina “Daniel finds a Poem” (Written and illustrated by Micha Archer)

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

 Joys and Concerns (Sandy Karosi)

Offering

For the months of June and July, UUS:E’s regular community outreach offering will be dedicated to a variety of organizations working to address the problem of food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. These organizations include the Manchester Area Conference of Churches, the Hockanum Valley Community Council Food Pantry in Vernon, and the East of the River Mutual Aid Society’s “Fill the Fridge” Program. As a supplement to our fundraising, the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee is also collecting food and supplies. Watch our regular eblast for more information.

Offering Music “Widlflowers” (Tom Petty) (Performed by Jenn Richard)

Reflection “The Life of Mary Oliver” (Sandy Karosi)

Reflection  “Introduction to Mary Oliver’s Poetry” (Marsha Howland)

Poems

Spoken by Susan Barlow

Poet with his Face in his Hands
Song of the Builders
Reckless Poem
August

Spoken by David Garnes

Some Questions You Might Ask
Answers
Going to Walden
Lead

Closing Hymn “For the Earth Forever Turning” (Kim Oler) (Led by Penny Field and Paul Shumsky)

 For the earth forever turning; for the skies, for ev’ry sea;
for our lives, for all we cherish, sing we our joyful song of peace.

For the mountains, hills, and pastures in their silent majesty;
for the stars, for all the heavens, sing we our joyful song of peace.

For the sun, for rain and thunder, for the seasons’ harmony,
for our lives, for all creation, sing we our joyful praise to Thee.

For the world we raise our voices, for the home that gives us birth;
in our joy we sing returning home to our bluegreen hills of earth.

 Closing Words “Wild Geese” (Mary Oliver) (spoken by Marsha Howland)

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

 May Faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and in all the days to come.

Coffee Hour/Chat

 

“July 4th, 2020: A Quiet Birthday?” — UUS:E Virtual Sunday Service, July 5, 2020

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50)

Welcome (Lorry King, service coordinator)

Announcements

Centering

Prelude “Americana” (Mary Bopp)

Chalice Lighting “In Honor of First Steps” (Soul Matters, March 2019)

We light this chalice in honor of first steps,

For beginning even when the path is unclear

For the courage it takes to trust

That the way will reveal itself

That light will come to clarify our vision

That friends will be by our side.

Opening Hymn “We’ll Build A Land” (Music by Carolyn McDade, words by Barbara Zanotti)

We’ll build a land where we bind up the broken.
We’ll build a land where the captives go free,
where the oil of gladness dissolves all mourning.
Oh, we’ll build a promised land that can be.

Chorus:  Come build a land where sisters and brothers,
anointed by God, may then create peace:
where justice shall roll down like waters,
and peace like an ever flowing stream.

Come, build a land where the mantles of praises
resound from spirits once faint and once weak;
where like oaks of righteousness stand her people.
Oh, come build the land, my people we seek.

Chorus: Come build a land where sisters and brothers,
anointed by God, may then create peace:
where justice shall roll down like waters,
and peace like an ever flowing stream.

Introduction to the Service (Lorry King)

Reading excerpt from the Declaration of Independence (read by Mary Ann Handley)

Joys and Concerns

Offering

For the months of June and July, UUS:E’s regular community outreach offering will be dedicated to a variety of organizations working to address the problem of food insecurity in the greater Manchester area. These organizations include the Manchester Area Conference of Churches, the Hockanum Valley Community Council Food Pantry and the East of the River Mutual Aid Society’s “Fill the Fridge” Program. You can donate online at the UUS:E website – uuse.org. The donate button is on the right side of the homepage. Also, as a supplement to our fundraising, the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee is collecting food and supplies drives. Watch our regular eblast for more information.

Offering Music “I’m an American Too” (Larry Ruhl)

Homily  “July 4th, 2020: A Quiet Birthday? ” (Lorry King)

Closing Song “America the Beautiful” (by Katherine Lee Bates and Samual A. Ward)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law.

 Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and for all the days the come.

 Coffee Hour / Chat

More Covid-19 FAQs

“Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

56. “Crisis level of care” when hospitals are overwhelmed
Q: What happens when the number of COVID-19 patients needing hospital-level care exceed the capacity of existing facilities?

A: When the number of patients exceeds a hospital’s ability to give routine levels of care, several tactics are used to expand the number of additional patients that can safely arrive. Patients in the emergency department who require in-patient care can be held for transfer to another facility. Under previous federal initiatives, many states have set up a state- or region-wide central clearinghouse that can identify the nearest bed and facilitate the transfer. The next level of “surge capacity” might be to stop elective, non-emergency surgeries to open existing beds for the emergency. After this, a hospital might locate unused space within the facility and set up additional areas with beds, equipment, personal protection equipment, and staff. Finally, as well publicized in New York, federal and other outside resources can be brought in to set up remote facilities in large open areas – tents in fields, enclosed exhibition halls or the US Navy’s hospital ships in nearby ports.

The question then becomes what happens if all these surge capacities do not match the increasing needs of overwhelming numbers of patients. The process of triage, or sorting and categorizing patients is then required. So far, no state has yet faced this crisis point. But indications lead to the possibility that one state, Arizona. may soon be there. During June, the governor has suspended following the CDC guidelines for “opening up” the economy in several separate controlled stages. In rapid succession, businesses are opening indoor restaurant seating, bars, beauty salons and barbershops. There are no state guidelines on social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings. Only recently, the governor decided to allow local communities to make separate decisions mandating use of masks. Testing was never adequately developed as a system, and people in long lines may now wait up to 6 hours before they can be tested – if at all. The number of tests available are quite limited. And it takes up to a week – or longer – for people to receive their test results. This, of course, makes contact tracing nearly impossible. Recent news reports have shown that many people, especially under the age of 40 are not wearing masks, even when locally required. The public views this disease as either “overblown” by the media, or as innocuous as the common cold. The daily new hospitalizations are exponentially increasing, and public health officials are projecting the state’s health care system will reach capacity early on July. There is no reporting that temporary federal or other resources to set up remote temporary hospital capacity is being considered.

When and if this happens in Arizona or any other state, some patients may not be given the customary standard of care they usually would, and decisions will be required on who will be denied. The American Medical Association has a well-established ethics section to guide such decisions. In its stated principles, “a physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.” Yet, “during public health emergencies like pandemics, this commitment of fidelity to the individual patient is counterbalanced by the need to protect the welfare of a population of patients.” Guidance is offered when allocating limited resources. Decisions should be based on “likelihood of benefit or to avoid premature death…” Each hospital has already developed ethical guidelines in detail, following these AMA guidelines.

But what does this mean? If a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator goes into cardiac arrest, CPR would normally be performed unless the patient has an authorized “do not resuscitate (DNR)” on file. Under crisis standard of care, CPR would not be considered at all. If a patient in a completely full ICU is pronounced dead, and two patients are in the emergency department waiting to be admitted, one will remain in the ED until another space is later opened. Several patients requiring a ventilator may be held aside in the ED without one, stressing the capacity of the ED to manage “routine” patients (trauma, cardiac care, etc.). Patients presenting by walking into the ED with difficulty breathing who otherwise might be admitted, will now be sent home with an order for oxygen. We may soon learn more about this crisis standard of care from actual reporting – we all hope this will never happen.

57. Methanol in hand sanitizer
Q: I found a supply of hand sanitizer using methanol instead of ethanol. Is this just as effective?

A: Everyone should check the label on their bottles of hand sanitizer! Many are sold as “No Germ” or “antibacterial.” Coronavirus-19 is a virus, and this requires a “viricide.” Antibiotics do not destroy virus particles. In addition, a company in Mexico: Eskbiochem SA de CV has distributed many products in the US listing the contents as “80% alcohol.” These include such product names “All-Clean”, “CleanCare”, “The Good Gel”, and “Saniderm.” These products contain methanol rather than ethanol as the primary ingredient. On June 17, the FDA advised consumers not to use these products. Methanol, otherwise known as “wood alcohol,” when ingested or absorbed through the skin, is toxic. The FDA further advises that anyone who has been using a methanol-based hand sanitizer should contact their physician to prevent adverse effects. Especially if ingested, methanol poisoning can lead to neurological problems including seizures, blurred vision, blindness, even coma and death.

58. “No-swab” saliva test
Q: Is the use of a swab the only way to get tested for coronavirys-19?

A: On Monday, June 22, the British government reported a clinical trial is underway for a weekly testing regime using a “no swab” saliva test. The goal is to make testing for the presence of coronavirus-19 less dependent on the availability of swabs, easier to administer and to provide more rapid results. Saliva test results usually are available in just 48 hours. One result of this study might be the availability of “at-home” testing kits. The test uses a different laboratory process, which promises to be more accurate. Developed by the British Firm Optigene, this is being tested by a group of 14,000 participants in the city of Southampton.

59. Social distancing effectiveness
Q. Just how effective is social distancing?

A: In June, an article in the British journal The Lancet reinforced and elaborated on the value of social distancing to prevent infections of coronavirus-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that by keeping at least 1 meter (about 3 feet) away from others the risk is reduced of the virus spreading from the larger droplets that people spray out when they cough, sneeze and talk. In Switzerland, a study demonstrated that a distance of more than 1 meter reduces the risk of infection by 80%. This study also reported that the risk even then is greater when a larger number of droplets are expelled as when people sing or speak loudly. It has also been recognized that regardless of the distance, one’s risk increases when other factors are considered, including duration of any close proximity, the number of people in a given space, use of cloth face coverings, availability of air-exchanging ventilation, and if people talk quietly or loudly.

60. List of conditions indicating “Stay-at-home” is expanding
Q: I hear that more factors and medical conditions have been added to the original list indicating more people than before need to stay at home as the economy is re-opening. What are these?

A: Over time, increasing data and analysis is identifying several factors associated with poor outcomes for people who contact coronavirus-19. CDC on June 25 published an updated guideline identifying this.
With respect to age, 8 out of 10 people who died from COVID-19 were over the age of 65. The number of people hospitalized per 100,000 population over age 75 was 843; between ages 40-75, the rate was 319; under age 40 the rate was 35.

For people of any age, the risk of severe illness rises if there are underlying medical conditions. Newly identified medical conditions responsible for this now include:

Chronic kidney disease
COPD (a pulmonarydisease)
Immunocompromised state
Obesity
Serious cardiac conditions
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes

The following MAY present a greater risk:
Asthma
Cerebrovascular disease
Cystic fibrosis
Hypertension
Dementia
Liver disease
Pregnancy
Pulmonary fibrosis
Smoking
Thalassemia (a blood Disorder)
Type 1 diabetes

All people in these high-risk groups should continue to remain at home, if possible, as others participate in economic reopening through the recommended sequential phases. Strict use of social distancing, use of cloth face coverings and frequent hand washing or sanitizer use are all recommended when it is necessary for anyone to go out in public.

Essential Reading for Unitarian Universalists

From Rev. Josh:

Rev. Leslie Takahashi and members of the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change

Dear Ones:
I have been spending the last few days at (online) Ministry Days, the gathering for UU clergy in advance of the General Assembly. One of the most significant milestones we are celebrating is the publication of the final report from the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change (CoIC), entitled “Widening the Circle of Concern.” CoIC was formed in the wake of the UUA’s hiring controversy in 2017. Under the leadership of my colleague, the Rev. Leslie Takahashi, CoIC has completed a comprehensive review of a variety of UUA and UU structures and practices with the goal of transforming our own white supremacy culture. The report makes numerous recommendations, many of them for congregations. The CoIC report is essential reading for all Unitarian Universalists. We need to take these recommendations to heart. I urge all UUS:E members and friends to take time this summer to read the report in its entirety. I look forward to a robust UUS:E dialogue later in 2020 about how our congregation can begin implementing the recommendations.

Here it is: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/cic/widening.

With love and abiding faith, 

–Rev. Josh

More Covid-19 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

  “Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

 

  1. Studies on coronavirus-19 immunity

          Q:  What is the latest about if and for how long immunity might be given after someone recovers from COVID-19??

A:  Many studies are underway to examine people who recover from COVID-19 identifying what immunity results that would prevent them from catching the disease a second time.  This, of course, has importance in the development of a vaccine that would provide antibodies to prevent future infections.  Scientific studies take time to complete.  The normal process is for an investigation to examine data, then to write down the methods and results leading to a conclusion.  These are then reviewed for validity and reliability by editors before they are published in a peer-review journal.  Once published, other investigators can replicate the investigation and confirm similar results are found.  This “peer review” leads to discussions where methodologies, sample sizes and characteristics, variable doses and so on are challenged.  Only then can a study be confirmed as being accepted as true.  Of course, during a pandemic, there is a great pressure to speed up the process as many lives are at risk during the weeks and months required for proven knowledge to be accepted.  This results in the public learning about possible “facts” before they are proven, and “accept” them at face value assuming they are the final conclusions.  Several studies have been recently reported that have yet to be evaluated under this framework.

Coronavirus-19 is one of many coronavirus strains that exist.  The common cold is also caused by four other coronavirus forms.  Assuming that different coronavirus share similar general traits, a study was recently conducted by the Amsterdam University.  Data had been collected over the past 35 years on the four coronavirus strains that cause the common cold.  Each year, 10 men were tested for their coronavirus antibodies.  Their ages were between 27 and 66.  The result was reported in the press as “frequent reinfections at 12 months post-infection and substantial reduction in antibody levels as soon as 6 months post infections” were observed.  “Coronavirus protective immunity is short-lasting.”  This study is yet to be published for peer-review.  The obvious factors that restrict this as being fact for the coronavirus-19 include that this specific virus was not studied, only men were used in the study, and the sample size – 10 participants – was very small.  But the general conclusion can be reached that more studies are needed and there is no guarantee that coronavirus infections always grant immunity.

The Korean CDC is now studying the specifics of coronavirus-19 immunity.  This and other investigations have led to a trend being identified – prior infection with a milder form of a coronavirus (like the common cold) may correlate with higher antibody levels after recovery from COVID-19.  Other studies are comparing COVID-19 with SARS and MERS (previous epidemics caused by a coronavirus).  Early data indicate immunity from coronavirus may last from 1 to 8 years.

A more thorough study has been submitted for publication by the St. George’s University of London.  This study attempts to learn how antibody production takes place differently by different patients.  Blood samples from 177 patients was examined.  19 percent showed positive for the disease but had no symptoms.  94 percent were hospitalized with COVID-19, and a fourth of these died.  Some 73 percent of the patients had an underlying health condition.  Among the conclusions are that antibody responses are greater when there is inflammation in the body, and that “non-white” people had a higher chance of having more antibodies and being ill enough to be hospitalized.  Other research has found that higher antibody levels are linked to disease severity.

Even if immunity is found to not be long-lasting, advancements in therapeutics and vaccine development over time may be effective in limiting the high infectious and fatality rates.  We are used to getting an annual “flu shot” to protect against influenza.  If the fatality rate and severe side effects can be mitigated, we could end up living with coronavirus-19 as an endemic disease requiring a second annual “shot.”

 

  1. Steroid (dexamethasone) as a therapeutic

          Q: What’s this I hear about a steroid being used to cure COVID-19 patients?

A:  There is no “cure” for this disease – at least not yet.   A recent investigation shows an existing inexpensive steroid drug, Dexamethasone, can improve the survival of some COVID-19 patients, especially for those with severe forms of the disease.  A group of 6,400 patients were studied.   2,100 of these were given dexamethasone in low or moderate doses over 10 days.  A control group of 4,300 patients received standard care without the steroid being given.  The results show a reduction of death by 30% with patients on ventilators, and by 20% for those just taking oxygen.  This study has yet to be published for peer review, and the investigators caution against accepting this as an approved method of treatment at this time.  They point out that only a fraction of patients with COVI-19 can benefit from this therapy, that use of the steroid for some patients carries added risks, and that prevention (social-distancing, masks, and hand washing) are far more effective by preventing the infection from happening.

 

  1. Hydroxychloroquine no longer authorized

          Q:  Is hydroxychloroquine still being used?

A:  On June 15, the Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19,  Based on accumulating evidence, the judgement was made it was no longer reasonable to believe the drug might be effective in treating the disease.  The pharmaceutical, which has been touted by president Trump as being effective, can no longer to be used in studies to evaluate this application.

 

  1. History repeats itself

          Q: Is there anything to be learned from the 1918 pandemic influenza? 

A:  The author, John M. Barry wrote a comprehensive and detailed history, “The Great Influenza, the Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.”  His discussion includes the science – as then known – the people, the politics and the impact surrounding our nation’s and the world’s responses.  A comparison exists with the planning leading up to the recent Trump rally in Tulsa Oklahoma.

In 1918, the president was Woodrow Wilson.  He was unifying the country to support sending soldiers to Europe to participate in World War I.  The draft was recruiting thousands of people to serve, and Wilson was forcefully keeping the public’s attention away from the growing pandemic.  Military installations were filled with recruits for training and deployment.  Shipyards were adding thousands of workers to already crowded cities like Philadelphia.  The pandemic was already ravishing the military installations, and public health officials were trying to keep the infection out of the civilian population.

In 2020, president Trump was trying to unify his popularity preparing for the upcoming elections.  His focus shifted to renewing the economy and keeping the public’s attention away from the coronavirus-19 pandemic.

Wilson needed to raise money for the war effort.  In Philadelphia, it was proposed to hold a large parade to encourage people to buy government Liberty Bonds.  In Tulsa, Trump needed to demonstrate he was in control and a rally was proposed to encourage people to come to witness this.  In Philadelphia, public health officials at all levels pleaded that the parade should not be held.  In Tulsa, public health officials at all levels pleaded the rally should not be held.  In Philadelphia, on September 28, 1918, the parade stepped off.  It was at least two miles long with several hundred thousand people jammed the entire parade route.  In Tulsa, on June 21, 2020, six thousand two hundred people spent from 2 up to more than 4 hours inside the convention center for the rally.

In Philadelphia, with an incubation period of 24 to 72 hours, the pandemic influenza resulted in every hospital bed available being filled after just three days from the parade.  Banner in his book states, “In ten days – ten days –  the epidemic had exploded from a few hundred civilian cases and one or two deaths a day to hundreds of thousands ill and hundreds of deaths each day”     Within a week, over 5,000 deaths had taken place, and this trend continued long into the future.

In Tulsa, after the rally with an incubation period of up to 14 days … (reports will follow!)

To be sure, the characteristics of COVID-9 and the 1918 pandemic are different.  Communications technologies are not the same, and scientific knowledge during each of these diseases is not comparable.  But even then, lessons can be learned if we can just look back to avoid the mistakes of the past.

 

  1. White House Coronavirus Task Force

Q: Is the White House Coronavirus Task Force still there?  What’s the latest from Dr. Fauci?

A:  The task force, as far as known, still exists.  But there has been limited reporting on what is being discussed.  Anthony Fauci, MD, who attended many past meetings and press conferences of the task force, is the director of the National Allergy and Infectious Diseases agency.  On June 19, the McClatchy news service reporter Michael Wilner reported that Dr. Fauci disapproved of the term “Operation Warp Speed,” the name given to the federal vaccine development effort.  The article stated president Trump has pushed the US DHHS to expedite a vaccine “so that the public can glimpse an end to the pandemic ahead of the November presidential vote.”  Dr. Fauci said if this happened. He would oppose it because the clinical trials cannot be completed by then.  “There can be no chance in the world that I am going to be forced into agreeing to something that I don’t think is safe and scientifically sound.  I’ll guarantee you that.”

Stand by.

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

The Pandemic Arrives in Manchester

By Maude McGovern

The weirdest thing was how fast and completely everything changed.  It wasn’t overnight the way 9/11 was, but, unlike 9/11, it affected everyone’s daily life.  Shutdown came like a tropical night descending—fast, steadily, inexorably.  A curtain pulled down separating “before all this” and “now.”

My appointment book and journal tell the story.  I’m retired but always have a lot of activities posted for the next few months—meetings, classes, concerts and plays, family get-togethers.  And for fifty years, I’ve kept a diary.

February:  I don’t pay much attention to the sporadic news of the novel coronavirus.  SARS and MERS and various flus have come and gone without significantly impacting my world.  On Sunday, March 1, Reverend Josh briefly mentions the possibility of cancelling in-person services, which sounds strange and unlikely.  People hug and shake hands, but we practice (awkwardly) elbow bumping. That Tuesday, I briefly join a meeting via something called Zoom—very handy this new tech.

March 4, a friend in Maryland asks me if I’m stockpiling groceries.  Uh, no.  (Such an alarmist!)  Around then I ask a couple of neighbors if they’ve been affected at all by this new disease.  Yes, one couldn’t visit a friend in a nursing home.  The other decided to cancel a trip to Florida.  A day later, I get my first cancellation—a senior citizen trip to NYC.  I cross it off my calendar.

On Sunday, March 8, I participate in a volunteer event.  I shake hands with a number of people I meet.  At home, I wonder to myself, “What were we all thinking?”  Monday and Tuesday evenings, I have meetings—the novel coronavirus comes up in conversation.  It’s definitely on people’s radar now. Tuesday, I go to bed feeling “a bit antsy” according to my journal.  On Wednesday, WHO declares Covid-19 a global pandemic.  The garden club cancels that night’s meeting.  I comment in my journal, “This is new for us—we’ve read about the 1918 flu and saw those horrible pictures from the Ebola outbreak.  But this is new territory.”

Thursday, March 12, I take a long-planned trip with a few family members to a local art museum.  The employees at the front desk greet us enthusiastically.  The four of us may be the biggest crowd they’ve had all day.  The galleries are almost completely empty.  Lovely for seeing the artwork.  Also, creepy and ominous.  One guard irately assures me that this is all the media’s doing.  I don’t get into a discussion.

The next day, I join the throngs stockpiling groceries at Stop & Shop.  Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what that was all about.  Perhaps no one, not even the authorities, really knew – except it made sense for everyone to be prepared in case… of what, we didn’t know.  Maybe in case you had to self-quarantine for 14 days.  What was clear was that the library would be closing in a few days for an indefinite period.  I stockpile books, especially my “drug of choice,” cozy mysteries.

Sunday, March 15, UUS:E holds its first-ever virtual service via Zoom.  Lockdown begins.  My appointment book is empty.  My journal fills up with fears, observations, speculations.

*****

For a welcome and instructions on submitting original writing to Reflecting Pool, click here.

What We’re Learning (UUS:E Virtual Worship, June 21, 2020)

Dear Ones: The recording of our June 21st virtual Sunday service is on YouTube here. Rev. Josh and Gina Campellone discuss what they have been learning about themselves and about UUS:E over the past year. They suggest that each of us take time to reflect on these questions: especially during these past few months of global pandemic, what have you been learning about yourself? What have you been learning about your UUS:E congregation?

UUS:E Food and Supplies Drive

As part of our efforts to help supply needed food and house hold goods for the local community during the pandemic, UUS:E will be conducting a food/goods drive in the coming weeks for MACC (Manchester Area Conference of Churches) and East of the River Mutual Aid Society. The drive will supplement our UUS:E community outreach cash offerings for June and July, which will also be dedicated to addressing food insecurity.
 
Members and friends can drop off their donations (see below for needed items) at UUS:E anytime starting June 20 and deposit them in the metal bin located at the front entrance of UUS:E.  Volunteers will also be available as couriers to pick up food items from your home and take them to the church, if you need that help.  Appropriate social distancing procedures will be utilized by the couriers.  
 
For questions about the program, contact Jim Adams at jimadamsuu@gmail.com or 860-682-2564.  If you need a courier or are willing to volunteer as a courier, please contact Bob Knapp at rwknapp@snet.net
 
Needed items (requested by MACC):
Laundry detergent
Dish detergent
Toiletries
Sugar
Flour
Mayonnaise
Jelly
Size 5-6 diapers 
5 and up Pullups
Canned Beef stew
Tomato soup
Various soups
Canned Mixed veggies 
Rice mixes
Lipton pasta mixes
Canned Peas
Canned Carrot
Baked beans
Pork and beans
Gluten free food
Cake /muffin mixes
 
You may also donate other non-perishable food items that you would typically buy for yourself.

UUA General Assembly Sunday Worship, June 28, 2020

No published order of service this week. Please enjoy the UUA’s Service.

 

More Covid-19 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

  “Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

 

  1. When patients are the most and the least infectious

          Q:  Is there any understanding on when and if infected patients can infect others?

A:  A WHO epidemiologist and technical lead on the pandemic, Maria van Kerkhove, created an unintentional controversy recently by stating that “transmission of COVID-19 by asymptomatic patients is very rare.”   To an epidemiologist, an “asymptomatic patient” is someone who is infected and has the disease resolved without showing any symptoms.  Testing later shows antibodies indicating they did have the disease.  But in common language, a patient who is asymptomatic means that at that time, no symptoms are present.  Thus, a patient who does later become sick usually does have a few days where they are asymptomatic, and in fact is able to place others at risk.  In fact, studies now show that the transmission rate of infection is actually greatest just at the point when they first begin to feel unwell.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the top emergencies expert at WHO stated, “The novel coronavirus lodges in the upper respiratory tract, making it easier to transmit by droplets than related viruses such as SARS and MERS, which are in the lower tract.”  He continued, “That means you can be in the restaurant feeling perfectly well and start to get a fever.  That’s the moment your viral load could be actually quite high.”

Later studies have found that even asymptomatic patients, who never experience symptoms, can actually spread the disease, but at t much lower rate (below 40%) of the contagion of symptomatic patients.

.

  1. Therapeutic medicines for children

          Q: Are there any new medications being tested to treat children who get COVID-19?

A:  Starting on June 10, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a study in the United States to evaluate drugs used to treat children and adolescents who are infected with coronavirus-19.  The studies will include several antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs, and will study drug dosages and safety factors for special populations including premature infants, critically ill children with Down’s syndrome, and obese children.  The study to be accomplished will not be a clinical trial, but will analyze blood samples to assess how drugs move through children.  As a result, this study will not be evaluating the best treatments for COVID-19 in pediatric patients.  It is apparent that there is much to learn about coronavirus-19 that is still unknown – this being named a “novel” coronavirus.  For now, the emphasis remains focused on the largest population of infected people, that being adults.

 

  1. High value given for universal use of cloth face coverings

          Q:  People still feel uncomfortable wearing cloth face coverings.  Is it really worth doing this?

A:  A research study led by scientists at Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities was recently published in the scientific journal, “Proceedings of the Royal Society, Part B” indicated that lockdown, or “stay at home” policies, cannot alone stop the resurgence of COVID-19.  Even homemade cloth masks can “dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public.”

The study examined the dynamics of disease spread using population-level models to determine the reproduction rate, R value, of different situations with and without mask usage.  An R value of 1 is when each infected person in a group infects just one other person – the disease remains static.  An R rate greater than 1 is when the number of infected people grows exponentially.

The purpose of the cloth face mask is to reduce the spread of the disease from those who are infected but have yet to show symptoms.  The study found that if everyone wears a face covering when they are in public, it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if the masks are only worn after symptoms appear.  In all scenarios examined, it was found that when 50% of the population uses cloth face coverings, the R factor was less than 1, meaning that this practice alone flattened the future disease waves and spikes, allowing for less stringent lockdowns being required.

The WHO updated its recommendations to all governments on June 5 stressing the need to ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public to reduce the spread of the disease.

 

  1. Lack of public desire to follow CDC guidelines

          Q: Why aren’t people following the guidelines as we open up? 

A:  Mixed messaging from Washington on the pandemic appears to enhance public confusion over the guidelines and encourage behavior that in some states is expanding the number of COVID-19 cases.  The president continually refuses to wear a cloth face covering, sending the message that this isn’t really important.  The White House exclusive focus on opening the economy is allowing many citizens to perceive the threat from the disease is already over.  White House guidelines have been promulgated stating when states can effectively open their economies in stages, but the president then supports protesters demanding their governors ignore these recommendations.  This all feeds the natural human tendency for many people to want to “get back to normal” and ignore the early warning signs as the number of cases in some states are rising exponentially.

According to Reuters, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico reported rises in new cases of 40% or higher for the week ending June 7.  New cases in Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and North Carolina rose by more than 230% in the past week.  Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute stated the United States was the only major country in the world to reopen without getting its case growth rate – people tested positive – remaining at or below 5% of the population for at least 14 days.

The lack of patience, the lack of accepting guidelines and agreeing to follow them can only lead to an expansion of the disease in the US.  And the greater it spreads, the more difficult it will be to reduce its prevalence.  And, more critically, the more people may become ill without the availability of hospital care as we have come to expect.

 

  1. Update on inaccurate testing

          Q: Is COVID-19 testing still unreliable?

A: (This is a follow up to FAQ 32, previously published.)  The Hartford Courant on June 15 published an Associated Press article by Matthew Perrone reporting that diagnostic testing as well as serum testing for COVID-19 remain inaccurate, hampering management of the pandemic in the U.S.   Early in the spread of coronavirus-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) offered a specific diagnostic test to all governments to determine if a person was infected with the virus.  The CDC did not use this WHO process, and developed and released its own testing method.  It was found that this FDA test was unreliable, and it was withdrawn.  The White House directed the Food and Drug Authorization (EUA) to turn to the private sector and issue Emergency Use Authorizations to as many business and laboratories as possible to fill this void.  The FDA requires a minimum of 60 sample tests be documented by the applicant to ensure accuracy before an EUA is granted.

The AP reporter Matthew Perrone reports, “In recent weeks, preliminary findings have flagged potential problems with some COVID-19 tests, including one used daily at the White House.  Faulty tests could leave many thousands of Americans with the incorrect assumption that they are virus-free.”  He identifies there are more than 110 different diagnostic tests and “roughly 80” commercial serum test with an EUA available for use.

The article continues, “’Requiring bigger studies of all coronavirus tests could provide valuable information, but it could also strain the FDA’s already stretched staff and resources’ said Dr. Daniel Schultz, former director of the FDA’s medical device center. ‘Dr. Colin West of the Mayo Clinic worries doctors and patients have put too much confidence in the current crop of tests, when an unknown number of patients are likely receiving false negative results.’”  Dr. West gave an example – if a test with 95% accuracy is given to 1 million people, there could be 50,000 people receiving a report they don’t have the virus and left in the population to infect others.

This article identifies many of the problems resulting from not having an early and effective national testing program.