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April 02, 2020, 05:46:11 pm

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General Discussion / Re: How to approach the Corona...
Last post by Pete - March 16, 2020, 09:36:11 pm
My company just announced that anyone who can work from home should work from home. This isn't a huge change for me since I've been working half my day from home since 2012, but it is a major change for many of our employees. My team and I are currently supporting the remote work setups.

Kids are off school for at least 2 weeks, although we're already hearing that might stretch out to the rest of the school year. So basically it's just us 4 at home all day now. This Thursday is grocery day, so we'll have to venture out to buy whatever is available, but the closet Walmart is literally less than 1/4 mile from our house, so not exactly a huge journey.

We had church this past Sunday when the directive was to avoid gatherings of 50 people or more. We're under that threshold on a normal week, and more people stayed home than usual, so we were well under that number. Not sure if that will happen this week or not since the directive is now to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more. Heck, we have one large family at our church that would have to kick some of their kids out to abide by that ruling!

Still, there are people who think this is just a big media hoax, and I have no idea why. When you compare the data of where we're at currently in this pandemic to others, it's extremely easy to see why health experts are advising such extreme measures. It will be interesting to see how long these closures and disruptions last. Currently, the CDC is advising to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for at least 8 weeks. The latest directive from the President advising to avoid against gatherings of more than 10 people is only for 15 days. I wonder if they will slowly loosen the restrictions over time, or if everything will return to normal all at once.

Regardless, I've decided that while I am not afraid nor panicking in any way, it is a good idea to make wise decisions. I've never been one to buy into conspiracies, and Lord knows there are plenty of them flying around out there today. I tend to be a facts and figures kind of guy, and the current data indicates that these drastic measures are warranted, IMHO.

General Discussion / Re: How to approach the Corona...
Last post by flaglady - March 16, 2020, 07:26:51 pm
So our esteemed lead Boris Johnson has now deemed that certain groups are going to be confined to their homes or 'self-isolated'. These would be primarily the 70+ people, those with other conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or diabetes, plus other conditions as yet unidentified. The 'other conditions' could apply to all ages and there is a suggestion that a form will be available on Gov.uk to print off. We will be obliged to fill this in and carry it with us. At the same time, police will be given powers to stop and check people out and about and ask to see this document. If this happens, I'll be in virtual solitary isolation. I have been anyway for 2-3 years. this action will just make it a complete police state!

Actually it won't make much difference to me as I only go out once a week anyway, for an hour or two and don't see anyone at all in between times!
General Discussion / Re: Abortion and Politics
Last post by flaglady - March 16, 2020, 06:59:51 pm
Yes, I agree with you too, Pete. What really needs to be done is massive funding for counselling units to help these young women to come to terms with their pregnancy and maybe even consider having the child adopted. I do believe that there are far more couples desperate to adopt than there are terminations. So sad.
General Discussion / Re: How to approach the Corona...
Last post by flaglady - March 13, 2020, 04:21:36 pm
Quote from: Pete on March 12, 2020, 06:46:42 pmMy faith tells me that God is still in control and bigger than COVID-19

I couldn't agree more!

Quote from: Pete on March 12, 2020, 06:46:42 pmthat doesn't absolve us from making wise decisions
I was in the doctors this afternoon. A toilet in the waiting room had its door fixed open with a large notice saying "PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU GO FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT". There were also noticed all over the walls and doors as well. My doctor was running about 40 minutes late and in that time, I watched about 7 people come in an not one of then complied! One wonders if it's because they don't commonly wash their hands!
General Discussion / Re: How to approach the Corona...
Last post by Pete - March 12, 2020, 06:46:42 pm
This is what I posted on Facebook regarding the coronavirus outbreak;

OK, so all of this talk about the lethality of COVID-19 vs. the flu irritates me. Did you people pay attention in math class? According to the CDC website, there have been somewhere between 34,000,000 and 49,000,000 cases of the flu with between 20,000 and 52,000 deaths. That's a mortality rate (using both high numbers) of about 0.1%. By contrast, the latest available CDC report (at the time of this posting) shows that there are 1,215 cases of COVID-19 and 36 deaths. That's a mortality rate of 2.9%, or nearly 30x greater than the flu.

There's no need to panic, but let's not be stupid either. Pretending this is just like the flu is foolish. And for the love of all that is pure and holy, please stop blaming the media for reporting the reality that is taking place in the world.

My faith tells me that God is still in control and bigger than COVID-19 or any other virus, but that doesn't absolve us from making wise decisions. Perhaps we should CALMLY and RATIONALLY heed the advice of medical professionals lest we find ourselves in the same (or worse) situation as Italy.
General Discussion / Re: Abortion and Politics
Last post by Pete - March 10, 2020, 05:55:45 pm
I appreciate your insight from the medical perspective, Jo, and I would mostly agree with your comments.

I think to make matters worse, Christians tend to heap condemnation on those that have had abortions. Young women who made a decision that they regret now face a lifetime of condemnation, being called baby-murderers and other negative epithets. This is all the more reason to counsel and minister to these women before they make a choice they will likely soon regret and provide support after the birth of their child. But Christianity has instead placed most of its energies in the US on the legislative side, doing our darndest to repeal Roe v. Wade, as if that will miraculously resolve the issue. 

Politicians know this, and they exploit it. Despite not caring one whit about repealing the right to abortion, they'll pander to the voters and say whatever is necessary to stay in power. Take our current President as a prime example. Mr. Trump is on record in 1999 stating that while he hates abortion, he is "very pro-choice" and said in no uncertain terms that he would absolutely NOT ban abortion if he were president. (https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/trump-in-1999-i-am-very-pro-choice-480297539914). Fast forward to today. Suddenly, Mr. Trump acts as if he cares about banning abortion because he knows that's exactly what he needs to say to capture the evangelical Christian vote.

So from my perspective, the issue of abortion has been turned into little more than a political weapon to be wielded when votes are needed. The women and the children are almost an afterthought. As long as the guy in power says the right things, he's the man for the hour to further the cause. And all the while real people suffer the consequences.

General Discussion / Re: Abortion and Politics
Last post by flaglady - March 10, 2020, 01:09:04 pm
Pete, I love the wisdom you display in your posts - thoughtful and knowledgeable. For my part, I am ambiguous about abortion, neither in favour nor against it. I think it should be a decision for the pregnant woman to decide. What I do know is that many, many women, waking from anaesthetic after a termination, are invariably completely racked about what they have done. I even had one patient that woke significantly distressed after another procedure. The anaesthetists wanted to give her a powerful sedative injection but I and my colleague prevented him from doing so. Instead we both counselled this dear young lady and eventually found that the cause of her distress was a termination she'd had about five years before. My colleague eventually found that she'd never been told where her baby was buried so she took it upon herself to approach the appropriate authority and find out the burial site. She arranged to go with this patient and support her while she laid some flowers there. We like to think it helped her to make a breakthrough in her distress.

My point being that very few people realise and acknowledge the emotional damage abortion does to the woman. They tend to think it's little more than having a tooth out but they need to work in  the operating theatre and see some of the women after they've had it done.

Having said all that, I suppose I'm more in the anti-abortion camp than the other!
General Discussion / Abortion and Politics
Last post by Pete - March 10, 2020, 11:24:10 am
Now there's a thread title that's sure to provoke some lively discussion...  ;)

In our discussion in the Christianity and Trump thread, I made the comment that I didn't believe abortion should be politicized. I'd like to explore that thought here.

Abortion, legalized in the United States by Row v. Wade in January 1973, has been the rallying cry to get Christians to vote since before I was born.

Let me begin with my personal views; I am generally against abortion. What I mean by that is that I don't think abortion should be done out of convenience or incorrectly portrayed as a method of after-the-fact birth control. However, I also believe that the issue of abortion isn't as black and white as most Christians paint it.

Many conservatives that are opposed to abortion are also opposed to welfare. This seems counter-intuitive to me. If a young girl gets pregnant and has a baby, she now has the deck firmly stacked against her. She has to try to get an education and provide for that child. Costs of child care are incredibly high, and unless that young girl has a support system both mentally and financially, she's in for a rough ride. So you've got to have the baby, but then you're on your own after that, because you shouldn't have made that choice in the first place, so now you have to deal with the consequences.

So while Christians cheer that another abortion was prevented, it seems to me that for many people, that's where it ends for them. But now there's a baby, and the birth of that baby is just the beginning. While much ado is made about preventing abortion, there is comparatively little attention given to what happens to that child and their parents for the next 18+ years.

Further, if you've been here for any amount of time and know me at all, I don't believe that morality can be legislated. In other words, I think it's less important to legislate that abortion should be illegal and more important to actually work with the people that are affected. That's why our church supports a local charity that comes alongside young women who are considering or who have had abortions and works with them very closely, not just through the pregnancy, but long after their child is born. The legality of abortion does not in any way impact the work of that charity. By ministering to people directly, we don't have to legally prohibit abortion because they won't desire to have an abortion if we effectively communicate to them the value of life.

What I'm saying is that I believe the efforts to prevent abortion via politics are sorely misplaced. By making it a political issue, politicians are able to pander to their constituents to get elected and stay in power, despite never actually doing anything to change the situation. And if the day ever comes that abortion is made illegal, while Christianity will surely cheer the "victory", the underlying issues will still remain. In my humble opinion, that is no victory at all.

General Discussion / Re: Christianity and Trump
Last post by flaglady - March 10, 2020, 08:27:14 am
Quote from: Pete on March 09, 2020, 08:23:52 amNO ONE in politics has any character or integrity
You know, I've been feeling more and more like that of late!

Quote from: Pete on March 09, 2020, 08:23:52 amIt would be another interesting discussion to talk about why abortion is such a hot button issue in the first place.
I had an issue with this when it was first legalised in the UK. We were told that staff could opt out of the procedure if they had an objection on grounds of faith, like they were Catholic or something. I had no idea that almost all my staff were Catholic! So it was left that I, being the boss, had to attended to all these cases while my staff sat in the rest room drinking coffee!
General Discussion / Re: How to approach the Corona...
Last post by flaglady - March 10, 2020, 08:16:56 am
Quote from: jiminpa on March 08, 2020, 09:38:18 amincrease your vitamin C and antioxidants
Jim, that's marginally useful for the common cold in which case, at the very first sign of the sniffles, take 1,000gms vit C every 2 hours for 2 days. But nothing like this is known about COVID-19. Sorry.
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