40 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-23-20

  1. Lots of rain here this morning and over night. First rain in a long time. Too bad eighteen refused to bring her clothes in off the line but they will dry. Eventually.

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  2. Good morning! Those are sweet looking birds. I don’t hear birdsong this morning. Our weather is pouring rain (no cats and dogs yet) and clapping thunder. We may have tornados later. Georgia now has over 21,000 cases of Corona virus. Tomorrow we start phase 1 of reopening. My church will not open anytime soon. Thankful for God’s wisdom granted to all who have those decisions to make.

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  3. Entertainment during a stay-at-home order.

    We have some new tenants here. A pair of birds took over an old robin’s nest in the transom window sill. Not sure of the breed and it’s hard to get a picture of them, since they fly away whenever we get close to the window. They are small, with the male having a red head and chest. I believe they are house finches, based on the description and photo at Audubon website. I’ve seen them around for a week or so, landing on various of our 12 transom window sills.

    They added onto an old nest in one of the kitchen transoms. We have four old robins nests around the house that I’ve not knocked down, hoping to get other birds to move in, and now we have a pair!

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  4. Peter, yes, very likely house finches, for three reasons: your description, the fact that they’re nesting on a house, and their reusing a nest.

    Be forewarned they are extremely messy housekeepers. Most bird species remove the babies’ feces. I assume house finches do so when they are really tiny, but once the babies grow big enough to aim at the edge of the nest, the parents leave it, so you’ll have an encrusted nest later. If I recall correctly, if they decided to reuse the nest a second time in the season (which most birds don’t do–they rebuild if they want another brood–but house finches will often reuse the same nest), they will clean it up before the second brood.

    We had a trellis outside our kitchen window in Phoenix–we had a front kitchen–and Mom planted a passion vine on it. Once the passion vine reached the top and was moving along the eaves, every year we had house finches nest in it. Initially they’d fly off every time they saw us at the window, but when the mother is on eggs, she gets “broody” and sleepy, and then she’ll ignore you, and then you can watch the activity. We would watch feedings while we washed dishes. One year we had two nests. One year we had an extra bright male, and the next year he returned. One year they had a bit of extra nesting material off to the side (attached to the nest, but an extra lump. We called it the porch, and when the nestlings got big, one would often go out onto the porch. One year something–we guessed a starling–killed a bunch of the nestlings. I don’t remember if it took them away or left them dead. I just remember one survived . . . but it was injured and eventually died. The parents continued to feed it for days but it wasn’t growing and eventually they abandoned the nest. But I think that was the only nest failure. Usually we got to watch them grow and eventually fly away.

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  5. I just read that Emory ICU had to shut down because staff tested positive for COVID-19. I can not imagine the ordeal that has caused. That whole conglomerate has gotten too big.

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  6. Good day, AJ, Chas, Mumsee, Cheryl, NancyJill, Janice, Peter, and anyone else who comes along today.

    I’ll be heading to the medical lab shortly for my monthly blood test, then to the pharmacy to pick up a couple prescriptions. It will be the first time since last month’s test that I will be inside any building besides my own house. It will be interesting to see if the setup and procedures have changed any more since then.

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  7. I had blood work today and there were some changes. Had to get my temperature taken when I first walk into the clinic and had to answer some questions. I had bible study years ago with the woman who did this. I left some of the extra masks I had made at this point. They only took verbal agreements for permissions, instead of signed ones.

    The Aldi’s store had even more restrictions. They now have one way aisles and carts blocking the end of the aisles where needed. Eggs were restricted to only two dozen, which was not the case the last time we went (several weeks ago).

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  8. Interesting. So the virus was here before we even knew it.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/04/wuhan-virus-watch-ca-autopsies-shows-american-deaths-took-place-weeks-before-initially-reported/

    “Wuhan Virus Watch: CA Autopsies Shows American Deaths Took Place Weeks Before Initially Reported”

    “Today’s update will focus on science and medicine, beginning with a report out of California that autopsy results show the first coronavirus deaths in this country took place weeks before the first official death recorded in Washington state.

    The first American to die of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has become a global pandemic, succumbed weeks earlier than initially believed, officials in California said late Tuesday.

    The Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner said autopsies on two people who died in early and mid-February showed they had been infected by the virus. Samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested positive on Tuesday.

    Until the new revelations, the first COVID-19 death had been identified as a man in his 50s in Washington state who died Feb. 29.

    The two people died at home on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, making them the earliest-known victims of the coronavirus in the United States, the Santa Clara County public health department confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.”

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  9. Busy day with 2 stories to do — one has to do with new apartment buildings going up, part of what’s becoming an onslaught of building and development in the port area that many residents are concerned about. We really don’t have the infrastructure to handle thousands more people living in a peninsula enclave with only a few ways in and out of town.

    But LA city planning commission this morning unanimously approved it after hearing from the developer & the public, saying more housing is needed. And the hearing was held via phone connection which critics said made it very hard for many in the public to participate just in terms of the accessibility of all the info. Critics also feel the city is pushing some of these projects through right now as the public scrutiny is less than normal.

    It’s another warm day for us today, I had to run the bedroom table top fan all night plus keep a window open. My realization today: Wearing masks in the winter will be easier/more comfortable than wearing them in the summer.

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  10. Roscuro (and anyone else who has had some experience with medical situations overseas), one of the people in my network who has been doing the “the government is being unconstitutional and hurting us all” crazy dance sent me the link to this article about how the Covid-19 isolation is going to lead to increased hunger around the world, especially in areas of extreme poverty: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/africa/coronavirus-hunger-crisis.html?action=click&module=Top+Stories&pgtype=Homepage&fbclid=IwAR1vH4gM-7KfY8BU60_LOeWbrosct5QOwjGuRsHYHjcVOzBhZ5fK1DO9ED8

    I’m not going to engage in this conversation with this person, as it’s pointless. But had the person said, “I’m concerned that people around the world are going to suffer greatly from this in ways that aren’t directly connected with the virus, like not getting enough food to eat,” I would have agreed that that was my fear, too. I would have said that governments are really between a rock and a hard place, that the only real “answer” to this is to plead with God for mercy because there is absolutely no perfect solution to this crisis. If you shut down a country (any country, even a rich one like the USA), you risk great hardship to people. But if you don’t shut it down, you risk greater spread–including spread into poor communities and poor countries that cannot deal with it.

    In other words, letting life continue as usual globally wouldn’t have had “better” results, and in general that’s why we have selected government agents making decisions for their regions, and not everyone just deciding on their own, right?

    With one of my brothers, I said, “We’ll know more a year from now.” I’m satisfied that I’m not the one making decisions, and that biblically my role is to obey those in authority and not jump up and down and scream that leaders’ decisions are unconstitutional. Am I right that at this point we in America simply cannot be “armchair quarterbacks” over what is best for the rest of the world, and only after this pandemic is over will be able to judge whether an individual country made the best decisions for its own country and that of other nations? (My hunch is that individuals like me may never have the kind of information to hold opinions knowledgeably even five years from now . . . but now I certainly cannot.)

    There are reasons I’m not really on social media, and discussions like this one (in which none of us has any medical training or any specialized knowledge at all) are part of the reason why.

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  11. Saskatchewan is opening up. Several phases have dates for different things pending results of opening other things. I should be able to get a chiropractor appointment in the next couple of weeks 🙂

    We still don’t know what will happen with summer camp 😦

    It’s finally warm enough that I can move some of my seedlings outside during the day. I just have to remember to bring them in again before it gets too cold. This is going to be a chore as we have lots of seedlings. We’re planning on expanding the garden this year, since both of us will likely be working less. My plan is to work from home on sunny days and go in to the office on cold days. We’ll see…

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  12. If our Aldi goes to one way aisles we won’t be able to leave the building. There are only 5 in our store. But the 5th one is wider, so they could make it into two (rather) narrow paths. It will just cause a traffic jam when someone stops to get something off the shelf or out of the freezers.

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  13. What a lovely memory, Cheryl, of washing dishes and watching the birds. I have a hankering to set up something outside my kitchen window, grow some vines, and watch birds. It probably won’t happen–but I do get to see hummingbirds investigating the red bottlebush tree nearby.

    No, it won’t happen. We have that mighty huntress thinning all life out of the yard, sigh.

    My husband got sick mid-February with fever, exhaustion, and no appetite. He spent several days lying around which is unusual for him. I asked about COVID–one of the plant managers from near Shanghai had been in town. Could it have been?

    He checked his calendar yesterday. The guy was here Feb 2; R got sick Feb 14. We actually hope it was COVID. I felt ill in a similar way, a few days later. It wasn’t bad, however, nothing like what Kare and AJ’s family went through. Who knows?

    Since China knew it had something that was being called “the black plague,” in November–it makes perfect sense the ailment would have arrived in North American in December–especially in the Bay Area with lots of Asians with family overseas traveling back and forth over the holidays.

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  14. As to world-wide starvation, it would not surprise me. Central Africa is being swept by a second onslaught of mile-wide horrific locust clouds.

    I saw an article, probably in World, about the nations most likely to face starvation. All are in Africa except for Venezuela.

    I thought, yes, locust are not man-made, but the political conditions that harm so many most definitely are.

    We are in drought in northern California again (with severe drought directly north of our county all the way to Oregon. I’m not sure what to make of it–most burned, but there’s a lot of slash piles and dead, dry trees among the burned-out forests).

    Wars, famine, rumours . . . I’m listening to the Matthew 24 teaching these days and trying not to get upset.

    The good news is, I have good news: heaven. The bad news is so many do not. 😦

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  15. In trivial news, Make-it-Man is my friend on FB and he named me as a person to post 7 days of book covers. I’m on day 2. I named Kare yesterday to share the same and Kathleena today.

    Rather than continue forcing you all to do this–if you’re interested, will you let me know? Most of the people on my potential list are YOU! LOL

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  16. Michelle, I think worldwide starvation is quite possible, and it’s too horrible even to think about. I hope that organizations with networks in place find ways to step in and make a meaningful difference.

    I guess my question is even bigger: If God is overseeing all of this, would we somehow have avoided catastrophe by “doing nothing”? It seems to me that there is no way to avoid mass death this year. We can close things down and limit the spread (but risk financial catastrophe for some, and starvation for others), or we can keep them open (but risk great loss of life from disease–and with it great financial hardship, as well). Governments have to make decisions in real time, without knowing the future.

    As for the government, God hasn’t given leaders prophetic visions or told them “Do this, and your people will live.” They can pray for wisdom, and they make the best decisions they can with the knowledge that they have. And those of us who don’t have government responsibilities have a different one: making their jobs easier with our obedience. We may not always agree, and there’s a place for saying, “This particular order is unreasonable.” There’s also a place for saying, “They haven’t allowed this, but here is a creative way to obey and still move forward” (Facebook Live for church services, for example).

    But it seems to me that this is a better time to look to God than to go on anti-government rants. Couldn’t Christians be filling their Facebook feeds with the hope of the gospel rather than the unconstitutionality of stay-at-home orders? Isn’t it better to pray for the food supply in Africa than to argue whether our own predictions about this were right or wrong? For me it seems that one of the biggest lessons in all of this is that we aren’t in control–and that governments aren’t in control either. That means it’s time to panic if you don’t believe that God is in control, or you believe He is sovereign but He is not good. But absolutely that isn’t the takeaway if you believe He is both sovereign and good. This season is hard either way–and will be devastating for many. But one way offers hope, and the other one doesn’t. Job’s choice is better than his wife’s.

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  17. Starvation worldwide in mostly due, not to the availability of food, but the distribution of food.
    A cattleman called Rush this afternoon saying they had to “euthanize” some cattle because some of the food processors are not working.
    In another situation, I have heard of eggs being destroyed because of lack of means of distribution.
    Question: What is an “essential” job?

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  18. I’m with Cheryl, the ‘crazy dance’ demonstrations are becoming a real turnoff.

    I get people being concerned about our rights, that’s a valid discussion to have. But based on these particular circumstances — and on the fact that this is still fairly short-term so far, it hasn’t been purposely dragged on for months and months after the disease as waned — it just strikes me as a partisan hissy-fit.

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  19. Cheryl, I am working (on break) right now, so not a lot of time. Also, I cannot see New York Times articles. But I had a conversation with Aji suun on the topic on FB a couple of days ago. She said things are OK for now. There are so many dynamics at play. As she noted, the expense of large gatherings that are expected for life events are no longer an expectation, so people may actually be able to extend their resources further. The people in East Africa were already in danger of starvation, and so were those in Yemen. They have been mostly ignored by the international community, but have been in desperate straits for several years, and millions have already died of starvation. For Yemen, COVID-19 has actually brought talk of a cease fire, in a conflict where neither side has had any consideration for the civilians dying of malnutrition and disease.

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  20. In an article about Christian civil disobedience, I thought one point was particularly good. The author made the point that waving the Bill of Rights and talking about the Constitution are not the same thing as taking a stand for God.

    Something that has me baffled is that many people’s views on the coronavirus (such as death rates and the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine) seems to fall on political lines.

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  21. Agreed, Kizzie. I keep seeing people conflating two separate questions: How bad is it (not a political question)? And what should we do about it (a political question)?

    When some of my conservative friends deny objective facts to try to convince me that Covid is trivial, they lose any credibility in arguing that Michigan’s governor (for example) has gone too far. Their logic appears to be that the governor is a Democrat and we don’t like her, therefore her lockdown must be the wrong thing to do, therefore it must be based on fake facts, therefore the whole Covid scare is a sham.

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  22. I heard one caller to a talk show (can’t remember which one) saying the food being destroyed is at plants that produce for school cafeterias and restaurants. The packaging is different from what we buy at the grocery store. Schools and restaurants buy in bulk, so they get 20 chickens in a package instead of one, and the plants don’t have a way to package smaller amounts. Same with milk. Sure, there are households with a lot of children which could use 5 gallons, but most of us only buy a gallon or less at a time.

    That caller also said he heard Uncle Sam is buying a lot of the food for giving away at food banks. I don’t mind my tax money going for such uses.

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  23. The horror is real. From Twitter:
    @KrystalVittles
    You think you’re having a bad week? My poor colleague has just been in to do her weekly check of the library building. The cleaner has stared deep cleaning the space (so far, so good) and has cleaned the shelves but has put 18.5 bays of books back on IN SIZE ORDER

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  24. library haha

    Well, I agree with Kizzie, this whole thing now has morphed into a political spat, conservatives hating on Democratic office holders and doubting any information that is presented; liberals railing (still and always) about Trump and how horrible and stupid he is, how it’s sort of all his fault.

    I’m afraid the divide is just so deep now that this is what we’ll get with any issue. It’s disconcerting as it seems to me to be a sign that the nation’s center (in terms of seeing what unites us as a people, understanding our differences in the context of the overall values that unite us) is ceasing (or has already ceased) to exist.

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  25. Too funny. I thought I heard my phone vibrating, kept looking around for where I’d put it last.

    It was Annie (softly but rhythmically) snoring, she’s sleeping at the top of her cat tree, curled up inside the little “condo” cubby.

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  26. My doorbell rang! Such a shocking sound. It was my daughter and the two littlest. We visited while they ran around the yard and picked flowers. I thought the camellias were all wilted, but they found some beauties. Only air hugs though.

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