I’m sure many of you have been alarmed at the rising number of COVID cases in Elkhart County as well as Indiana. Last week we hit new highs in both our state and our county. Additionally however, I was alarmed by the stories being reported in the Gathering Time on Sunday morning. David Lehman reported that he took new supplies to Beardsley school. The administrators met him in the parking lot and wouldn’t let him in the building. They had had four school staff members test positive and didn’t want to risk exposing him. Betty Rice reported that four close friends now have COVID 19 and two are in the hospital and very ill. Mary Seddon reported that a co-worker had tested positive and emailed this afternoon to say it’s now up to four co-workers. David Parkinson told me last night his company closed last week because people had tested positive. Clearly the virus is alive and well in our community.
I do continue to watch the number of rising cases with concern. Today the ISDH site says we had 2009 new cases in Indiana yesterday and 117 in Elkhart county. Our positivity rate is 20.7. It’s Monday and the numbers on Monday are actually on the low side. You can check these numbers daily for yourself at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm. When you scroll down to the map, click on Elkhart county and then scroll back up to see our county numbers. In addition I watch the numbers on the Harvard Epidemiology site. https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/. Harvard has color coded their map to indicate how well a given area is doing at bringing their numbers down to a safe zone – green. Yellow indicates cause for concern, while orange suggests the need for serious mitigation measure and red zones are recommended for stay at home orders. When you visit this site, you should scroll down on the left and click on the state of Indiana. You will see most of the state is in red. One needs to reach a weekly average of 25 cases per 100,000 to be placed in the red. We are currently at 60.2 cases per 100,000, over double the 25 case minimum.
I tell you all of this because I know you all are tired of thinking about the coronavirus. I am too. I know you are weary of safety precautions. I am too. I do not believe, however, that this is the time to give up and give in to the virus. This is the time to be extra careful and diligent in washing hands, wearing your mask and keeping your distance from other people. I would also urge you to think twice about joining indoor gatherings at this time. I know that won’t be a popular statement, but it is what Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, Dr. Francis Collins (head of the NIH) and numerous epidemiologist are recommending at this time – that we avoid gathering inside with people. Be safe for yourself. Be safe for your loved ones. Be safe for our community.
The writer of John’s 1st letter said, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4: 7-8. Let’s see what we do to love one another at this time.
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