Thursday, March 26, 2020


26 March, 9:00 a.m.

St. Andrew's Church, Mt. Pleasant SC, is now reporting on their website that three senior clergy have tested positive for the coronavirus. Find this information here . The three are:

Steve Wood, rector and bishop of the ACNA diocese of the Carolinas.

Anthony Kowbeidu, associate rector (on Mar. 23, DHEC said he was no longer infectious)

Randy Forrester, associate rector.

All three were presumably exposed to the virus on March 6 when attending a diocesan assembly at All Saints Church, Pawleys Island.

This means that hundreds, if not thousands of people at St. Andrew's may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

I will not give medical advice. All I can do is tell you what I would do as a parishioner under the same circumstances. If I had had communion from any one of these three clergy after 6 March or had had any close personal contact with any one of them, I would self-quarantine. I would get tested if any symptom associated with the disease manifests itself. Also, if I had attended the diocesan gathering on March 6, I would follow the same procedures.

As for Bishop Steve Wood, there is no new report today so far. The last report was yesterday. It indicated stability and some slight improvement. I will post new reports here as I receive them. Wood remains in ICU on a ventilator, now for the seventh day.

Wood obviously has a very serious case of the virus. Kowbeidu has been declared no longer infectious. For awhile it was thought Forrester may not have been infected. He is now listed as positive for the coronavirus.

If we needed any more evidence of why we should keep churches closed, the case of St. Andrew's is it. The Anglican Diocese of SC has not announced its closure policy after March 31. There has been no public word from Bishop Lawrence in the last nine days. The Episcopal diocese of SC has closed all churches to in-person gatherings until the end of April.

Meanwhile the virus is spreading as wildfire. Yesterday, SC reported 424 cases, 82 in one day. AL is now reporting 386 cases and 144 in one day (one day!). In NYC, a virus patient is dying one per hour (per hour!). More than 1,000 virus patients have died in the U.S. Infections and deaths are multiplying at a quickening pace.

The saddest picture of the day is the three desperate nurses at Mt. Sinai West dressed in garbage bags. Find it here . They have run out of protective equipment yet are soldiering on because it is their job. They are endangering their health. There is something very wrong when this is happening in the greatest city of the richest country in the world. The heroes of the hour are being reduced to desperate measures even as they face the peril of death. This should not be happening.

One ray of good news is that the U.S. Senate UNANIMOUSLY (96-0) passed the emergency funding bill. It is now in the House of Representatives awaiting final passage. When was the last time a house of Congress did anything unanimously? I take this as a sign of hope. Who would have thought it would take a microscopic organism to bring us together?