Wednesday, June 17, 2020


New data show that COVID-19 is spiking in South Carolina and Alabama. Find an article about this here .  

Here are the statistics according to the website Worldometers for the past three weeks:

                 May 28-June 2     June 3-June 10     June 11-June 17
World      +726,395, +13%   +873,945, +14%   +943,361, +13%

U.S.         +155,448, +9%      +164,485, +9%     +162,745, +8%

SC           +1,999, +15%        +2,813, +23%       +4,762, +31%

AL           +3,121, +20%        +2,671, +14%       +5,470, +26%


World      +30,094, +9%        +31,289, +8%       +32,540, +8%

U.S.         +7,437, +7%          +6,089, +6%         +4,982, +4%

SC           +55, +12%             +67, +13%            +39, +7%

AL           +73, +13%             +76, +12%            +56, +8%

In the world, the numbers of cases continue to rise, at about the same rate. The total figure now is 8,287,338. The numbers of deaths also continue to rise, at about the same pace. The total figure now is 446,669 dead.

In the U.S. as a whole, the numbers of new cases seem to be leveling off while the numbers and rates of deaths are declining. There are now 2,208,486 cases in the U.S. The mortality total stands at 119,133. The greatest factor impacting these statistics is the dramatic decline in hospitalizations in New York.

While New York is improving, the southeastern and far western states are seeing sudden surges in new cases. South Carolina and Alabama are now two of the states with the highest numbers and rates of spread of the disease in the entire United States. In SC, there were enormous jumps in both numbers of new cases and the rates of spread in the last three weeks. In just the last week, SC saw 4,762 new cases, bringing the total to 19,990. At this rate, the number of cases will double, to 40,000 in about a month. Alabama saw even more new cases in the last week, 5,470, bringing its total to 26,912. As with SC, at this rate, AL will have twice as many cases in a month or so. The only hopeful news for SC and AL is that the rate of death has not paralleled that of infection.

The conclusion is that COVID-19 is spreading in South Carolina and Alabama in alarming numbers and rates. Moreover, there seems to be nothing in the way to change this. Both states have "opened" almost all public places. In addition, my observation is that many people believe the "re-opening" means the end of the virus. When I go out, I see about half the people wearing masks and very few wearing gloves and practicing physical distancing. So, for an awful lot of people, the pandemic is nothing to worry about when the data clearly show the opposite. This is a recipe for disaster. With this scenario, we can expect the disease to spread even more rapidly in our southeastern states.

Church officers ought to keep all of this in mind as they plan to resume corporate, in-person worship. Some churches seem to be mindful of this and some not so much. I noticed that St. Michael's, of Charleston, held its first in-person service a couple of weeks ago. For some reason, which I did not catch, the clergy led the sizeable congregation (maybe 100) as a group across the intersections to meet at each of the other three corners of law before entering the church. All along the way, people walked together in clumps chatting closely, ignoring social distancing.

The harsh truth is that we are moving inexorably into an ever worsening pandemic for which there is no cure, not even treatment. The summer may see a respite, and may not. We southerners like to stay indoors a lot in the hot weather. The fall is almost certain to see a big surge in COVID. In the great flu pandemic of 1918, by far the worst part came in the last few months of the year. All signs indicate the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come whether people want to believe it or not.

All of this is hard to take. No one wanted this terrible plague to happen. No one caused it. Yet, here we are. We are called for the living of this hour, as hard as it may be. Peace.