Subject:Please read this 4- minute article by an epidemiologist carefully.
Jonahan Smith is a lecturer in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases and Global Health at Yale University School of Public Health. His research focuses on infectious disease transmission dynamics. He is an affiliate of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and founding director of Visual Epidemiology, a non-profit organization seeking to combine academic discourse with personal narratives.
“As an infectious disease epidemiologist, at this point I feel morally obligated to provide some information on what we are seeing from a transmission dynamic perspective and how they apply to the social distancing measures. Like any good scientist I have noticed two things that are either not being articulated or not present in the “literature” of social media. I have also relied on my much smarter infectious disease epidemiologist friends for peer review of this post; any edits are from that peer review.
Specifically, I want to make two aspects of these measures very clear and unambiguous.
First, we are in the beginning of this epidemic’s trajectory. That means even with these distancing measures we will see cases and deaths continue to rise globally, nationally, and in our own communities in the coming weeks. This may lead some people to think that the social distancing measures are not working. They are. They may feel futile. They aren’t. You will feel discouraged. You should. This is normal in chaos. But this is normal epidemic trajectory. Stay calm. This enemy that we are facing is very good at what it does; we are not failing. We need everyone to hold the line as the epidemic inevitably gets worse.
This is not my opinion; this is the unforgiving math of epidemics for which I and my colleagues have dedicated our lives to understanding with great nuance, and this disease is no exception. I want to help the community brace for this impact. Stay strong and with solidarity knowing with absolute certainty that what you are doing is saving lives, even as people begin getting sick and dying. You may feel like giving in. Don’t.
Second, although social distancing measures have been (at least temporarily) well-received, there is an obvious-but-overlooked phenomenon when considering groups (i.e. families) in transmission dynamics. While social distancing decreases contact with members of society, it typically increases your contacts with family members / very close friends. This small and obvious fact has surprisingly profound implications on disease transmission dynamics.Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic isn’t much different than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit.
You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk. Seemingly small social chains get large and complex with alarming geometric speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son’s girlfriend’s mother shook hands with. This sounds silly, it’s not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no one listens. Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease transmission along that whole chain.
In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results. It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how on a population level, ‘one quick little get together’ can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does. Ipromise you it does. I promise. I promise. I promise.
You can’t cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a “little”- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc. From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.
Until we get a viable vaccine this unprecedented outbreak will not be overcome in one grand, sweeping gesture, rather only by the collection of individual choices our community makes in the coming months. This virus is unforgiving to choices outside the rules.
My goal in writing this is to prevent communities from getting ‘sucker-punched’ by what the epidemiological community knows will happen in the coming weeks. It will be easy to be drawn to the idea that what we are doing isn’t working and become paralyzed by fear, or to just‘cheat’ a little bit in the coming weeks. By knowing what to expect, and knowing the importance of maintaining these measures, my hope is to encourage continued community spirit, strategizing, and action to persevere in this time of uncertainty.”
This video, with Ellyn Peirson’s poetry set to Stefano Lentini’s Stabat Mater is intended to bring Good Friday into your heart and home. It has been made without any kind of rehearsal and certainly not a dress rehearsal! You can join in by playing your volume tuner! Blessings to you all as we think of ourselves in the time of Covid19, Italy, because of our Italian connection and Stefano Lentini’s sublime Stabat Mater and the people all over the planet. Be well… and let your home protect you. The poetry is available for you to read below…
VOICES FROM THE CRUCIFIXION some voices from the crucifixion ~ for contemplation ~ The voice of A TODAY MADONNA The voice of THE MADONNA The voice of THE BETRAYER The voice of THE CROSS The voice of THE MADDALENA The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION The voice A TODAY MADONNA - Monica newly bereft, she passes the scratched grocery store buckets, deceptive sophistication, yellow tulips yearning. they reach out – immortalize me, all ye who labour and I will give you rest for your soul. you yearn, too – from where you’ve been placed, your own scratched bucket. desire and empty ness collide – was that her dead son’s voice? – immortalize me. forever make me yours and I will give you rest. reciprocity, the recip rocity of beauty and heavy-laden ness. how will you keep my greens in myriad shades and not let them droop and fall flat against some glass vase – perhaps lalique, translucent green with dancing goddesses pressed in and running over – no cutting and vases, give the resurrected soil and roots and how will you notice and nourish my yellow petals, kissed with the red of God’s lips? will you hear Haydn playing his sonata no. 29 in the back ground – so sadly light and airy, the chaconne of the yellow tulip red-tinged, tulipred, crimsonred. chaconne of the son’s blood, second Isaac. for it is now Lent. and I am but another Christ to be slain… this is my body, this is my blood given, my tulipblood, for you. take and see that i am another sacrifice. you stare and wonder (others have been crueler) – will you buy a few palm branches perhaps for effect, that table possibly or a window… take me into your heart, paint me into canvas for a generation to say, my mother painted that lovely little still life (still, still with me when purple breaks)… she had a nice talent… that’s why I keep it, keep it, hosanna hosanna, green grow the palm trees, oh! the grieving mother bends and see souls… open up, take me in, understand this lent is for you, this greater love is because of you. she steps back and opens her designer bag. digitalclick. Lent downloaded. she goes on her palm-branch strewn hosanna way. oblivious, loveblind… and yet… she leaves with another opening to belief. he calls out – see me in the resurrection that is coming – and i will come again in the new bursting and melodious garden where red buds sing and birds, green and purple, write music for all who are heavy-laden… yellow symphonies and violet nocturnes to be played wherever spring creates its perpetual in surrection and… over there… beside that large impalpably pulsating stone, moved, i am born again this time only the sunbeams for radiation in the holy garden the voice of THE MADONNA - Claudia How am I to approach this walk with you? How am I to bear it? You ask too much of me. I will not, cannot let this happen. ... I will not walk into your death ... Am I, who laboured fiercely to give you life, now required to labour impossibly... cruelly... to let you die? No! No! This was not the promise of conception—the reason for my song. I sang of the magnified heart, the praising heart, and, oh, the loving heart. Do you remember our shared songs? You see, I cannot walk into your death ... it is too early, senseless, purposeless. Oh, my son, my joy, unkindness has weighed you down. Where is the kindness to lift you up. There is none, dearheart, in Pilate’s corruption. Flee! Let me protect you and sing to you. Let Passover pass! Please! Do not speak through your eyes to me. I cannot bear what you say. I cannot walk into your death. I will but follow you wherever you go. You ask too much of me. The voice of THE BETRAYER - Henry It’s gotten out of hand dear God, I didn’t mean for it to go this far astray betray I pray, I do, I pray as you did last night, take this from me, this role that is not me, forced on me until I am judged for eternity and no one knows me Dear Lord, my Lord—I’m driven by love for you—no more, no less but more my Lord… more, more than all of the others, I love you more, enough to force your hand, bring you into your power Force all of them—Lord, the haters, the hypocrites—force them to see you, fall down worship—oh, take your kingship, my Lord… take, take It’s gotten out of hand, for thirty pieces. That was not the point—dear Lord, my Lord—you were the point. Messiah—we’ve waited so long and I know, I know who you are—more than anyone, I know the prince of peace—but no!—of power not peace, thirty peaces of power I don’t want them; I did it for you— That’s all, my Lord—for you Could you not stay with me—with me—your twinned soul, Our souls overwhelmed with sorrow, could you not stay with me? oh, my Lord, take this cup from me! bitter wine pressed from sweat – blood money. and I am seen for eternity as the one who did not love You! did not love you? dear God, I’ve loved and known you more than the others – given up my place beside you to force others to see! And so, as it is written—and not written understood and never understood, known, breathed, loved and— that is my penalty, judgment, death unknown in my love, I am every man, every woman for whom you die. We die—you and I—Saviour and sinner. So comes your betrayer, lover, on feet bound in the swaddling clothes of destiny, the seamless robe of your mother’s love, she who knows me and yet leaves me to my task and when I join you—when you die for me as I die, die, die and am judged for eternity, am swallowed up in death… remember me when you come into your kingdom as every man and every woman we have all done this, Lord, not only I not only I the hour is near dear God, my God and Saviour, the hour is at hand remember me, remember me it’s gotten out of hand the voice of THE CROSS - Doug After my millennium of waiting, yearning, desiring to know my destiny so that I could enter it fulfill it, be fulfilled— I approach you through my death— felled So that you may die here— fallen free-falling into hell and back, follying—death-free; bonds-free. I see, I feel the blows, the pounding nails driven-riven by senseless hands closed minds hardened hearts the very hands, minds, hearts soulparts for which you approach me. willingly. and I will cradle you. soften the blows, absorb the blood— drink it if I must, I rootless now— and accept your surrender as you are torn in two from top to bottom and wombkind is restored, forgiven, unriven immersed in crimson reconciliation. immaculate now in your extinguished light and i am but Golgothan firewood having known you dead while you bear the world’s weight the voice of THE MADDALENA - Theo Dare I approach you who approach me? the stones scorching coals beneath my feet, searing me boneward approach me! oh, pick me up and burn me homeward salve rex, save me… disregard my early indifference son of carpenter, son of god almighty father, carpenter, great first-created – worker of all things wooden carving souls, craving souls your eyes probe, pierce – until healing, salty waters gush… your blood spills oh wash me, should I wash your feet again? Those crushed feet, pinned together by one nail… dear Father, save your Son! it matters not in this timeless approach to eternity that you are probed, pierced, pinned up for display no! – let your hands whittle and shape, smooth my approaching soul – never have I been so known - pluck and crush the purple olive, purple grape they hold eternity in their skins. anoint – press your wine and oil into my petition – my forehead, palms are charred… black with the burning ashes, washes I healed, you stigmatized. I whole, you broken oh, let me anoint you again, oh, let me pour spikenard until none is left on earth, and you are my alabaster vessel forever fragrant you fall rough ground now pooled with blood and my shaped-soul draws back aghast I hear distant thuds – nails pounded pounded pounded until my head splits, chest crushes wooden beams too much for me to bear yet… you bear the wood you love – what medium have you left? the wood you love killing you. you heaving it – it cleaving you the hill of dancing skeletons appears and you fall again – another lifts your crossbeam you smile weakly. wipe the blood from your neck, your mother cries out – oh, my son, my son you turn to her, you inhabit each other’s eyes. the wood you love will hold you up naked, crowned, shattered splattered against the heavens and I wait, breathless, for you were my breath for that brief time I believed, and loved. am I now to let you agonize, harden my heart into rock? so that you can be framed, painted, idolized, idolatrized and held against the purple and crimson sky until with one great gasp, you die. I die we die you lift me into the fractured heavens and as you empty, you forgive and I live for I inspire as you expire into me your perfect passion – artist, medium and lover One And I shall wash your feet, dear friend of all weeping women— Salome, Joanna and Mary and Mary – myrhhbearers. We, eyewitnesses, silenced now, free now broken bent, shattered crushed like my heart again Mary? – Henry’s voice At the third hour Jesus cried out for the second time in a loud voice, And then he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split in a cacaphony of sound and fragments such as had never been heard before by anyone there, many ran screaming and some fell on the ground as though it could protect. And it was over. prophet to the Centurion - Ben At noon, darkness fell over the world – a cool, quiet, creeping darkness until the mockers made fun of Jesus and broke into the obscurity – If you’re the King of the Jews SAVE YOURSELF then save us from the Romans… And the darkness covered every one and everything until the third hour… The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION - Dave it was just another bloody, bone-crushing crucifixion typical of Skull Hill’s pre-Passover executions. Who knew there were so many manifestations of pain and dying? Except for this one… this one… this quiet Galilean, mocked by his own and my own. Laughed at. Taunted. Forced to wear a crown of thorns so that by the time I saw him, little rivulets of blood had found their way into his eyes and down his cheeks into the corners of his mouth. And all he complained about… the centurion was overcome and lay down on a robe he had been carrying. He gathered his thoughts from the dust. And from inside his head, he called out to his gods… all he complained about was to quietly catch my attention. I thirst, he said. Two words – two words – and never have I been so completely known. Wrapped in a smile of love and compassion – for me. They called it all his passion. He stood and threw the robe around his shoulders. The Jew’s mother had woven it for her son with Time’s needles and Love’s yarns. And now it is mine – mine! One exquisite piece, won fairly with the dice. Why do I feel so frightened, then? What is the shadow I feel? There were voices immediately before the earthquake, voices of shock and pacification – the Jew spoke to one of the thieves, and the temple veil was rent and heaven and earth shook. Darkness fell. He’d called out in agony, not of pain, but of utter, obscure desolation: “My God! My God! Abba! Father! Why have you forsaken me?” He screamed it – “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” – until it circled his thorny crown and met itself, becoming complete. Had he gathered all the voices outside the wall into his throat? Had the earthquake shuddered in behind his scream that split the veil.? Had he willed the absolute oblivion of all commotion? Had he created pure stillness? What was the old psalm? Ah yes… “be still and know that I am God.” Had he brought God to earth? By Jupiter, the quietness after was dense. And yet a clarity was mine – I would help his uncle Joseph, of Arimathea, take the body to his grave. Surely this man was the Son of God.
- Henry presents his father’s poem, “We are an Easter people,” from his father’s book, I am Keats as you are:
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I’ve created a photobook on the colour of the soul. If you’d like to visit it – it’s rather lonely in its new spot on the web – just tap the image above (on the red print) … enjoy your meeting!
Just a couple of things to fill out the history for you:
ah, the passing of childish things… how well I remember learning to cursive write with pen and ink in Grade two…
At least in our city, and probably the whole of Ontario, cursive writing has been abandoned by the Boards of Education. How very short-sighted and suppressive of those who purport to promote the best for children in their educational experience.
As the child grows and learns in many subject areas, so the personality and individuality gradually become evident through the completely unique handwriting of each student.
Print script is the digitalization of the personality.
Print script is the suppression of creativity.
Here’s a fascinating outline handwriting’s history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursive
MY FIRST AUDIBLE BOOK is out for the New Year!
Please go to this link to see this book LIVE!
Orchids and Neurons:
by Audible Canada
also available on Amazon
with Eileen Rose Kelly, voice actress
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This conception of Eleanor of Aquitaine has long fascinated me. She and King Henry are placed at the foot of the cross and she is presented as Mary Magdalene is often presented in crucifixion scenes. Perhaps you have a hunch or two?
Listen to Glenn’s poem, “How to Say,” set to music by Jeff Enns and sung by Jennifer Enns-Modolo, with Loren Shalanko at the piano:
How to say
(May 24, 2009)
The way to say “I love you” to someone
is to say “I love you” to that person
This has come to my attention
“I love you” means “I love you”
to the person
for whom you feel that love
Various gestures and clipped phrases
say “I love you”
As lovely as a home-cooked casserole
or cheque for some needed money
or gift certificate for an indulgence
and is loving, nurturing, caring
It is not the same as saying
“I love you”
it is not
“Love ya”’ or “You’re my girl”
or “You’re the best wife, mother, daughter”
or some Hallmark equivalent
nice and perhaps true
But it is not the same as saying
“I love you”
Do not mistake a gesture for the
declaration of love
nor heavy sentiment for its
Do not misjudge the brevity
of our existence
in missing the opportunity to say
“I love you”
Nor misjudge the simplicity of the
with empty blathering, over-repetition
Do not wait until your voice has dried
and your sunken eyes
mournfully cry “I love you”
Do not wait until your deathbed
or someone else’s
Do not give expression to love
in the heat of passion
nor as an act of contrition
Like any real gift, give expression
freely, under no duress,
with no sense of obligation
or awkward burden
Tell all those that you love
that you love them
not just your spouse, your lover,
Tell them now or certainly soon
Say to each person that you truly love,
where your mutual love
is a bond beyond
the nature of an ordinary relationship,
“I love you”
For the only way to do this
The only way to say “I love you” to someone
is to say “I love you”