Repost from FB - a personal response to the upcoming restrictions in Ontario, Canada
  • I don't usually make social media comments on anything with politics, the pandemic, or the like, but I feel the need to say something.
    It sounds like the province will be entering another shutdown very soon. I am baffled that the grey zone regions have been locked down since November and now the entire province will be back into full-on lockdown, or "shutdown" as they are calling it.
    I am concerned for mental health, not only of my friends, but of my own as well. The first lockdown hit me very hard and I had a hard time dealing with the restrictions to life, especially my music life.
    During the first 2 lockdowns I was a full-time (unpaid) music volunteer at the local church (5 minute drive, 30-40 minute walk). I went there every day during the lockdown to play with a cantor and to sing when required. It gave me access to the sacraments and was the only way to keep me going. Unfortunately, due to some huge problems with the diocese and the environment, I decided to resign a few weeks ago. So I am no longer actively involved there as I used to be.
    I'm glad to hear that the churches will remain open at 15% capacity, but unfortunately that's not good enough. I've been facilitating a new choir, formed largely out of necessity, during the Red Zone restrictions here in Halton. But now that everything's moving into shutdown or lockdown, I am not even going to be able to do that, unless some church is generous enough to open their hall or something similar to me.
    My purpose in writing all of this is to state plainly and clearly: the lockdowns and shutdowns need to end. Now. They are causing much more harm than good. The statistics are clear - the suicides and mental health crises are much higher than any number of pandemic deaths. I would argue that it is indeed a larger pandemic which was already brewing and needed to be addressed long ago.
    I hope it goes without saying that this is not to dismiss the severity of the pandemic at hand. It is certainly not as some believe, non-existent or minor. But the constant removal of our freedoms due to government overreach is one of the worst possible responses. There is no excuse for the government to continue these restrictions. End the lockdowns now.

    P. S. PM me if you want to connect on FB. Happy to friend any forum members.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    I'm so sorry.

    It's so awful, the way that people in power (mayors, governors, doctors, bishops, etc.) are abusing the people they are supposed to be representing and guiding, rather than oppressing and driving to panic and fear.

    I'm happy to add people to FB, as well, and can be found my by name.
    (Forewarning: I'm much more opinionated on political, social, and Church issues on "social media" than I am here. ;-) )
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Walsingham and its Ordinariate opened up long, long ago, except for the Saturday anticipated mass (for which I play) reserved for the elderly. This in spite of the archdiocese itself continuing distancing, masks and limited numbers. I think that the Ordinariate's action is dangerously ill-advised, is ;just courting disaster, and tempting fate. Our masses are almost packed and masks are a rarity. There be some who apparently don't realise the dread seriousness of this pestilence of Chiinese origin, or think that they are somehow miraculously immune to it. The dangers are not mitigated just by one's being in a church.

    To mitigate the very real spiritual deprivations of all this perhaps in some places a system of rotation could be put into practice. Each mass set aside for different age group, or segments of the alphabet, etc. This is probably a weird idea - but there should be a way for all to attend mass whilst wearing masks and distancing. A church itself does not repel this scourge. We have had half a dozen or so cases at Walsinghm's packed masses - which we likely would not have had had the proper precautions and limited seating been observed - throwing caution (and wisdom) to the winds.

    I realise that I am most likely in a minority with this view (and may garner some frowns), but I believe that it is sensible and that God understands quite well. In my view we have far too many ostriches than wise in this matter.
    Thanked by 1Schönbergian
  • Casavant Organist,

    I have never had a Facebook account, so we can't connect there, or at Twitter or..... the rest.

    A group of us have been meeting, in person, mostly maskless, to pray the rosary every week in procession at a local cemetery. Some of our number can't walk without extreme pain (or risk of injury) so there's a group, too, which doesn't process but which still prays the rosary. Our intention is the complete, unconditional opening of the parish churches. (We set our "success" mark at: celebrating a Solemn High Mass w/ Te Deum and no occupancy limits). We'll include your diocese in this week's intentions.


    [purple] Isn't your nickname around here 'milquetoast', for the gentleness and non-committal-esque "position" you take on absolutely everything?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    Just wondering whether in Ontario many churches are usually more than 15% full at weekday services.
  • Daily Masses are sparsely attended usually and aren’t ticketed.
    But I just heard from the local church (from where I just quit) that they will only honour the first 100 tickets issued for each of our Easter Sunday Masses. What a travesty - we have been limited from 30% to 15%.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,775
    The statistics are clear - the suicides and mental health crises are much higher than any number of pandemic deaths.

    That would be persuasive if true. The most recent total reported by the CDC gives 47,511 deaths for 2019 (compared to 48,344 for 2018), so there would have to be an increase to more than half a million. For 2020 there's no national figure yet, but one can read in the NYT that this is because
    it can take a year or two for the C.D.C. to collect and analyze national mortality data.

    To try to get a sense of what might be happening now, Nestadt and colleagues looked at data from Maryland, a much smaller sample. The total number of suicide deaths from January to early July, 236, was actually lower than it was during the corresponding periods in the previous three years.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    Canada's statistics seem more up to date - here, for example.
  • I am astonished that the comparisons to death by disease, suicide, car accidents, warfare, or falling out of trees is dragged into this as an excuse not to take the pestilence seriously, or to make it seem less a danger than other means of death. It remains a sad reality that there would be over two million less worldwide deaths but for this scourge. Taking this seriously and gladly abiding by preventive behaviours is wisdom. Not doing so is, in addition to discounting the worth of those who have died an often lengthy and torturous death, not just unwise, but callous.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 431
    I don't know what the situation is like in Ontario, but it seems to me as if there is a common thread: there is a real health emergency going on, civil leaders exercised legitimate authority to try to stem the spread, but now have gotten so drunk on their newfound powers that it is to the detriment of the people they govern. Lockdowns have proven ineffective in doing anything about this virus, but they have caused great mental and spiritual damage to countless people around the world. I have long maintained, like the OP, that the mental health issues arising from this pandemic will be, and have been, much farther reaching and pervasive than the physical issues have been. Be smart, exercise good personal hygiene, and tune out the hype machines. Enough is enough.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Jackson, though I absolutely agree with you, I suspect that some of the discontent may be coming from the haphazard and often ineffective application of these measures, rather than opposition to them on principle. Here in Canada, where my region has been under lockdown for five months straight and has precious little to show for it, one might be led beyond the event horizon to thinking that this is all complete hogwash.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    (Forewarning: I'm much more opinionated on political, social, and Church issues on "social media" than I am here. ;-) )

    Corinne, now you know that is so farfetched I don't believe it for one minute. LOL

    The local Latin bishop has said he is reinstituting the Sunday obligation on Pentecost. Glad I am Byzantine and don't do obligations. I have not been vaccinated yet and until I am, I wont be returning to any liturgies. My song for Easter will be:

    Charles is staying home today, Alleluia
    Till the virus goes away, Alleluia...

    There has been at least one organist in town who has died of Covid complications. I know of others who have died, as well. This virus is serious and trifling with it is something you do at your own peril.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Does anyone have total death statistics, year by year, to compare to this last year? Not that I've seen or heard. Where have the annual deaths by influenza gone? Has influenza "death taken a holiday?" If so, both the influenza and COVID viruses are very smart to have fooled us for more than a year! Both death and case numbers have been inflated from the very beginning, and I don't trust ANY statistics any more! Especially coming for ANY government entity, including the CDC! The criminal, Fauci, has lied his face off to us all year long! Why are we counting these supposed COVID deaths so closely? Because, for the first time since the Vietnam War, we have a daily death count literally pounded into us by the leftist media! And in both cases, Vietnam and COVID, the death counts had nothing to do with people dying, but with pushing a political narrative. I have one single mask that I have worn only when forced to, which comes to about 40 hours total over the last year. It has not been, nor will it be laundered. I'm sick to death of this charade, and it's not going to end until people stand up against this leftist tyranny.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Charles, HA!

    Regarding "local Latin bishop," he also said, "I'm fully vaccinated, but I will continue to wear a mask" for the foreseeable future. Though, the picture of him with the other 2 bishops and the governor show them all mask-less. So, whatever.

    We live our lives at our own peril.
    I guess that sounds frivolous, but it's the truth.
    All anyone has been taught over the last year is:
    wearing a mask = "caring" = "responsibility"
    and not wearing a mask = "uncaring" = "murderer"
    Give me a break.
  • Schonbergian -
    I thank you for, at least in principle, agreeing with me and salute you for your perception of the dread killer that this virus is. Too, your saying that, after the seeming ineffectiveness of preventative measures in one's area, 'one might be thinking that this is all complete hogwash' is tempting to many of us. Tempting as it may be, I shall not fall for it. I do not wish to be, like several people I know, in a hospital bed fighting for life on a ventilator since before Christmas..

    I shall make no more comments on this subject because all the anger, vitriol, and volatile politicizing of this situation is in itself a virus, is not mentally healthy, and, in some cases it is not even rational. (And, out of charity, I am not suggesting who is or is not rational.)
  • TCJ
    Posts: 975
    Let's flip the script a bit.

    Wear a mask = contribute to the mass hysteria and mental decline.

    Don't wear a mask = help people realize that the mask doesn't help anyway.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Between October 1, 2020, and March 20, 2021, FluSurv-Net sites in 14 states reported 210 laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalizations for an overall cumulative hospitalization rate of 0.7 per 100,000 population. This is much lower than average for this point in the season and lower than rates for any season since routine data collection began in 2005, including the low severity 2011-12 season. The current rate is one-fifth the rate reported at this time during the 2011-12 season. Hospitalization rates stratified by age will be presented once case counts increase to a level that produces stable rates by age.

    For 2019-2020,
    Symptomatic Illnesses in All Ages: 38,194,505
    Hospitalizations: 404,646
    Deaths: 21,909

    12.1% od deaths were attributed to pneumonia, influenza, or COVID-19 (PIC). This is above the epidemic threshold of 7.1%. Currently, the majority of PIC deaths are due to COVID-19.

    While there were 254 pediatric flu-related deaths reported in the 2019-2020 flu season, this (2020-2021) season, there is only 1, while there are 121 reported <21yo deaths that are "covid-associated."<br />
    If people don't want to see the distorted data, they won't.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I think the decline in flu cases is a result of masks and simply staying away from others.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    Some leaders took note, others did not -
    Deaths per million of population from SARS-Cov-19 to 1 April 2021
    Singapore 5 ; Australia 35 ; Japan 73 ; Canada 605 ; USA 1,704 ; UK 1,860

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    As someone who attempted to take his own life last year; and who has suffered from extreme depression and anxiety on account of this, my sympathies lie with the O.P.
  • Carol
    Posts: 854
    Let's not waste our time debating, let's pray for all those who are suffering from disease of the body, mind, and soul. Casavant organist and Salieri thank you for your honesty.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,044
    To MJO's point: there are places where the Sunday Mass obligation will be suspended going on a year or longer. That means that it is never coming back, or if it does, it will have no teeth, and people will have forgotten, and the loss of holy water in many places is inexcusable. That is the last Christian habit of far too many people.

    I'm looking to write a short essay on all of this, because my experience in Europe has been unusual. Trads with their own churches do one thing (which is not necessarily reckless or disobedient!), those who share churches do what the diocese does in some respects, and then there are places where things are as regimented as before, but with added heaps of shaming.