Bearing Witness to the Pandemic March 2021

Week of March 1- 6, 2021

As the month begins the US is averaging 2 million vaccines per day. Over 50 million people have now  received at least one shot. More than 80 million shots have been administered with 25 million people having received both shots required of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Over 15 million doses are being shipped out to the states each week. This is a huge improvement in a short amount of time, but still far short of the estimated 80% vaccination rate that officials say is required for herd immunity to kick in. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change March 2021

For the first time, last year the EU generated more electricity from renewables than from fossil fuels. The numbers from the US were not as good, although improving, where we rely on oil, gas, and coal for over 80% of our power with renewables accounting for just over 10%.

Following announcements last month that oil production has peaked, the CEO of another major petroleum company, Exxon Mobil, said the company was positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for decarbonization of the global economy. While he made no promises for becoming net carbon zero, he did say the company was supportive of zero emissions goals. This is a big step for a company that was reported to have supported climate change deniers and spread disinformation similar to what the tobacco industry once did. Read More

Bearing Witness to Good News March 2021

As the month begins the US is now averaging 2 million vaccinations per day. Over 50 million people have received at least one shot and more than 82 million shots have been administered.

The Biden administration put sanctions on Russian officials and a dozen organizations due to the Kremlin’s treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalany. Oh how Putin must wish he had his boy Trump back in the White House where no such thing would have occurred. Read More

Our Nation is Mentally Ill with Guns

I just finished watching the PBS News Hour where they once again profiled the deceased victims from the latest mass shooting. This time it was ten shot dead in a Boulder, Colorado grocery store. My eyes tear up as I learn about the lives cut short by yet another tragic event like this. Then my soul fills with sorrow, then frustration, and finally anger that we live in a country filled with so many guns, so much violence, so many mentally ill people, and so many cowardly legislators who refuse to act to protect their own constituents and families. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic February 2021

Week of Feb 1- 6, 2021

The 12th month of the pandemic starts with 460,000 deaths from just under 27 million confirmed cases in the US. The worldwide count is now over 100 million cases with 2.3 million deaths. But all metrics continue to fall as the third wave dissipates, yet the daily death count in the US is still averaging above 3,000.

Finally, the number who have received their first vaccine shot in the US surpasses the number of cases. It is over 27 million and rising fast. We are now consistently immunizing over 1 million people a day with several days at 1.5 million. At the current death rates from COVID, that could be the equivalent of saving 20,000 lives a day. Just think about that significance in a moment of prayer or silence. 20,000 lives a day are likely being saved. Read More

Bearing Witness to Good News February 2021

It’s hard to beat the refreshingly different, good news from last month that started coming from Washington DC  but there is still plenty much to be thankful for this month.

New COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the devastating third wave are quickly falling across the US and world. Nearly 50 million people in the US have now received at least one vaccination shot as the rate exceeds 2 million shots a day. A third vaccine from J&J has been approved by the FDA, and is especially good news as it only requires one shot and does not need extra cold storage and distribution. Read more in this month’s Bearing Witness to the Pandemic. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change February 2021

University researchers report that the percentage of Americans who are very worried about Climate Change has doubled to around 26%. That’s good news – actually it should be much higher – if that concern creates the urgency to make change in our economies and lifestyles to reverse trends. But it also has a dark side that mental health is now being impacted by climate grief and eco-anxiety or eco-distress, which can leave some people feeling so hopeless that they don’t think changes will happen fast enough. As a result there are a growing number of networks and alliances of professionals, like the Climate Psychiatry Alliance, being formed to create communities of assistance and assurance that they are not alone in how they feel. Read More

Bearing Witness to Good News January 2021

With Trump finally out of office and the Democrats in control of both chambers in Congress, good things and good news are happening at a breathtaking pace. That is, when you are brave enough to look for and see the light – as Poet Amanda Gorman challenged us to do in the inauguration ceremonies – and at least for a moment ignore the darkness of the COVID pandemic, economic recession, climate change, racial injustice, growing inequality, erosion of democracy, and other crises. Here’s a few good news items from January 2021. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic January 2021

Week of January 3-9, 2021

As if this week was not already tragic enough after an insurrection incited by the President and a coup attempted by his rabid supporters, three  records were set this week. More than 4,000 Americans died in one day, 300,000 confirmed cases were reported in one day, and more than 132,000 were hospitalized. Over 365,000 have now died in the US from 22 million confirmed cases. The short term hope of 2021 being a better year did not last more than a few days. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change January 2021

European climate researchers were quick to conclude at the start of the month that 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year on record. Average temperatures were said to be about 2.25 degrees F above their average before the rise of industrial emissions starting in 1900. Some areas of the planet reported their hottest year ever, such as Europe, while other regions like North America were above average but not record setting. The Arctic and Siberia experienced heat waves that put average temperatures in some parts up 6 degrees C higher than their average. Other hot spots continued to emerge this past year as they did in 2019. Read More