Roundup 195

New Events


(it is dominating the news. But it is beginning to impact all mission agencies, so I’ve chosen to continue devoting significant space to it.)

Dashboard: 127k known cases, 4.7k deaths, 68k recovered – Link
… 4.7k deaths / 127k cases = Case Fatality Rate of 3.7% globally
… Doubling Rate outside of China – every 3 to 6 days, depending on country

Top countries hit: China, Italy, Iran, S Korea, France, Spain, Germany, US
… all >1k known and confirmed infections (many unknowns possible)


What coronavirus does to the body – Link
… Vast majority of cases (esp. among young) are mild, but 10 to 20% of cases need hospitalization
… hospitalization, if needed, will require supportive care over several weeks
… this care allows them to outlast the worst effects of the inflammation
… some % of those hospitalized will not survive, % is higher for elderly or already-sick

How to not get sick (when traveling, and other tips) – Link
… masks might keep you from spreading it, but uncertain they will/won’t help you avoid it …
… (most things I’m reading say the standard basic masks won’t help)
… wash your hands! …

Mysteriously affecting the elderly, not the kids – Link
… no one knows why. But it’s good news/bad news depending on your age, at least.
… some agencies needing to take special precautions due to age of workers


Tests show new virus lives on some surfaces for up to 3 days – Link


Korea death rate kept low by virus testing blitz – Link
… didn’t put curbs on internal movement, instead tested 100s of 1000s, targeted quarantine

Taiwan ‘rapidly produced, implemented 124 action items’ – Link
… border control, case identification, quarantine, education …

Iran is facing a massively devastating pandemic, hard to know full impact
… top advisers, government officials, military personnel all infected – Link
… mass graves detectable via satellite – Link

Iraq tells people not to visit religious sites – Link
… banned all public gatherings, trying to avoid Iran’s Qom super-spreader

Germany: ‘Up to 70% could become infected’ – Link

Italy – “confusion & fear sweep through Italy amid lockdown” – Link

Stopping the spread in Syrian refugee camps is ‘mission impossible’ – Link

Metro Manila, Philippines under mandatory quarantine – Link

USA: the days of ignoring the virus are over – Link
… State Department issues level 3 “reconsider travel” alert – Link
… Coronavirus testing increases, shortage of supplies possible – Link
… “Confronting the challenges of large-scale testing” – Link
… some states launching ‘drive-through testing’ – Link
… lots and lots of city-wide states of emergency being issued, large gatherings cancelled

Our World in Data is attempting to estimate the testing done worldwide – Link
… you don’t see what you don’t look for

Daily Life

Life in Seoul amidst the epidemic – Link

China’s new normal: life springing back after weeks of lockdown – Link
… makeshift hospitals closed, don’t confuse signs with actual normality …

Coronavirus exacerbates divide between middle-class, rural underclass in China – Link
… “the discontent of migrants looms over China” …

Border closings, quarantines will affect mission travel, short-term trips

I found this regularly-updated survey of air travel cancellation policies – Link

China tightens borders to prevent re-importing infections – Link
… quarantine facilities for all international visitors …

India suspends tourist visas after March 13 – Link
… wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more of that in other countries …
… closes border with Myanmar – Link
… northeast India closes borders as well – Link

Saudi Arabia bans international travel – Link

Thailand: arrivals from 4 countries must declare self-quarantine details – Link
… ‘so they can be contacted and officials can go monitor them’…

US suspends travel from EU – Link

Israel will quarantine anyone entering – Link

Mongolia closed down all international flights – Link

30,000 Afghans reportedly left Iran for Afghanistan – Link


If coronavirus goes away in the summer on its own, that’s worse news – Link
… it means it can recur in the fall, and efforts to stop it failed …


Should churches forsake gathering for the sake of the vulnerable? Link
… good piece from Ed Stetzer arguing they should consider it …

7 lessons from Singapore’s churches for when the virus reaches yours – Link

Lots of US churches deciding to close – Link

USA: why mainline Protestants might fear COVID-19 the most – Link
… Episcopalians: 50% over age 65, average age 59
… LCMS: 41.9% over 65, etc …
… “Their houses of worship are prime targets for the spread of disease”
… “if we’re to keep 3 feet apart, sitting in church could be a danger”

‘Proselytizing Robots’: inside South Korean church at outbreak center – Link
… not sure I’d call this a ‘church’ in the strictest sense? But, interesting …

Economic Hit: will affect cost of travel, but also donations

Oil price collapse beyond any government’s control – Asia Times
… ‘hit by both a demand and supply shock, has fallen nearly 50%’
… was $115/barrel 18 months ago, now $30/barrel.
… Fiscal break-even prices: Saudi, $83; Russia, $42; Iran, $195 …
… probability of a systemic crisis is heightened …

Thousands of flights canceled worldwide due to demand shrinkage – BBC
… lots of reports of summer short-term trips being canceled…
… 4 most heavily hit countries also account for 25% of global airline revenue – Link

I don’t have a good collection of economic analysis yet,
… Coronavirus affecting supply chains – Link
… but also the demand side (people don’t want to buy)
… and service sector (restaurants, hotels, theaters, etc)

#Other Events (not on the radar)

Sahel violence: Dozens dead in latest Burkina Faso attack – Link
… 43 killed Monday in attack on two villages …

Ethiopia’s Ambo city: “from freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed” – Link
… security forces try to curb growth of ethnically-inspired rebel, opposition groups …

Guinea-Bissau’s ongoing political chaos – Link
… ‘could boost cocaine trade’
… analysts do not agree how many coups in 46 years of independence

Desert locust situation update – Link
… in huge chunks of East Africa …

Targeted for wanting to go to school in Cameroon – Link
… ‘a boycott of education … to get political recognition’ …

Enhancing water security and the role of diplomacy in Africa’s Mara Basin – Link
… vital water source for 1 million people …

Afghanistan: US begins withdrawing troops – Link
… watching to see what happens in the near future, remembering Libya …

A new ‘emperor’: Russia girds for 16 more years of Putin – Link
… “The quasi-monarchy that we basically now have is a very good thing”

Philippines: Martial law has lapsed in Mindanao, but little has changed – Link
… curfews, checkpoints, military remain in place …

‘We were like animals’: inside Greece’s secret site for migrants – Link
… migrants & refugees are among the most powerless and abused, worldwide …

New Data

I have ordered the new World Christian Encyclopedia, now available in the USA – Link

New Longreads

‘Educate children in their mother tongue’, says UN expert – link
… ‘noticeably better academic results’ + a lot of other benefits
… but lots of languages are dying out?

China’s poorly planned cities: urban sprawl, rural underclass – Link
… ‘urban sprawl diminishes efficiency, productivity from people concentration’
… ‘hukou’ = ‘apartheid without the racism’

Vivendi launches a comprehensive report, “Gen Z and entertainment” – Link
… h/t Jeff R. GenZ: 8-second attention span, connected, inclusive, anxious

Book Review: The history of Christian missions in Guangxi, China – Link

Just for Luck: how does young China view superstition? Link

Why lifehacks won’t help you manage your time – Link
… “you have to know yourself and your ‘prime time'”

New Technology

Amazon to start selling cashier-less technology to other retailers – Link
… this could have a huge impact on the retail world …
… I could envision this trend re-vitalizing malls where limited-personnel stores could be operated in secure environments …

Internet shutdown in Oromia, Ethiopia takes a heavy toll – Link
… internet and phone service have been off for two months …


“Fear often has a way to masquerade itself as wisdom.” ~Pastor Andre Tan, City Church, Singapore

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