34 Coronavirus Cases Linked to One Arkansas Church – 'Take it Very Seriously,' Pastor Pleads

"... all 34 attended a “Kids Crusade” event March 6-8. Among the infected are pastor Mark Palenske and his wife, Dena. The event was held prior to the CDC’s guidance to limit mass gatherings." - Christian Headlines

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dmyers's picture

No discussion of the rather important, obvious questions:  How many of those infected have any symptoms?  How many of those with symptoms are in serious distress?  How many have been hospitalized?

Otherwise, this is no different than a round of food poisoning from a church potluck or any flu or creeping crud that cuts a swath through a congregation on a regular basis.  

But the reporter doesn't ask the questions and we don't get the information.  (Or the reporter did ask the questions and the information obtained wasn't sensational enough to be relayed.)

BryanBice's picture

One of the members has now died...


Bert Perry's picture

Yes, there are a lot of questions unanswered about this, starting with how many infected people were actually there, but given the overall prevalance of the infection, it's likely it wasn't very many, and those few infected people managed to infect a few dozen others in the course of a few hours.  That's Ro of up to 36, if it was a whole family, we're still talking 9-12, horrendous.   Or, if we're talking about 37 people testing positive because they made it through triage and had notable symptoms, we could be talking about far more people getting the disease in one event.

In the same way, I think I read that 37 of the ~80 odd deaths in Washington are at a single nursing home, and a great part of the New York portion of the issue traces back to a single synagogue where a congregant didn't stay home when he felt awful.  

FWIW, my church is really cracking down (see Dmyers' comment) on food safety for potlucks and evidence of infectious disease in the church, especially in nurseries and childrens' ministries, for this very reason.  

Now I hope that this epidemic is indeed strangled in its crib, and I've seen some evidence that social distancing is indeed reducing Ro, but I've also seen (see above) evidence that when the foot is taken off the throat of COVID-19, it can get bad in a hurry.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.