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Covid II: Medical Info and Implications


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Today, for the first time since the pandemic began, our deacons served the sacrament emblems without being masked or gloved. They also used only a single water tray each. The priests continued to wear gloves (but no masks), and the bread was still served using tongs. It all felt really good. :D

I wonder if using tongs will be one of those sensible things that continues with us from this experience.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Today, for the first time since the pandemic began, our deacons served the sacrament emblems without being masked or gloved. They also used only a single water tray each. The priests continued to wear gloves (but no masks), and the bread was still served using tongs. It all felt really good. :D

I wonder if using tongs will be one of those sensible things that continues with us from this experience.

Hmm. If we’re going to return to normal, I hope we do so in earnest. For me that would mean ditching the tongs. 
 

Not that we use them now in our ward. We take the bread pieces from sacrament cups. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

If we’re going to return to normal, I hope we do so in earnest. For me that would mean ditching the tongs. 

I've long questioned the wisdom of allowing children whose hands have just been in their mouths or up their noses to fish around in a communal sacrament tray ...

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Not that we use them now in our ward. We take the bread pieces from sacrament cups. 

I don't think our pieces of bread would fit in sacrament cups. That sounds awfully small to me.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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17 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've long questioned the wisdom of allowing children whose hands have just been in their mouths or up their noses to fish around in a communal sacrament tray ...

I don't think our pieces of bread would fit in sacrament cups. That sounds awfully small to me.

They’re as big as the priests make them when they break the bread. How large do you need a piece of sacrament bread to be?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

How large do you need a piece of sacrament bread to be?

Large enough to perceive it. I'm assuming sacrament cups are standard globally? About 8mm wide at the bottom and about 15mm high? The piece of sacrament bread that I was served today was about 15mm by 20mm. It would have needed to be about one-quarter that size to fit into a little plastic cup without being squished to fit.

I found the following image on churchofjesuschrist.org:

norway_sacrament_meeting_blessing_bread.

That looks familiar to me.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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9 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Large enough to perceive it. I'm assuming sacrament cups are standard globally? About 8mm wide at the bottom and about 15mm high? The piece of sacrament bread that I was served today was about 15mm by 15mm. It would have needed to be about one-quarter that size to fit into a little plastic cup without being squished to fit.

I found the following image on churchofjesuschrist.org:

norway_sacrament_meeting_blessing_bread.

That looks familiar to me.

Don’t pull the metric system on me! I’m one of those jingoistic Americans who only understand inches and feet. 
 

I don’t get why it’s so hard to grasp that a slice of bread can be broken into pieces small enough to accommodate a congregation and to fit easily into a standard sacrament cup. 

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Don’t pull the metric system on me! I’m one of those jingoistic Americans who only understand inches and feet. 

:(

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I don’t get why it’s so hard to grasp that a slice of bread can be broken into pieces small enough to accommodate a congregation and to fit easily into a standard sacrament cup. 

Mate, this is not a matter of comprehension. I'm reasonably confident that the one piece of bread that I was served at church today could 'be broken into pieces small enough to accommodate a congregation and to fit easily into a standard sacrament cup'. I'm just not sure how desirable that would be.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

:(

Mate, this is not a matter of comprehension. I'm reasonably confident that the one piece of bread that I was served at church today could 'be broken into pieces small enough to accommodate a congregation and to fit easily into a standard sacrament cup'. I'm just not sure how desirable that would be.

When my husband, daughter and I went to the home of the sister we minister to for the sacrament my husband broke the bread in much larger pieces than we would have it at church.  It surprised all 4 of us how much more we felt with it.

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

When my husband, daughter and I went to the home of the sister we minister to for the sacrament my husband broke the bread in much larger pieces than we would have it at church.  It surprised all 4 of us how much more we felt with it.

The first time we had home sacrament, my son broke the bread into much larger pieces. I’m not sure I felt more as a result of it, but I knew it took considerably longer to chew and swallow. My family had to wait quite a while for me to be ready to do the blessing on the water. 😊 

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3 hours ago, Rain said:

When my husband, daughter and I went to the home of the sister we minister to for the sacrament my husband broke the bread in much larger pieces than we would have it at church.  It surprised all 4 of us how much more we felt with it.

 

2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The first time we had home sacrament, my son broke the bread into much larger pieces. I’m not sure I felt more as a result of it, but I knew it took considerably longer to chew and swallow. My family had to wait quite a while for me to be ready to do the blessing on the water. 😊 

This was true for us as well, because of trying have 5 pieces of bread equal one slice.  I didn't feel anything differently about it but I think it's awesome that that was the result for some.  

My son also put ice into the sacrament water cups the first time, which we had to nix.  "Fancy" (as he called it) sacrament just didn't feel right.  :lol:

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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've long questioned the wisdom of allowing children whose hands have just been in their mouths or up their noses to fish around in a communal sacrament tray ...

I don't think our pieces of bread would fit in sacrament cups. That sounds awfully small to me.

I agree, it's gross.  I never let my kids take the bread until they were reasonably old enough to do it without messing with all the pieces, and if they did grab more than one piece I'd take those out as well so no one else got them.

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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Not that we use them now in our ward. We take the bread pieces from sacrament cups. 

My utah stake never did tongs or cups for the bread, it was in the tray like normal.  But we did have a rule that no one under 8 could take their own piece.

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

:(

Mate, this is not a matter of comprehension. I'm reasonably confident that the one piece of bread that I was served at church today could 'be broken into pieces small enough to accommodate a congregation and to fit easily into a standard sacrament cup'. I'm just not sure how desirable that would be.

Where did Scott say that an entire congregation’s worth of bread could be accommodated in one sacrament cup?

In every ward I’ve ever taken the sacrament in, the bread pieces are easily small enough that several could fit in a sacrament cup. 

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During the pandemic,  instead of the flat bread  trays,  the wards I've been to have used the cup trays,  putting the individual small broken bread pieces in the "hollows" where the cups would go. I think the cups were used to start with but it didn't seem practical or necessary. 

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5 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I've said this before I think, but back in " olden days " members drank the water from a communal cup. Imagine that . EW ! 

I’m old enough, and my dad was considerably older than me, such that I remember him telling about those “olden days.” 
 

“If one of us had a cold, we all got it,” he said. 
 

We should remember to be thankful for such seemingly trivial conveniences as personal-size sacrament cups. 
 

And disposable ones at that! I’ve heard tell that the early ones were made of glass and had to be washed and reused. 

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4 hours ago, sheilauk said:

During the pandemic,  instead of the flat bread  trays,  the wards I've been to have used the cup trays,  putting the individual small broken bread pieces in the "hollows" where the cups would go. I think the cups were used to start with but it didn't seem practical or necessary. 

Maybe your trays are fashioned differently than the ones we use. That wouldn’t be practical for us, because the bread piece would fall through into the void below meant to be a receptacle for the used cups. 

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6 hours ago, Raingirl said:

Where did Scott say that an entire congregation’s worth of bread could be accommodated in one sacrament cup?

He didn't. He merely suggested that I couldn't comprehend bread small enough to fit into a sacrament cup. The reality is that I can comprehend bread broken down into the smallest visible crumbs. In a pinch, that would work, but I'm still not convinced it's desirable.

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In every ward I’ve ever taken the sacrament in, the bread pieces are easily small enough that several could fit in a sacrament cup. 

And that sounds exactly like crumbs to me! Several in a sacrament cup?

Quoting the Handbook: 'As ward members sing a sacrament hymn, those who will bless the sacrament reverently stand, remove the cloth that covers the bread trays, and break the bread into bite-sized pieces' (emphasis added) .

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My family had to wait quite a while for me to be ready to do the blessing on the water.

I always feel cheated if the sacrament service ends too quickly. I spend all week preparing for those sweet, sacred moments of communion. After our home sacraments, I found I needed to take a few minutes just to sit on the lounge and enjoy the experience before moving on.

2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

“If one of us had a cold, we all got it,” he said. 

We should remember to be thankful for such seemingly trivial conveniences as personal-size sacrament cups. 

This is precisely why I was thinking that tongs might be a permanent change. After all, it was the Spanish flu pandemic that really accelerated the shift to individual sacrament cups. But I've now learnt that tongs were not universally used across the Church, so who knows?

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I always feel cheated if the sacrament service ends too quickly. I spend all week preparing for those sweet, sacred moments of communion. After our home sacraments, I found I needed to take a few minutes just to sit on the lounge and enjoy the experience before moving on.

This is precisely why I was thinking that tongs might be a permanent change. After all, it was the Spanish flu pandemic that really accelerated the shift to individual sacrament cups. But I've now learnt that tongs were not universally used across the Church, so who knows?

At our home sacrament meetings we would set a timer for 15 minutes so we could enjoy quiet time after the ordinance to ponder and reflect.

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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I always feel cheated if the sacrament service ends too quickly. I spend all week preparing for those sweet, sacred moments of communion. After our home sacraments, I found I needed to take a few minutes just to sit on the lounge and enjoy the experience before moving on.

This is precisely why I was thinking that tongs might be a permanent change. After all, it was the Spanish flu pandemic that really accelerated the shift to individual sacrament cups. But I've now learnt that tongs were not universally used across the Church, so who knows?

These are solid points. Thank you. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

He didn't. He merely suggested that I couldn't comprehend bread small enough to fit into a sacrament cup. The reality is that I can comprehend bread broken down into the smallest visible crumbs. In a pinch, that would work, but I'm still not convinced it's desirable.

And that sounds exactly like crumbs to me! Several in a sacrament cup?

Quoting the Handbook: 'As ward members sing a sacrament hymn, those who will bless the sacrament reverently stand, remove the cloth that covers the bread trays, and break the bread into bite-sized pieces' (emphasis added) .

I agree that crumb-size bread pieces would be less than desirable. That’s not what I’ve ever experienced when taking the sacrament in wards or branches I’ve attended. Nor is it what I would have suggested. 
 

Sacrament-cup size is actually a pretty good determinant for the smallest a bread piece ought to reasonably be for the sacrament, in my opinion, and seems to be normative, in my observation. 
 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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11 hours ago, bluebell said:

My utah stake never did tongs or cups for the bread, it was in the tray like normal.  But we did have a rule that no one under 8 could take their own piece.

I think that practice should be universal and enforced by parental common sense. There’s nothing wrong with a parent taking a piece of bread or a cup of water and giving it to a little one up to the point that the child is old enough on his/her own to take a sacrament emblem without touching the other emblems on the tray. 
 

 

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Not sure if anyone has posted this yet:

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The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak

The Covid-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus.

Hmm.

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The possibility that the pandemic began with an escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is attracting fresh attention. President Biden has asked the national intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate.

Much of the public discussion has focused on circumstantial evidence: mysterious illnesses in late 2019; the lab’s work intentionally supercharging viruses to increase lethality (known as “gain of function” research). The Chinese Communist Party has been reluctant to release relevant information. Reports based on U.S. intelligence have suggested the lab collaborated on projects with the Chinese military.

But the most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. In particular, consider the genetic fingerprint of CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the disease Covid-19. 

Most of the piece is behind a paywall.  Here's a summary:

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A scientist and a doctor explained in a Sunday op-ed the “damning” evidence suggesting that COVID-19 was altered in a laboratory.

Dr. Steven Quay and UC Berkeley emeritus professor of physics Richard Muller explained in The Wall Street Journal that the genomic structure of COVID-19 was unlike anything discovered in nature, which is the strongest evidence the coronavirus was altered in a lab.

The two explained that in gain-of-function research, a spike protein is altered for the purpose of making a virus more transmissible or lethal. A specific genomic sequence, CGG-CGG (known as “double CGG”), they said, has “never been found naturally” in “the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2.” They explained that natural processes could not create a sequence combination if it “isn’t present in any other virus.”

Then a verbatim quote:

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Although the double CGG is suppressed naturally, the opposite is true in laboratory work. The insertion sequence of choice is the double CGG. That’s because it is readily available and convenient, and scientists have a great deal of experience inserting it. An additional advantage of the double CGG sequence compared with the other 35 possible choices: It creates a useful beacon that permits the scientists to track the insertion in the laboratory.

Now the damning fact. It was this exact sequence that appears in CoV-2. Proponents of zoonotic origin must explain why the novel coronavirus, when it mutated or recombined, happened to pick its least favorite combination, the double CGG. Why did it replicate the choice the lab’s gain-of-function researchers would have made?
...
There is additional scientific evidence that points to CoV-2’s gain-of-function origin. The most compelling is the dramatic differences in the genetic diversity of CoV-2, compared with the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS.

Both of those were confirmed to have a natural origin; the viruses evolved rapidly as they spread through the human population, until the most contagious forms dominated. Covid-19 didn’t work that way. It appeared in humans already adapted into an extremely contagious version. No serious viral “improvement” took place until a minor variation occurred many months later in England.

Such early optimization is unprecedented, and it suggests a long period of adaptation that predated its public spread. Science knows of only one way that could be achieved: simulated natural evolution, growing the virus on human cells until the optimum is achieved. That is precisely what is done in gain-of-function research. Mice that are genetically modified to have the same coronavirus receptor as humans, called “humanized mice,” are repeatedly exposed to the virus to encourage adaptation.

And more:

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Vanity Fair reported last week that research supervised by the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s lead coronavirus researcher, Shi Zhengli, “tested two novel but undisclosed bat coronaviruses on humanized mice, to gauge their infectiousness.”

Wow.  I wonder what the ramifications will be if COVID turns out to have been an engineered virus.

Thanks,

-Smac

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