This afternoon was a time of remembrance in memory of the over 500,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began last year.

The bells at the National Cathedral rang 500 times; there were 500 candles at the White House.

Other reports were that the first official death from the pandemic in the U.S. was last Feb. 29, on this day last year there were 35 cases.  500,000 is more than the total number of U.S. war deaths in WWI, WWII and Vietnam – combined.

However one dissects the data, or challenges this fine point or that, the U.S. is world champion for deaths from Covid-19, and not champion in a good way.

Yesterday I was remembering last year in an e-mail to one of the staff at Basilica of St. Mary.  I, and about 50 others, had been attending an excellent series called “Becoming Human” – three of the six lectures had been completed at Basilica, and Janice and the Basilica had a decision to make about the rest.

I still had her e-mail to our group, dated March 16, 2020, and re-sent it to her, yesterday.

“As we continue to learn how to live with COVID-19, and with a deep desire to make decisions for the common good, we have canceled the rest of the series of Becoming Human. We will not hold our sessions on March 17, 24 or 31.
We are in the process of finalizing the videos for first three sessions. In addition, the professors are creating videos, with no audience, for the last three sessions.

We will provide these to you as soon as they are available.  At some time in the future, we will bring people together to watch the videos and have discussions about this important issue.
Thank you for your support of this crucial work.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Peace, Janice”
Her first e-mail to us had been dated March 13, noting State concerns for groups over 250.  I had ushered at Mass on March 15.  Attendance was much lower than usual.  It was the last time I’ve been in the church.
In my county, at this point in time, I think there were 2 reported cases.  Today, the same county in total: 21, 171 cases, 253 deaths.
We’ve had a year to learn.  I wonder what we’ve learned, individually and collectively.
PS: The Becoming Human Series continued on video and was excellent.  It is still on-line, and all details can be accessed here (scroll down).  Use the discount code to watch the series free.


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