From the Pastor: Warning: False Information Below
Before all else, don’t forget that Tuesday, the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Candlemas, we bless candles with special prayers. Bring yours before the 8:00 am Mass. Weather permitting, we will bless the candles outside near the rectory chapel. Don’t be late. Wednesday is the feast of St. Blase. We bless throats on that day, so come drive off all of those nasty winter bugs and other evils. Also on that day we bless bread, wine, water, and fruit for the relief of throat ailments, so you can bring those and share with others who could not make it to Mass to get their throats blessed. Or keep it for yourself for a later day of need. It sure doesn’t hurt to have blessed things, including food and drink, around the house!
Beyond that, a celebrity is coming to town that afternoon! Fr. Vincent is returning for a visit. He flies into Tampa too late to be at the Mass of St. Blase, but at least I can share some blessed food with him later in the day. He will only be here a few hours and then flies off again for a few weeks to “quarantine” elsewhere. But he is returning on Ash Wednesday and will be with us for two weeks. One of those weeks he will be giving us a Parish Mission! He still has to work out other schedule issues so we are not sure yet when the Mission will begin and end, but stay tuned for more information. His probable topic: “Going to hell is worse than catching covid.” Or something like that. Or something completely different than that. We will see.
On a different note, this past week I was flagged for the third time by Falsebook “fact checkers'' as having passed on false information regarding covid and the World Health Organization. Ha! I loved their article explaining, in a generic article attacking, not specifically the article which I posted, but multiple “articles and tweets” “misinterpreting” WHO and PCR tests and positive cases... blah, blah, blah... and then it tried to show how all such articles and tweets were wrong to say that PCR tests have many false positives and may conflate “positive test” with “contagious.” But in defending the PCR against false positives, they stated multiple times that they do, indeed, have false positives. They quoted someone who must be quotable as admitting that many false positives will be generated in the future but not now. Only later. And then he guessed that it might be 1% false positives now. But that’s not a big thing. Except it is a big thing for those 1900 people per day (his number) who receive a false positive and must quarantine for two weeks and trace their contacts and warn them (instill fear in them) that they have been exposed and perhaps need to quarantine themselves. But even more head-scratchingly, the “true” fact-checker article went on to state several times that the PCR positive tests don’t mean that you have covid! Nor does a positive result mean that you are ill or contagious. They state this quite clearly. Being infected with a contagious disease should mean that you are both ill and contagious but it doesn’t mean that with covid because of how they define “infected.” For these geniuses, having an infection means that “a person is or has been infected.” Did you catch “or has been”? A positive test is not a false positive just because you don’t currently have covid, as long as you once had covid! So if you caught covid last February and took the test today it should return a positive result because, in their own words, you are infected. You got over your covid nearly a year ago but you are, by their measurement and definition, infected, because you are one of those “or has been infected” people. Yes, they bring that up multiple times in the article, so it is not a typo. You are a “case” because you are (not were, as normal people would put it) infected. But you are not contagious because you do not have the virus any longer. But you (“true positive” but actually immune and don’t have covid), along with the “false positive” people (who also don’t have covid), need both to quarantine yourself and to instill the fear of death into all those who have been in close contact with you. But don’t you dare call it a false positive! Unbelievable! I am glad to see what they consider to be “true” information, for they really cleared up everything about what they mean by “cases” and “false positives” and “true positives.” They also, in passing, stated that they know that the positive results are positive because they often run them a second time. They didn’t mention that if there is no concern about false positives there is no reason to run them a second time, nor did they mention if that second positive result also adds to the numbers of “cases.” But if I speculate further, this article will probably be listed as “false information.”
Had I used fact-checker definitions in the first part of this article, I would have told you that you need not bring new candles to be blessed on Candlemas because if you have ever burned blessed candles you still have them, even if the wax was completely consumed by the flame. Moreover, you cannot come to the St. Blase throat blessing if you have ever had a sore throat because you are infected now, not then.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka