Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a women experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.
Influenza (Flu) is Now Widespread in Almost Half the Country
Jamie Ducharme. Time•January 7, 2019
After a relatively slow start to flu season, influenza activity is now widespread in nearly half of U.S. states.
Twenty-four states and Guam were reporting widespread influenza activity — meaning the virus has spread to many parts of the state, regardless of severity — as of Dec. 29, the latest date included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly flu report. Meanwhile, 19 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness activity, meaning a much higher-than-average proportion of doctor’s visits could be attributed to the flu. Nationally, about 4% of outpatient appointments were related to the flu during the week ending Dec. 29.
Hospitalization rates associated with the flu remained relatively low, at 5.4 admissions per 100,000 people. Rates, however, were higher among young children and the elderly (14.5 and 11.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively), as these populations are more susceptible to complications of the flu. Thirteen children have died from the flu so far this season.
Although flu cases are climbing, the numbers are still well behind those reported at this time last year, when the nation was in the midst of one of its most severe flu seasons on record. At this point in the 2017-2018 flu season, 46 states were reporting widespread flu activity, there were 13.7 flu hospitalizations per 100,000 people and almost 6% of doctor’s visits were related to the flu.
The severity of last year’s flu season, which killed an estimated 80,000 people, may be one of the reasons behind the slow start to the 2018-2019 season. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season.
The viruses circulating this year are another reason for the milder season. H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year’s outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain. Flu shots tend to work better against H1N1 than they do against H3N2, so higher early-season vaccination rates may mean that fewer people are getting sick. (In states where H3N2 has been circulating widely, namely in the southern half of the country, flu season has been more severe.)
With illness spreading and months of flu season left to go, experts still recommend getting a flu shot. While it’s best to get one early in the season, it’s never too late — and doing so may protect not only you, but also children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations, experts say.