Our Response to COVID-19
After deep discernment, research, and conversation among our Guiding Council, the decision has been made to worship together online this Sunday instead of in person due to the current pandemic called COVID-19, Coronavirus, SARSCOV-2. This was a very difficult decision to make. In the midst of crisis, confusion and stress, it is usually more important than ever for us to break isolation, gathering to comfort one another with smiles, hugs, and high fives. This situation is different. It has been difficult to sort through the various messages from news media and focus on the facts of the situation. Here is reliable information we have so far from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization about this virus:
It is extremely contagious (more than seasonal cold or flu), transmitted through vapor created by coughing, sneezing, speaking
It can survive on surfaces for up to three days
It takes up to 14 days to incubate
Carriers can be asympomatic
It poses increased danger than cold or flu to people over 60 and those with heart, lung, and kidney diseases as well as diabetes and diseases that suppress the immune system
Low risk groups are young, healthy people
The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic
Projections show that as much as 80% of the U.S. population could become infected, most of us will be okay
More people have the virus right now than have recovered from it
If protective actions aren't taken, our health system could be overwhelmed
Helpful actions are:
Diligent personal hygiene and disinfection: Wash your hands for 20 seconds with plenty of soap before and after eating food, after touching your face or hair, upon returning home, etc. Keep your clothing, homes, cars, mobile devices, and workspaces disinfected.
Social Distancing: Minimizing physical contact with others, creating physical space between you and other bodies. This includes working from home and eliminating unnecessary travel.
Harmful actions are:
Panic: Listen to the leaders you trust, maintain calming self care practices
Stockpiling food, cleaning supplies, household products, water bottles, face masks
Disengaging from the economy: it is important that we still support business, retail and restaurants
While we won't be together in person on Sunday, we can still be Community together. Keep doing all the things you would usually do - check in with each other, catch up with each other - just do it over the phone or video chat. This is a change in our practice of being Community, and for now it is necessary. Some of our younger members have volunteered to run errands for anyone who is at a higher risk of complications from this virus. Please contact me if you need someone to run errands for you and I will get you connected with one of our volunteers. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from our young people. While grocery stores are emptying, pundits are yelling, and all the exciting plans are being canceled, we can still have fun, we can still have meaningful lives connected with people we love. That’s our motivation for moving worship online. We love each other and want to keep one another safe. Instructions for joining worship via Zoom Conferencing will be in your inbox Saturday.