HEALTH ALERT from the elders re: COVID-19 virus
As you already know the Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic because it has spread across many countries. We want you to recognize that it is just a matter of time that this virus will enter our city.
We want to encourage you in a sensible and Christ-centered response.
1. Recognize that nothing is outside of God’s purposes and plans.
As believers in Christ we recognize that our days and times are ultimately in the hands of God who is both our Creator and Saviour. He knows both how to gather our attention to Him and what purposes He will complete through all kinds of circumstances. This should cause us to run to Him often with our worries and anxieties but also give us courage and confidence to use these circumstances to point others to Him. These circumstances should cause us to take extra time to be saturated and to saturate our families in prayer and in the reminders of God’s goodness and His control in all things. We suggest that you start and finish your day with a time of contemplation, discussion and prayer together (increase family/friend worship time, not decrease it).
2. Wash Your Hands
Every warning and action plan that we have read by medical and disease infection experts starts with washing your hands. Wash them often and thoroughly. This is not simply for your own protection but also is a meaningful way to protect others who may be more vulnerable.
3. Come to worship
Come to church because our region, as yet, has no confirmed cases of coronavirus. If/ when the virus does come to our region we will most likely consider taking at least one, maybe two weeks off to quarantine. But could encourage you to meet instead in smaller groups (Missional Community or DNA groups if no one in those groups have been in high risk contact to the virus). We will be sure to send out a call to quarantine as early as might be seen necessary. NOTE: if you are someone who has a pre-existing respiratory condition that is susceptible to lung infections when you have a cold or flu, you will need to take greater caution. This is particularly true if you are over 60.
4. Encourage you to hold off on international travel
At this point, travelling internationally seems unwise because if anything does happen, you might not have healthcare unless you have a private health care plan. It is quite possible at this point to be stranded in another country.This is less concerning if you are travelling to the USA. We would recommend however when traveling making sure that you check ahead to identify virus ‘hot spots’ and avoid them.
5. Know the risk and the symptoms
The statistics are clear. Those at highest risk are 60+ and have pre-existing conditions. This may not be you or include many of the people you know. So while you may not be personally worried, please do take serious the precautions for the sake of others. So far the universal stats show, young children have relatively low risk of death from coronavirus. Again, serious precautions and hygiene habits should be taken with them. When reading updates on line and through media resources that are not direct medical resources use caution. Not everything we read on line is fact or true- often it is just to gather interest via sensational story. Self-diagnosing tool.
6. Love your Neighbours
Let’s show wisdom and concern for those who are at high risk. For most of us, this may be an opportunity to love our neighbours by washing our hands, creating social distance, and other measures. It also may be an opportunity for our missional communities and church family to show particular care for those who might contact the corona virus. We can show care by praying for, contacting through phone or email to encourage, meeting practical needs of meals, supplies, medicine deliveries. Set up drop offs in safe zones by leaving items in agreed upon locations (i.e. front steps, back porches, etc) -note the protection zone is a zone that has a decreased risk of possible infected surface contacts.
7. Stay home if you have appropriate symptoms
The coronavirus is not a runny nose. But if you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, then you should choose to stay home and not go to work, events, or other such places. Call 811 and discuss your symptoms with them. Follow all medical professionals instructions as to next steps of care. Call, text or email your close church family members and let them know what’s going on so we can begin to be a part of your surround of care.