Caution Without Panic
The Covid-19 virus (also called the coronavirus) is troublesome and can be frightening. As I understand the current facts, there is some good news. Children seem to be resistant to the virus. Eight-five percent of the cases we know of today are a mild form of it that is about the same as having a cold. Overall, the coronavirus is less deadly than the flu, and our US health system can treat it well. The most vulnerable are those with compromised immune systems and lung issues.
Still, we all want to avoid Covid-19 if possible. The most important defense, according to medical experts, is to wash our hands with soap for 20 seconds, especially before touching our faces or eating. By the way, that will also go a long way toward stopping the spread of the flu!
One of the main pieces of advice being given to the public is to avoid large crowds. So what about worship services at our church? My plan is to use caution without panicking. If the coronavirus becomes epidemic in Indiana, we will likely go to virtual worship through Facebook Live for a number of weeks, as seems necessary. Otherwise, we will operate with wisdom and caution.
From now until Covid-19 seems to be behind us, we will encourage all of us to find an alternative greeting to shaking hands. We can touch elbows or smile and wave. On the next few Communion Sundays, we will use the little individual cups instead of intinction (dipping the bread into the common cup).
What can you do to live with caution and not panic? Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap. Use hand sanitizer. Be sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow, instead of out into the air or into your hand. And stay home if you are feeling ill. Especially if you have a fever. We can all use these common sense strategies to be sure we are not spending Covid-19, the flu, or even a cold to other people.
And remember, God's got this. "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV) Please join in praying that God limits the deadliness of Covid-19 around the world, especially in places where people do not have access to the world class treatments available here in the US. Watch out for people in your life who are high risk. Love and encourage one another.
But please do come to worship as long as you do not feel ill. And wash your hands. Often. Thoroughly. Wash. Your. Hands.
Together, we can get through this.