Thursday, March 12, 2020
COVID-19 & Compassion, Prevention & Prayer
This morning I pondered whether to cycle to the gym for my regular work-out. With the time change it was still gloomy out there and the COVID-19 news was sobering. Tom Hanks?...not Tom Hanks! I did go, and of course this virus was all the talk in the change room. The guy who sells and installs solar systems asked who would run power plants if an epidemic affects 30 to 70% of workers. Well, gulp.
We don't plan to become hermits just yet but we're not blase about what is unfolding either. We'd be a as stupid as an American president to act as though COVID-19 wasn't a significant threat. We were supposed to attend the Green Living Show in Toronto this Saturday with our daughter who lives there but we've agreed that traveling by public transit and congregating with a large group of people just isn't prudent.
Speaking of congregating, congregations are getting strategies in place in light of the pandemic. Many mainline churches in North America are old-line with an elderly demographic. This group is justifiably nervous about COVID-19 and every effort should be made to protect them. In the next few weeks faith families will be asking whether coming together for what is usually the comfort of worship should happen. Will we find ways to stream services where there are actually no congregants? What about those who haven't got the technology to stay connected? Can choirs sing anthems when members are "socially distanced" by a couple of metres?
The United Church website calls us to Compassion, Prevention and Prayer:
The statement is a worthwhile read:
Perhaps we can all use lengthier, soapier hand-washing as a contemplative moment. We can pray for communities of faith of every religion in their decision-making. And for all those who simply can't work at home because of the nature of their employment, as well as those who are on the medical front-lines, those who are decision-makers in government and health authorities. I pray for those whose immune systems are compromised and are genuinely scared by what before us as a society.
The peace of Christ be with us all. Trust God always, and wash your hands often!