In the middle of January, we began shifting some of our usual practices in the congregation. An early alert from member Breck Lebeque urged us to replace hand shaking and hand holding with fist bumps and elbow linking or putting a hand on a shoulder. The arch we make when we sing the children out of the service on Sunday is now open at the top. We’re also offering reminders that hand washing and sanitizing is important for our own health and that of others in our congregation.
We’re ahead of the wave, and it’s a good thing.
This past Sunday we asked that we not share snacks during our coffee hour. We’ll all miss it, but the possibility of transmission of the flu from that practice is high, so until we have some confidence that we don’t have to worry about transmission, we’ll be having coffee without the treats. I’ll definitely miss it, but it’s the right thing to do now.
The advice for avoiding spreading the virus and for protecting yourself are universal:
- Wash/sanitize your hands frequently
- Don’t touch your face
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, dispose of it and wash your hands
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well (I modeled this on Sunday!)
- Don’t shake hands or touch hands — fist bump, touch elbows, put a hand on a shoulder
- Follow best practices to keep healthy — eat well, hydrate, get a little exercise and a lot of sleep
We will continue to hold services until such time as our local government recommends closing local schools or makes a request for congregations to suspend services for the common good.
Together we’ll do what we can to protect each other through this nervous time.