The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. There is no need to panic, but we do need to make well informed, faithful decisions to keep our community healthy and safe. You may have heard the expression “flattening the curve” and I want to take the time to explain what this means and why it is important to us as Christians who care about our community.
Healthcare systems have a capacity. Our health care system tends to run “at capacity” as we all know from waiting in Emergency Rooms or for a test in a lab. When there is a rapid widespread outbreak of a new disease that capacity can be exceeded. When the capacity is exceeded (as it has been in Italy) difficult decisions need to be made about who gets treatment among the most critically ill.
We want to make sure that intensive care is available to those who really need it.
That means keeping the rate of new infections low enough, over a period of time so as not to exceed our healthcare system’s capacity. We do this by educating ourselves about healthy protective measures and then implementing those when the time comes.
So. These decisions have been made by our committees and groups. The United Church is affirming these decsisions and communication them.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face unless your hands are clean. Please stay home if you are having respiratory issues and contact medical assistance if you are having trouble breathing (call 811 to speak to a registered nurse).
We ask you to refrain from close physical contact with people beyond your own household (no hand shaking hands, kissing, hugging).
Trinity United Church will not be serving tea, coffee, or food as a community until further notice.
We are cancelling a number of social events offered by the church.
As of the writing of this letter we will plan to resume serving communion in April, but with a new process. This may change if BC Centre for Disease Control increases our designation.
Above all else, stay in touch! We need to care for one another in the midst of crisis. Call your neighbours. Call your family. Call your friends. Call members of the church you only talk to on Sunday or the meeting or engagement that just got cancelled. Go on walking dates if you are able. Offer to run errands and pick up groceries.
Please check the church website www.ucpoco.ca and check your email inbox regularly for current information about what’s happening at Trinity.
Grace and peace,
Rev David Cathcart
March 11, 2020