PREPARING FOR COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS AT SAINT PATRICK’S
Dear Beloved Ones,
We’ve all been paying close attention to the progress of the coronavirus as it has marched its way across the globe. The World Health Organization has now classified it as a “pandemic.” It is very important that we prepare now for the inevitable spread into Ventura County. We should approach our preparedness like we approach our spiritual disciplines. Let us prepare now so that we are ready to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Let us preparebefore the virus “hits the fan!” One important thing to remember is that the virus is not believed to be airborne. It is spread by contact with surfaces on which respiratory droplets have landed. Therefore, the following practical steps significantly reduce risk of exposure and transmission.
- When feeling ill, stay at home. Sometimes we “press on” even though we’re sick because we’re scheduled to serve in some capacity on Sundays, or we simply need to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, now is not the time to “press on.” Please, if you suspect you’re feeling symptoms of a flu or cold, stay at home. Drink plenty of fluids, and let your neighbors, your friends and your church know you’re home safe. We here at Saint Patrick’s are well known for the way we love and care for our elders. The best way we can care for the most vulnerable in our community is to stay home if we’re feeling sick – even if you suspect it is only allergies.
- Wash your hands vigorously and often for at least 20 seconds (as long as it takes to say the Lord’s Prayer).
- Avoid shaking hands or embracing. Keep your distance. Bow or wave to one another when saying hello or passing the Peace. Per our norms for the season of Lent, please restrict the passing of the Peace to your neighbors directly around you in the pew. And, please, refrain from hugging, kissing or touching.
- Refrain from touching surfaces and then touching your face, especially the nose, eyes, and mouth. Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Disinfect tabletops, doorknobs, and other surfaces frequently. Those offering hospitality before and after church should wash their hands thoroughly and frequently immediately before setting out literature, making coffee. Until further notice, all hospitality ministers will provide coffee and tea only. We will return to nachos, cookies and fruit when the risk has subsided.
- There will be NO POTLUCK this Sunday for our Patronal Feast of Saint Patrick.
- Check regularly on your fellow parishioners who have been absent from church, especially older folks and others with pre-existing conditions and chronic illnesses. Pay attention if your friends are missing from their normal pew. Give them a call and check-up on them.
- Resist scapegoating and micro-aggression against our siblings of Asian heritage. Extend pastoral care to all whose loved ones may be suffering locally or overseas.
- Pray regularly for all affected by this and all illnesses, for medical and research professionals, and for all those in civil and ecclesial authority.
God bless you. George+