As we face this worldwide virus pandemic, we are blessed to have a virologist, a PhD with 30 years experience working with infectious viruses, in our church. So today we are pleased to share these important words from Martha:
I want to warn people that it will get worse before it gets better. The numbers of confirmed cases will go up, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and there will be more deaths. That doesn't mean that physical (social) distancing isn't working. It can take up to 14 days (typically 5-7 days) for people to show symptoms. People might wait several days before seeking medical attention and it will take time to get test results. So the cases diagnosed today are people who got infected several weeks ago. Moreover, a lot of people are returning to Canada from countries that have a much higher burden of disease. I am not expecting to see the effects of physical distancing for several weeks. Canada is in a better position than the US. So the news coming out of the US doesn't necessarily predict what Canada will look like in a week or two. Moreover, this isn't going away soon. For those infected, I have heard that the time to recover is around 32 days. People can still shed the virus (be infectious), even when they are no longer showing symptoms.
In the midst of all this, let us put our trust and hope in God. However, we still need to be prudent and stay safe.
My first advice to everyone is to follow your local public health authority’s instructions. They know the situation in your area best. Practice physical distancing (stay 2m away from those outside your household), wash, wash, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face. Clean frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, stair railings, etc). Self-isolate if you are sick.
Second - look after your whole self, including spiritual, physical, mental and psychological health. Attend Fellowship church’s digital service online. Keep a routine, to add predictability in unpredictable times. Go out for a walk but stay 2m away from others. Be social by waving, smiling, making eye contact.
Third - look after others. Call someone living alone. Connect by Skype, zoom, etc.
Fourth - minimize your risks. Avoid unnecessary trips. For groceries, make one trip to one store per week. And when you are there - thank the cashiers and staff you see.
Pray for our health care workers and first responders. They face unprecedented challenges. Pray for wisdom for our leaders.
Pray for the poor, the homeless, and the vulnerable. Disease often spreads among the vulnerable. As long as the virus is within the community, we are all at risk.
Pray for those who use foodbanks.
Pray for Africa, Iran, countries with less developed medical systems.
Thanks Martha for this wise advice! This season is giving us unique need, opportunity, and time to pray. If you find it difficult to pray through this time, consider joining others. Specifically, tomorrow, consider joining others of your church family in this worldwide prayer event, https://watchmen.org/korea2020 (includes sharing of the Lord’s Supper); it will run approximately 8am-10am. I’ll be praying with you there! Thank you Peggy for bringing this event, and today’s song, to our attention.
In closing, let’s pray together as our Lord taught us to pray,
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Go with God’s blessing, in song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhgxCpsDuGg .
PS – If you know that someone in our congregation does not receive or read email, please share this with them.