I pray all is well with you and those you love. I am writing you concerning the threat and fear associated with the coronavirus. The new coronavirus that began as a handful of infections in central China has rapidly become a worldwide pandemic, shutting down entire cities, threatening the health of thousands and testing the strength of the global economy. More than 137,000 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed worldwide across more than 100 countries and regions, and more than 5,000 people have died as of Thursday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At the same time, more than 69,000 people worldwide have recovered from the virus. Approximately 1,600 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., with roughly 41 deaths.
At the time of this writing, the nation, along with the world is in a partial state of fear. This is not the place God wants us to occupy. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Now, even though we are people of faith, we are also taught to watch, or be cautious. According to the CDC there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Clean your hands often Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home if you’re sick Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
Concerning our weekend schedule, Souls To The Polls has been cancelled Sunday, but Early Voting is still open. For your convenience, you can vote Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. I encourage everyone who is registered to vote, please come out and vote. Remember, elections are determined by those who show up.
Currently, we are having our worship service Sunday for those who choose to attend. This is not to frown on any church or parishioner that decides otherwise. Everyone and every church must be persuaded by their own conscience. For us, unless ordered by the Government or the Health Department, we will continue to be open for worship. We cling steadfast to Psalm 91:9-12 NIV, If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
As we go through this interesting time, be assured, we are not alone. The Lord promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). My love and prayers are with you and those you love always.
Your servant in the love of Jesus Christ,
Senior Bishop Lloyd E. Gwin
The Church Of The Living God 312 E. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-6920 firstname.lastname@example.org