Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine flu and the church

We’ve been hearing a lot about swine flu lately and you may be wondering if the church is a safe place for you and your children to attend.

First of all, this is an opportunity to keep a sound mind and put our trust in God. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). We never have reason to grow anxious or paranoid. “Do not be afraid of sudden fear, nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:25-26). God has already numbered our days and determined our health. Swine flu cannot thwart God’s sovereign schedule for our lives.

As far as local health risk, our county Department of Public Health issued an advisory on April 28 reporting that “No cases of this virus have been identified in San Bernardino County at this time.” They simply encourage people to take normal, common-sense precautions to minimize the spread of germs:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school [or church, in our case] and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • It is not necessary to wear a mask unless you are in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have Swine Influenza A virus infection.

We encourage everyone to attend church as usual on Sunday. It may be wise to have some extra liquid sanitizer bottles available in the restrooms and in the nursery area. But beyond this, there is no reason for concern or need for extra precautionary measures.

1 comment:

David Squyres said...

Good post, Stephen.

We are doing Lord's Supper this Sunday, and I did ask that the cracker (matza) be prebroken and the ladies said they would do it with gloves on. Usually I break the bread as part of the ceremony. We also agreed that for the time being we would not hold hands at the closing prayer. Sigh.