From: Grace Covenant Elders
To: Grace Covenant Church
Over the last two weeks, we have all been flooded with information as our community and country grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Steve Cummings, a member of our congregation, provided the Session with an abundance of great information that is very helpful, and we’ve tried to digest this information in a way that, hopefully, will be helpful to you.
As this virus is considered “novel”, meaning that it is a new variant for which the public has not yet been able to establish mass immunity, we must all band together to help slow the spread of the virus, with the aim of protecting those who may be especially vulnerable to its effects.
Here are the most important things to remember:
- Steve is recommending that ALL people over 60 years old and younger people with any underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease or diabetes to STAY HOME for no less than 14 days, but 30-60 days would be much safer.
- People can contract the virus and become contagious and infect multiple people before displaying any symptoms of their own. The disease is asymptomatic in some people, mildly symptomatic in many people.
- The virus is spread by person-to-person contact, through airborne particles (breathing, coughing and sneezing), and the virus can live on surfaces of metal or plastic for up to 18 hours or more.
- Symptoms of disease are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath (similar to that of the common cold or flu). If you have such symptoms, contact your health care provider or the Virginia Department of Health and request a test.
- The best way to limit the spread of the disease is by limiting contact between people.
- Walk outside, but stand six (6) feet from people you may come in contact with (this would also apply if you have to shop for groceries/supplies, etc.)
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (minimum) multiple times a day, especially before and after shopping.
- Resist touching your face! The average person touches their face over 20 times per hour, and this is big no-no!
- The World Health Organization is now suggesting that patients with COVID-19 avoid taking NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex, Meloxicam, Diclofenac, etc.) – the concern is that NSAIDSs dampen the immune response.
- If you have been contacted by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as someone who had direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, you have the option to either self-quarantine (government regulation of strict at-home restriction for two weeks) OR go to one of the drive-through testing centers and self-quarantine (remaining on self-quarantine until you test negative by two separate tests). If you are part of a high-risk population and have confirmed contact with a COVID-19 positive person, testing would be prudent.
In the spirt of helping our community, a couple of local retailers have set aside shopping times specifically for seniors and other high-risk individuals first thing in the morning (after the facility has been cleaned and before the general public is allowed):
- The Fresh Market – 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. every day until further notice
- Target – Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. until further notice
If you would like more comprehensive information, please refer to the following websites:
- Center for Disease Control – www.cdc.gov
- Virginia Department of Health – www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
- World Health Organization – www.who.int
Above all, know that we serve a loving God who cares for each of us and for our community. Let us “pray without ceasing” for His care and help during this stressful and uncertain time. And remember, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7