Health and Safety: Covid-19 Update
Dear Friends at Christ Church,

After speaking with a number of health care professionals today, and with the helpful thinking of our parishioner, Dr. Don LLoyd-Jones, Chair of the Department of Preventative Health at Northwestern, we are closing Christ Church for at least two weeks. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only way to flatten the transmission curve for this virus is for all of us to stay home for at least this period of time.

According to health experts, we are having a particularly hard season of influenza apart from COVID-19 concerns. Those same experts point out the fact that we have roughly one million hospital beds in America and at any given time, about 750,000 are filled. That number of filled beds is higher right now with more cases of influenza, thus leaving us with roughly 200,000 beds nationwide. Additional COVID-19 admissions are stressing our health care system and these facts require an aggressive response to reducing transmission.

The best information we have, from a panel of infectious disease specialists, is that people are infectious two days before symptoms and fourteen days after symptoms.

This means, of course, that just because you feel well doesn't mean it's safe to interact with others. You can be infectious without having symptoms.

I have notified all of our outside groups, including the Scouts, AA and Families Anonymous, Samaracare Counseling Service, and Willowwood Pre-School. While we will clean all touched surfaces in both the Church and 470 Maple, this will give us time for the virus to die on all those surfaces before we reenter.

Our staff is meeting tomorrow to begin plans for staying in touch with parishioners through various electronic means over these next few weeks. We will be creative about how we stay connected. As one example, we are working on live-streaming our Sunday Services. The Clergy are still available to visit those with particular needs. You may contact me on my cell at 847.868.5611 or at capowell430@gmail.com to schedule time as needed.

I realize that we are entering a period without precedent in our lifetimes. That fact does not make me anxious; it makes me resolute to do my public health part to abide by all the precautions needed to arrest the spread of the virus.

We are a people who walk by faith, not by sight. I take that to mean that earthly circumstances do not dictate who we are or how we will respond to events. Our faith, along with our reason, will be used by God to help us chart a course through these circumstances and show us ever more clearly the Face of God.

I will be in touch with you multiple times in the days to come. Meanwhile, use your best thinking and prudent behavior to navigate an uncertain future.

This comes with my love and deepest gratitude that we get to do this hard thing together.

In Christ's Healing Name,

Christopher