In my previous president’s letter, extending our hiatus through April and explaining why, I made an error in my summary of the latest epidemiological models. I cited “hundreds of thousands of deaths” but actually meant “hundreds of thousands of critical-care hospitalizations” that would overwhelm the US health-care system. We can expect thousands of US deaths- perhaps tens of thousands- before this is over. Which is bad enough! Please note that I don’t cite information like this to be alarmist or to induce anxiety, but to show the gravity of the situation and to justify the measures we’re taking at UUCO as being effective and civically responsible ways to slow the spread of the disease, keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, and lower the mortality rate.
We’re doing our part, thanks to all of you. My church text-messaging group is actively communicating every day- letting each other know that we’re here and we care. If you’re not a member of one of these groups and would like to join one, let me know. I also participated in last Sunday’s online worship service, using the Zoom platform that the worship team has set up. Thank you to everyone for creating these avenues of connection during our period of social distancing.
Our own Tim Vandenack of the Ogden Standard-Examiner wrote this article that gives suggestions for accessing local resources for folks who've been economically impacted. This NY Times article puts the COVID-19 pandemic into perspective and shows that we’re probably in the early stage of a months-long battle. Looking ahead, our suspension of church activities and social distancing will probably impact the end-of-fiscal-year activities at UUCO, including our Stewardship Campaign (which will be shorter in duration and accomplished via online communications). The UUCO Annual Meeting is currently slated for May 18 but may have to be moved to a later date and may have to be held online rather than “live” at the church. The trustees and other leaders are working on plans for all this, and you will be kept informed.
Everyone is probably asking, “When will this end, and when will we be able to see each other again?” The answer, of course, is “we don’t know yet.” However, the trustees and other church leaders are thinking about how & when this might end. The resumption of church activities will depend upon the progression of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the U.S. and locally, the possible development of medical treatment(s) to limit the duration and severity of the disease, the actions of other Ogden churches and leaders, and most importantly, continued guidance from the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Meanwhile, stay safe and stay healthy.
This too shall pass.
President, Board of Trustees,
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden