So many of us are paying attention to what’s going on with the coronavirus. The Governor of Maryland confirmed earlier this week that three people from Montgomery County that were on an international cruise in Egypt have contracted the virus and are now receiving care. The Baltimore City Health Department reports that some of the symptoms of coronavirus infection are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In light of this, as a good pastor friend of mine says “we are taking a posture of awareness, but not panic. Preparation, but not obsession.”
Toward that end, I’m asking that if you are sick please do not come to church until you have fully recovered. Let your doctor know so you can receive medical care and send us word so we can pray with and for you. Whether it’s just a cold, the flu, a bug or anything else - stay home until you are fully recovered and enjoy the livestream video of our service via Facebook or our youtube page. I’ll be working with our Media Ministry to ensure that the whole service is streamed for viewing.
In addition to staying home if you're sick the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising other common sense measures as well such as frequently washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Click here to review more of their recommendations.
In addition, while we already regularly disinfect the building, I’ve been in touch with our Facility Manager and will be working with our church sexton to ramp up our attention to frequently touched surfaces at the church. We may need to develop a team-approach to this. Let me know if you or your ministry is willing to help out.
And while there is no evidence that nutrition alone can help ward off this or other viruses, it wouldn’t hurt to focus on foods in this season that can help to boost your immune system. For general information purposes, WebMD says foods like elderberry, button mushrooms, oysters, watermelon, spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, garlic, pomegranate juice, and ginger are all among foods that are rich in antioxidants, zinc, vitamin D, beta carotene and other nutrients that invite optimal health under normal conditions. Click here for more information on that.
Finally, guard your mind and spirit during this time. Information overload is a thing! And all information is not accurate. Don’t allow the television, radio, or social media posts to get you all worked up. Remember the words of 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7: “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power; and of love and of a sound mind.” Don’t trade your power for panic and don’t exchange your faith for fear.
As the situation continues to evolve, I may share more in the way of updates. In the meantime, let’s continue to pray for and support one another.
Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III