Swine Flu Overkill?

I have been asked to head up a Swine Flu Advisory Board for our church community, which now lessens my job security once this virus ceases to be a threat.  (At one time we had a person head up the Bird Flu Advisory Board, but as soon as the threat level diminished he was walking the streets within a week having only a surgical mask and a bottle of Purell.  So not sure what I should be hoping for to maintain longevity with this new position.)

But in the meantime we will be delivering the following statement to our congregation to help ensure safety and proper precautions:

In light of the recent concerns with the swine influenza virus, we are asking for compliance in following the recommendations set by the Center for Disease Control.  Updates and new information may be obtained from the CDC link below:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Please note that our normal health and safety procedures within the Children’s Ministry is to decline the admittance of any child either having a fever within the last 24-hours, flu-like symptoms, or a runny nose with dark discoloration.  It should also be noted that our volunteer staff is in frequent use of antibacterial gel and that our children’s equipment is sterilized on a daily basis.

As we seek to ensure its usual high health and safety standards within our ministry settings, an advisory board has installed additional measures:

  • Antibacterial gel stations located at all the information centers.
  • We recommend that attendees refrain from attending events if they are currently suffering from any flu-like symptoms as stated by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Revised distribution procedures for this Sunday’s communion.

Members of our advisory board will remain in contact with The Public Health Public Information Office to ensure that we are taking the appropriate steps during this challenge with the 2009 H1N1.  Please continue to visit our website for ongoing information.

Other useful sources on the swine influenza virus and general safety procedures within the Ohio region can be found at:

Ohio Department of Health Hotline: 866.800.1404
http://www.ci.akron.oh.us/health04/index.htm
http://www.ohiopandemicflu.gov

Thank you for your support in these initiatives

As I was putting together this statement with the committee I couldn’t help but think we were being extreme in our reaction.  But then I wondered if it could be seen as an act of love towards the congregation, seeking to better enforce our community as a safe refuge to the world.  That though this sudden panic by our society may be media induced (any maybe not), could our response actually send a message of care, desiring the most welcoming and approachable environments.

Honest questions I wrestled with after we decided on our plans:

  • In light of the mission of the church, was this a good use of our time and resources?
  • With the desire to maintain healthy environments for our people, shouldn’t these procedures always be in place?
  • If Jesus hung out with lepers, should we ever ask people not to come?

Not saying I agree or disagree with these inquiries…just showing some honest thoughts that crossed my mind.

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~ by Dave Smith on May 1, 2009.

9 Responses to “Swine Flu Overkill?”

  1. My quick and careless thoughs…

    “In light of the mission of the church, was this a good use of our time and resources?” – the issue needs to be addressed to protect and inform the congregation and the public and protect the corporation – we can debate all day about how much should have/could have gone into the effort

    “With the desire to maintain healthy environments for our people, shouldn’t these procedures always be in place?” – absolutely but this is as good a time as any to re-train and remind and inform

    “If Jesus hung out with lepers, should we ever ask people not to come?” – this seems to me to be a case of corporate response and personal response being different and both valid.

  2. My quick and careless thoughts…

    “In light of the mission of the church, was this a good use of our time and resources?” – the issue needs to be addressed to protect and inform the congregation and the public and protect the corporation – we can debate all day about how much should have/could have gone into the effort

    “With the desire to maintain healthy environments for our people, shouldn’t these procedures always be in place?” – absolutely but this is as good a time as any to re-train and remind and inform

    “If Jesus hung out with lepers, should we ever ask people not to come?” – this seems to me to be a case of corporate response and personal response being different and both valid.

  3. I am much less passionate than my double posting would imply… lol when in doubt keep pressing the mouse button until something happens (see post Everything is Amazing and Nobody is happy….)

  4. Talk about overkill! :>) Double-posting!

    I appreciate your response, especially coming from you. That helps me some.

    Thanks.

  5. I don’t think the Chapel’s statement seems too unreasonable…but I think the “Swine Flue Advisory Board” (really?!) could use this as an opportunity to highlight a lot of things. check out my blog post on this for all my thoughts
    http://joeldaniel.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/for-the-love-of-panic/

  6. Nice post on your blog Joel. Brings healthy perspective.

    Dave

  7. what does “nuvr” mean dave?

  8. What do you mean?

  9. Mars Hill Seattle posted some regulations similar to this on their official blog. I’m sure they’re tweeting about it, too.

    Is it overkill? Well, I’m certainly tired of hearing about it, on the news, blogs, NPR, etc.

    But, given the close proximity of people gathered under one roof, it can’t hurt to be careful.

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