Bishop Rob and Episcopal Church Leadership Meet with Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spoke with Bishops and Canons of the Episcopal Church via video conference call. In light of the fact that 40-50% of those infected by COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and the United States has not flattened the curve as was hoped would happen by now, Dr. Fauci strongly advocates the importance of several COVID-19 best practices.
- Three things are most effective: (1) universal wearing of masks; (2) physical distancing; (3) wash your hands regularly.
- Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings — avoid bars, concert halls, and arenas.
- When experts say, “crowds,” it means congregating close together. Larger groups outdoors and spaced out properly are safer than small groups in close quarters. (10 foot spacing is better than 6 feet).
- Singing is worse than speaking. Singing sprays out more particles — it has been tested by scientists. If you can, try not to sing.
- Face shields: aerosolized particles can come underneath. A mask is preferable.
- There is a misperception in the public sphere of “all or nothing,” of total shut-down or a total ignoring of precautions. But this is not an accurate perception of what is possible.
- There is still a lot that can be done in a safe manner. Public health recommendations (and the science behind them) should be seen as a gateway for accomplishing a task and not an obstacle that locks us in.
- Winter will be problematic. If you must gather indoors, do so with windows open and temperatures and humidity levels turned up higher (heat and humidity cause particles in the air to fall to the ground faster).
- For dioceses that are in colder climates, begin having conversations now before it gets too cold to worship and meet together outdoors. What changes might need to be made to allow for any safe use of indoor space in the winter? Or, will you need to plan to go fully remote again?
- Finally, Dr. Fauci commented that this will end. We won’t be like this forever. A vaccine will help. Don’t lose hope. The virus will determine the timeline and we must follow where the science leads us.
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