In deciding what to muse on this week I just needed to take a moment to reflect on what is happening around me. The first thing I noticed was the brouhaha surrounding Todd Muller’s first week as opposition leader. First there was the MAGA hat that he doggedly defended displaying in his office as just some political swag, a souvenir. He was apparently oblivious to its being a malevolent symbol promoting racism, nativism, xenophobia, anti-science, and gross misogyny as being okay at least to white supremacists. Muller might as well decorate his office with swastikas and Klan hoods.
We have now entered the most dangerous stage of the pandemic. We think we are safe. We dodged the bullet. Life can go back to normal. Even the government says so as we move into Level 2. No need to stockpile enough loo paper to get us through 2025. Raising the number who can gather to 100 has only strengthened this illusion.
But read the fine print. We still need to maintain physical distance. Wash our hands. Keep a diary of where we have been for contact tracing purposes. It is recommended we wear a mask when using public transportation or in any public situation where maintaining physical distance is challenging. Businesses, including churches, have to log via the contact tracing app or on paper forms those who have accessed their facility. Provide hand sanitiser. Businesses need to do deep cleaning whenever facility is used.
I am beginning to get inquiries about when we will open the church again for worshipping in person. Small church groups and renters are asking if they can now meet in the church.
I’m afraid at this time the answer is no, for we do not have the capacity or resources to comply fully with the fine print.
Worship services in the church would be greatly reduced in numbers due to physical distance requirements. We might have to ask you to book that you will be attending the service in advance. Unlike a restaurant or other businesses, we do not have a staff to monitor building use or assure compliance with present requirements.
Due to a significant loss of income the Management Committee has approved a bare bones budget for this year. The cost of cleaning the church after each building use is greater than the income generated through rent. We have a duty of care to maintain a building that is appropriately clean. Even if this was not a government expectation, it is an ethical and moral one. Expecting those using the building will meet these requirements in a consistent manner is unrealistic.
When the government issues notice of going to Level 1 and what will be required, this decision will be reviewed in terms of our ability to comply.
I’ve been musing on how long-range planning has become nothing more than wondering what might happen next week. Certainly, one vocation that has little future is that of futurist. Wikipedia defines a futurist as someone whose speciality or interest is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.
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From Jeff Parke: Retroviruses are nearly impossible to develop vaccines against. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrovirus Accelerated vaccine testing procedures might come up with a vaccine soon, but major risk is one that either isn’t effective enough, or has a harm profile as bad or worse than the disease. Jury is out for a number of months about this.
From John Maindonald: How many have seen this piece of local satire? ‘And the Lord did speak unto Brian’ https://bit.ly/2X6rVlx