COVID-19 coronavirus disease
Summary: In the spirit of the guidelines provided by the Quebec government, the Kensington Presbyterian Church building is currently closed. As the situation develops, we will be in contact with the different groups using our building to keep them up to date with our plans for reopening. Mini-Worships for your use will be posted weekly.
Monday March 16, 2020
As you know, COVID-19 has come to Montréal. Here at Kensington we are responding in several ways. We are praying for those who are ill, here and around the world, for their close friends and families. We pray as well for health and frontline workers, and for communities and businesses that have been affected by the virus and its spread. We pray for governments and those involved in making public health decisions. We pray for those who are struggling with the financial challenges.
One thing that is ‘infecting’ many people is uncertainty and fear. These feelings can lead to loneliness. We encourage you to stay in touch as practices of self-isolation and quarantine affect all of us in the coming weeks. Please reach out to me, your elder, and your friends at church through the phone, social media, and/or email. Even as you might be staying at home, we are with you in prayer and always ready for a conversation or to respond to a note.
We are being asked by the government to help slow the spread of the virus so that the health care system is not overwhelmed. Public Health officials tell us that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to any virus.
Some ways you can do that include:
- Enthusiastically washing your hands (backs, fronts, fingertips, and wrists!) often with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds (that’s about the same as singing happy birthday twice… or singing the Lord’s Prayer).
- If that’s not an option, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Should you not be able to buy any, the WHO (World Health Organization) has a recipe here: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands (apparently we normally touch our faces about 90x a day).
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home if you have influenza/respiratory virus symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, trouble breathing) AND stay in touch!
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately put it in the compost/garbage and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
At Kensington, we are:
- We have closed the building until the government advises us that it is safe to reopen.
- Rev. Peter will be producing a weekly mini-worship that you can do at home. This will be posted on the website and Facebook. It can also be emailed to you.
- As the weather gets to be above zero we will consider doing this in the park across the street where people can gather at a distance.
- and encouraging prayer, checking on neighbours and friends
If this is all making you stressed, talk to people you trust, collect reputable facts, eat healthy, and listen less to the news and other media. (That’s the official advice from the WHO.)
If you would like more information, the following websites can help:
- The WHO offers advice (and mythbusters)
- Federal site with updates and advice
While I don’t know what will happen, I do know that God is with us. Psalm 23 reminds us that even in the darkest valley, God will lead us to a wonderful feast. Jesus shows us that God walks with us regardless of if we are sick or healthy, religious or not, in crowds or alone.
COVID-19 is going to be in the news and affecting our lives for a while. Let’s keep praying for the world and each other and keep in touch.
As this progresses, Session will be reassessing our responses and letting you know though the website and Facebook.
May God bless you and keep you until we meet again,
Rev. Peter Rombeek