We have put out several articles talking about the coronavirus, including ways Christians can self-care during this pandemic and a series on what pastors should look out for with concerns of domestic violence and substance misuse going unnoticed during this pandemic.
But many churches have begun to open back up and the question is, what are the risks of going back to church?
The graphic was made and released by the Texas Medical Association. It shows the relative risk of ordering takeout, doing your groceries, eating at a restaurant and pretty much everything else as we continue to live with the threat of COVID-19. The organization stated with the graph, “that the numeric rankings do not represent absolute percentages on whether a person will or won’t contract coronavirus through certain activities.”
This is not a scientific study where microbes were measured and activities observed directly in a highly controlled test study, but educated opinions on how risky certain activities would be for the novel coronavirus-19, knowing we do not have a vaccine or fully understand what medications and treatment options are effective.
Here are a couple things we notice from the graph:
- Attending a religious service with 500+ worshipers is at the highest risk on the list.
- Even getting your mail can be a risk, so it is good to understand we cannot perfectly remove it from our life.
- Going out in public is not a bad thing and for mental health, is encouraged to socialize, get some Vitamin D, and improve physical wellness.
We share this resource not because we are medical experts, but because we understand how the pandemic has impacted everyone. At the core of this, the whole world is going through a significant adjustment, some struggling with resiliency and needing more support than others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a resource online that talks about mental health and coping during the pandemic you should check out. I love the first sentence they make bold: “Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.” But we as individuals and as a community (locally and nationally) need to continue to find healthy ways to cope with stress, understanding each person may need more or less support than the rest.
The advise has always been and still is “Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.” So keep loving your neighbor daily as Jesus commanded, connecting with God always, and taking care of yourself so you can care for others when the need arises.