If you think about it, it’s absolutely amazing that the populace has responded quickly and cooperatively to the crisis. Almost all churches immediately stopped having physical gatherings. I don’t know of an SBC church in my area who blithely continued with in-person services.
I don’t know how typical my 12 year-old church is but the congregation is doing well while not congregating. Giving for the five Sundays has increased. We had online giving in place. That helped. Are any of you who have gotten the potentially forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Plan willing to admit it? I have a feeling that this will come back to bite us later.
My circle of family, friends, and acquaintances may be smaller than yours but there has yet to be a single person that I know who has or had the virus. My county of around 80k population still has under 100 total cases. I have family who work in health care. None have acquired the virus.
My state is among the first to relax the rules. We have 19,398 total cases in a population of 10.62 million. That’s less than 0.2 percent. About ten of Georgia’s 159 counties account for the bulk of the cases. It’s tough to sustain the severity of the lockdown statewide when quite a few counties have very few cases.
It’s interesting to see several SBC pastor colleagues, over the course of the last five weeks, become experts in epidemiology. I’ll stick with Drs. Burx and Fauci.
Still, I adhere to the famous maxim that “war is too important to be left to the generals” and will add that this was is too important to be left totally to the medical experts.
Models, schmodels. I get that we have to have some measures that look at the future but, as has been said, all models are wrong. I’m pleased that data drives the models.
Anecdote: Nursing home operator, upon having the first resident of a home test positive for COVID-19, immediately shut down outside visiting. No family, clergy, friends. Only staff and medical people. Families complained. MediCare informed the home that they could not stop family visitation. The home was opened on this basis. More cases ensued. Finally, the governor’s order for statewide shutdown superceded government rules.
Local governmental authorities, law enforcement, and other official personnel are highly sympathetic to churches and businesses. None are hyperagressive about overlaying onerous rules on the statewide orders. No tin-pot local dictators around here. All want to help, although it is inevitable that confusion and inconsistency reigns.
Thankfully, the governor kept state parks open although group gatherings (the picnic areas, pavilions, beaches, etc.) are closed off. Walk the trails. So, I walk the trails and can maintain distances, except when a bed of poison ivy is the only option for stepping off the trail to let another hiker or biker pass. Let the biker glide through the poison ivy, not me. A young couple with two daughters, around 10-12 years old, were hiking towards me. The girls, in shorts, politely left the trail, deferring to their elders. Impressive. I did show mom and dad what poison ivy looked like. The poor girls sloshed right through it. Live and learn.
I go to the post office. There’s a barber shop adjacent. People are coming and going. What’s up with this?
Grocery stores are extremely helpful. No frozen pizza, though.
After a month of this, seems to me that people are relaxing the distancing stuff a bit. Unless vast numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occur, the citizenry will not tolerate a long period of this.
Is it too early to start talking about SBC politics for 2021? NAMB and IMB have charge of the Pastor’s Conference which was always touted as independent of the organized SBC. Just a one-year deal? Maybe so.
What are you seeing?
This is incidental but I enjoy watching the Trump daily coronavirus updates. Dr. Birx is my favorite doctor these days. All those scarfs but very articulate in her explanations. I love listening to her. The interaction between Trump and the reporters is illuminating. It’s a sport. While I didn’t vote for him in 2016 and haven’t decided about 2020, I agree with him when he labeled much of the political posturing and reporting on this as a “game.”
I’ve lived through every national crisis since the Korean War. I’ve never seen the federal government move as fast and as decisively as in the last month or so. It’s quite astonishing…but I still haven’t gotten my big gummit deposit.
I’ll admit that it makes a huge difference that I’m not responsible for a congregation right now. My heart and prayers are with all of my colleagues who are serving a church during this.