The Latest on COVID-19 and New Life Church
Here is our latest update in regards to the unfolding events that are happening around the COVID-19 outbreak and how they relate to our church.
With so much information coming at us on a hourly let alone daily basis it can get overwhelming at times. Certain words and phrase are used to describe things that sometimes we don’t really understand or fully comprehend the meaning or significance of.
One of those phrases that you might have heard is “Flattening the Curve”.
This was a phrase that I didn’t quite understand until yesterday when I was reading an article that explained what this means and why it seems to be such an important thing deal with at this time.
I want to share this insight with you as it really helped bring us much needed understanding to all of the drastic decisions that are happening right now. Here it is.
In epidemiology (science dealing with infectious disease), the idea of slowing a virus' spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time is known as "flattening the curve." It explains why so many countries are implementing "social distancing" guidelines
The faster the infection curve rises, the quicker the local health care system gets overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people. As we're seeing in Italy, more and more new patients may be forced to go without ICU beds, and more and more hospitals may run out of the basic supplies they need to respond to the outbreak. A flatter curve, on the other hand, assumes the same number of people ultimately get infected, but over a longer period of time. A slower infection rate means a less stressed health care system, fewer hospital visits on any given day and fewer sick people being turned away.
A practical example of the flattening the curve principle would be, if your workplace bathroom has only so many stalls and If everyone decides to go at the same time, there are problems. If the same number of people need go to the restroom but spread over several hours, it's all ok."
The potential effectiveness of “Flattening the curve” example in history. Does it work?
It did in 1918, when a strain of influenza known as the Spanish flu caused a global pandemic. To see how it played out, we can look at two U.S. cities — Philadelphia and St. Louis
In Philadelphia, city officials ignored warnings from infectious disease experts that the flu was already spreading in the community. The city instead moved forward with a massive parade that gathered hundreds of thousands of people together. Within 48-72 hours, thousands of people around the Philadelphia region started to die. Ultimately, about 16,000 people from the city died in six months.
In St. Louis, meanwhile, city officials quickly implemented social isolation strategies. The government closed schools, limited travel and encouraged personal hygiene and social distancing. As a result, the city saw just 2,000 deaths — one-eighth of the casualties in Philadelphia.
I also came across an article that was posted in a Kelowna newspaper in the fall of 1918. It was an order to close all public gather places, including churches, as well as prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. This was the order of the day, over 100 years ago, to deal with the spread of the Spanish flu. Much like what we are experiencing today.
You might be asking why I bring this to your attention.
As the leadership team at New Life Church we have been wrestling with many dynamics in this complicated time but we came to a conclusion that it would be best to cancel all activities over the next few weeks that are associated with New Life and functions within this building.
This was not an easy decision but upon discussing all of the factors involved we felt strongly that we have a responsibility to be a part of helping our society deal with “flattening the curve” so that in the event that things do get worse we have contributed to hopefully seeing our hospitals and health care system not get overwhelmed to the point where they need to turn people who need care away.
I want to reassure you that this decision was not made lightly and definitely not in response to fear. As God’s word says so clearly in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV Strong's,) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We are not to get wrapped up in and react to life with a spirit of fear but rather respond to and operate in a spirit of Love, Power and a Sound Mind.
We feel that the heart of this decision was based on love, power and a sound mind. We want to move in compassion and care for those who might be impacted in the future whether as a patient or as a healthcare worker. We love those people and we have the power to choose to sacrifice certain things we prefer and make an impact on their behalf.
Looking into the future, our hope is that we are able to gather together as the corporate church for Easter Sunday. Of course circumstances permitting. Please keep checking for updates.
Our leadership team is working to create some strategy regarding how we can continue to engage each other as a church and our community in this unique time.
Please continue to be in prayer as everyone navigates their way through this and once again if you know of someone who is in need and could use encouragement or help please step in and engage or let us know if you cannot and we will make sure that someone is there.
Sometimes as things seem chaotic around us we need to remind ourselves of the things in life that never change. God’s word is full of these amazing promises. Let’s reflect and remind ourselves of them during this time. Here is one of them.
Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Pastor, New Life Church