COVID-19 Update and Resources
Date: June 22, 2020
During the June 14 service, Hanusia Tkaczyk offered a number of suggestions for building resilience during the pandemic. You can find her talk here.
As of June 12, the Ontario government has opened up the province to social gatherings of up to 10 people. Church services are now permitted at up to 30% of a building’s capacity. LUF is in no hurry to open up this soon, especially as many of our members and friends are among the vulnerable population. Our Zoom services will continue over the summer at least until September. The Board and Sunday Services/Worship Committee will continue to monitor the situation and plan accordingly, with information shared through E Updates. .
Sunday Services at Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship continue to be held on Zoom. Invitations are sent out in the weekly Updates. Services will continue online for an indefinite future. Information will continue to be updated when available.
Unitarian house at 129 S. Algoma St. has been closed until further notice. Our Administrator will continue to work and respond to queries. Efforts are being made to reach out to members and friends. Please connect (from a distance) with others to try to minimize the social disruption.
Many congregations are streaming or sharing services online:
- First Church Unitarian in Toronto has numerous sermons on their YouTube channel. Go to this page https://www.youtube.com/user/firstunitarianTO to access them or type the church name into the YouTube search window.
- Kingston Unitarian Fellowship offers podcasts of their sermons. Download the free Spotify app (program) to your computer or device and type the church’s name into the Search bar
- First Unitarian Church of Winnipeg live streams their services at 11:30 am, ET, on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UUWinnipeg
- Calgary Unitarians offer services through Zoom, on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET. To join, click on this link a few minutes before and turn off your computer’s webcam and microphone before you join the meeting. If you haven’t used Zoom previously on your computer, use this download link to install it ahead of time.
- You do not have to download an app to listen to the Unitarian Church of Edmonton’s podcast services: https://soundcloud.com/user-189401827 You can also find a large collection of Unitarian Church of Edmonton services on You Tube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmpm5DXHKM7pRnnzcC75txQ…
- Church of the Larger Fellowship broadcasts a weekly service on Sunday nights and a live UU talk show on Thursday nights. You can listen live on Facebook or access archived podcasts. https://www.questformeaning.org/clfuu/
- Missing our hymns? Go to YouTube and type the search term “UU hymns “ for literally hundreds of them. Or use this link
- Don’t forget our own collection of sermons on the LUF webpage – https://luf.ca/worship/sermons/
- Sunday Services/Worship Committee is looking for a way to make an Easter service available, in case the disruption lasts into April. Stay tuned.
RESOURCES for Dealing with the COVID-19 Virus
Given the news about the continued spread of the COVID-19 Virus, congregations may be wondering how they can best prepare for it becoming more widespread. The risk in Canada remains low; stay up-to-date with information and resources from Health Canada.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the US-based Center for Disease Control always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash your hands as if you’ve just handled hot peppers and need to remove your contacts!
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- See the CDC’s video on how to wash your hands properly – yes, there are things you didn’t know about hand-washing!
- Refrain from shaking hands, hugging, or touching
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- For those who have to stay home on a Sunday, the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto is a congregation which livestreams its services
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.