One Hope Church,
With the rise of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we, the Pastors and Elders, wanted to take a moment to share some information about what we currently know and ask how we as the church can respond in a manner that’s different than the growing panic across the globe.
Current Plans & Decisions
We are monitoring the situation with the rest of the world through known, trusted sources. We know that many universities including UCF are closing their campuses and moving towards online classes for at least the next two weeks. Furthermore, the NCAA Men’s Tournament has been closed to the majority of fans as well as the NBA season being suspended until further notice. There are likely other measures coming until the virus is more contained. For the moment, we have decided to continue Sunday services, groups and classes. But this could change in the coming weeks and we will communicate with you as the decisions are made. Since we meet in a YMCA, some of theses decisions may be made for us.
We have been evaluating everything through the lens of best practices to prevent transmission and sickness and as a result are making a few immediate changes on Sunday. We will be postponing the in-service greeting time for the time being and making the shift to individual communion packets as soon as those supplies are available (there is a large backorder on many supplies due to the panic). We will also be doing whatever we can to implement more aggressive cleaning of surfaces and supplies. Additionally, prior and unrelated to this pandemic, we had already begun to investigate the possibility of streaming services so we are taking this opportunity to look into this with greater priority so that we can still connect as the church if the situation continues to change. This may be critical if things continue to escalate and our Sunday meetings have to be canceled.
As followers of Jesus, how should we respond?
One of the most striking things about the church in eras of wide-ranging plagues (such as the Bubonic Plague) is that it was the church that rushed in to serve and care for the sick. How could they do this? It is because our hope does not rest in this world. Because we are in Christ, we are free to lose everything because in Christ we will gain everything in the end. This kind of peace and convictional steadfast service is something the world cannot produce. It can only be produced in the heart renewed by Christ’s blood and sealed by the Holy Spirit. We have an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in God but not giving into panic, but rather by standing firm and serving one another and those around us. If there is one thing that the Coronavirus shows us is again how little control we really have, yet it also reminds us of that which is most important. All of a sudden attending NBA games or the NCAA tournament is less important that preserving life, which is what is most important. Let us follow the example of the church in history that we would not fear the “the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (Psalm 91:5-6). Let us then stand together church in faith and service to one another and our community.
The Pastors and Elders of One Hope Church
Justin, Mike, Walt, Scott, Kary, and John
COVID-19 | The *Facts
- Coronavirus is a family of viruses of which 69 species are known and seven of those can affect human beings.
- The medical community has known about these viruses since the 1960s. One more recent example was the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003.
- This current virus has been referred to as SARS-Covid-2 and the disease as COVID-19 (CO = Corona VI=virus D=disease, -19 = 2019)
The Spread of the Virus
- As of March 11, 2020, the virus originating in Wuhan China has spread to 115 nations.
- There are more than 126,300 cases reported in the infected countries.
- Of these, some 68,285 patients have fully recovered,
- About 53,382 cases are considered active.
- More than 4,633 people have died.
- Of the active cases, 89 percent seem to have minor conditions, and the rest are in severe or critical conditions.
- Most people fully recover within a week or two with severe cases taking three to six weeks to recover.
- The Mortality Rate worldwide is estimated to be about 3.4% but is difficult to confirm. It will most likely end up being less than 1%.
- This highest risk individuals are over 60 and those who suffer from a chronic disease, either respiratory or another type such as diabetes mellitus or renal failure.
- Transmission occurs through small droplets of liquid from coughs or sneezes.
- It can also be transmitted by touching objects these droplets touched.
- The virus enters through mucosa in the mouth, the nasal route, or the eyes.
- The incubation period is estimated to be between two and 14 days.
- The virus could survive outside the body anywhere from a couple hours to days depending on the environmental conditions (i.e. if a surface is wet or a high degree of humidity).
- 20% of patients will never develop any symptoms.
- The observed symptoms are fever, cough, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Fever and dry cough seem to be the major distinguishing symptoms from colds and other viruses such as the flu
- These symptoms are similar to those of a flu, particularly similar to influenza.
- Symptoms remain mild in 85 percent to 89 percent of cases, but 11 percent to 15 percent of cases progress to severe and critical symptoms.
- These patients will have respiratory distress, the development of pneumonia, and even the presentation of hypotension or septic shock.
- Minimize physical contact with other people (examples: shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and so on).
- If you are feeling any symptoms refrain from public gathers and seek medical attention.
- Travel safety: it depends on the destination.
- If you plan to travel to a country where the number of cases has increased, the recommendation is to not travel to that nation.
*Most of the data for this update was taken from the following resources: