As you know, PA is using a 3-phase matrix to determine when areas are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, worship and social gatherings. Fortunately numbers are beginning to decrease and so we (Montgomery County) will be moving to the yellow phase effective June 5th. We need however, to move cautiously not forgetting what the past 12 weeks have been like. The work of staying safe, social distancing and limiting the number of individuals in a gathering is still very important as is hand washing.
Listed below are the parameters for the yellow phase from the Montgomery County Covid-19 website.
· Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation
· Large Gatherings of More Than 25 Prohibited
· In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
· Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
· Restaurants and Bars May Open Outdoor Dining, in Addition to Carry-Out and Delivery (effective 6/5/2020)
Please be aware that our nation will likely now experience a surge in depression, even more anxiety and substance abuse as time goes on especially because of the reality that the virus threat is not over even though some restrictions are being lifted.
After the Great Depression there was a 13% increase in suicides and much of that was in response to unemployment. The number of individuals on unemployment today is at an all time high for our country. That is reason for concern.
Please stay in touch with family, friends and neighbors. Be aware of mood and behaviors that might seem out of character for them. Again, do not assume the pandemic is behind us. We have a long way to go but we have been able to show that working together and following protocols has made a difference. Thank you for being part of the solution.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, we know that when you walked on the earth, you trod upon hard places; you felt the strain of this world and the pressures of mental torment. Our nation is struggling with numerous issues which are effecting the emotional and mental health of many. We, ask that you would be with us in these times of trial, lead us to support one another especially those unable cope with the ongoing pain. Help us to find peace and calming inner thoughts and to always trust in your mercy. Amen.
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier