Look Out COVID-19—We are Resilient!
By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Minnesota on March 6, 2020. At the time I write this, it is 465 days later. During the last 465 days, you may have been ill with COVID-19 or know someone who was. You may have lost a loved one to COVID-19. You may be experiencing long COVID symptoms that last weeks or months after the initial infection. You may have dealt with loneliness, depression, and anxiety. If you are reading this today, it means you are still here and have made it 465 days through a pandemic. That is something to be thankful for! You are resilient!
You have probably heard this word lately, but what does it mean? According to the dictionary, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Emma PeConga and Gabby Gauthier who have done research on resiliency tell us, “Being resilient doesn’t mean you never struggle. Instead, it’s the ability to keep going when things get tough, whether that be by asking for help, admitting that you’re in pain, caring for others, or pulling back from some commitments. It’s making the necessary adjustments to live adaptively despite the changed negative circumstances you are facing.” There may have been many times during the last 465+ days when you felt like you couldn’t handle COVID one more day and that it would never end. But you know what, you persevered. You are resilient.
The Health Cabinet’s theme for 2021 is “Faith, Patience, and Resiliency”. You will be hearing more about these topics throughout 2021. We plan to hold a Health Fair in October 2021 with these topics being the central focus. We are excited to move the Health Fair in a new direction this year. Stay tuned for more information!
Vaccines are available, most restrictions have been lifted, people are gathering, we can eat in restaurants again. Gee—it is like we are almost back to normal. But are we? I attended a meeting (online) today and Kris Ehresman of the Minnesota Department of Health reminded us that the pandemic is not over. However, there is great news: In Olmsted County, 79.2% of those 16+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 75.5% have had the complete series! Better yet, around 90% of individuals 65+ have completed the vaccine series! Everyone ages 12 and up are eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine. We have seen smaller percentages of those ages 12-17 getting the vaccine. That means that there are still individuals in the community who are not protected against COVID-19, and we must consider that as we adjust our guidelines at Bethel.
In a nutshell:
- We are doing great in Olmsted County with our vaccination rates. We have surpassed the 70% goal for vaccinating our citizens.
- There is still a segment of our population who have not been vaccinated. This includes children under the age of 12 and a significant percentage of those between ages 12-17.
- Olmsted County’s risk for COVID-19 is now in the green (low risk) category.
- The percent positive of those tested is 2.7% according to Olmsted County Public Health (June 14, 2021). Compare this to November 2020 and early January 2021 when the percent positive was around 15%.
- Masks are not required but strongly recommended. If you have not been vaccinated, please wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Remember—there are still members of our congregation who have not been vaccinated because they are not able or have chosen not to. Let’s take care of each other!
- You may wear a mask if you wish. I still wear a mask at church and at other large gatherings even though I have been vaccinated. This is based strictly on my comfort level.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the church.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Respect other’s wishes for distancing. The outer sections of the sanctuary are still set up for distancing.
- Refrain from visiting in the gathering area/Narthex. Visit with friends outdoors.
Kathy’s additional recommendations:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested.
- Love your neighbor—get vaccinated! If you have questions about the vaccine or where and how to receive the vaccine, please contact me—Kathy Ferguson firstname.lastname@example.org
Be patient. Be resilient. Be well.
Aten, J. (2020). The power of resilience during COVID-19. Psychology Today. Posted July 26, 2020: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hope-resilience/202007/the-power-resilience-during-covid-19