Many of you may have health and safety concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may impact your groups and meetings. Though providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of the A.A., gathering professional information can help make an informed group conscience.
A memo just released by the General Service Office in New York relates how some groups and members have begun to address these issues. Suggestions include “avoiding shaking hands and hand-holding; making sure meeting hospitality tables are sanitary; or suspending food hospitality for the time being.” Of course each group is autonomous — perhaps yours will choose to lock elbows or just stand together in a spiritual circle, rather than hold hands at the close of the meeting.
The same memo also states: “some groups have considered contingency plans in case the group is temporarily unable to meet in person.” However each group decides to proceed, please do keep us informed so we can keep the meeting schedule accurate and up-to-date.
Regardless of group decisions, each individual is responsible for their own health decisions. Information on COVID-19 can be found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. Minimum recommended commonsense measures include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Individuals who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus should contact their health care provider.