Due to the COVID-19 Virus doing the rounds at the moment , any meeting held needs to keep a register of attendees.
This is just in case a member comes forward to say they have the virus , so that other members can be contacted to warn them.
There is no reason at the present time that meetings may not go on, However some groups may prefer to suspend/close during this time until mid April 2020.It is up to your Group conscience.
Please maybe have a meeting to discuss this matter with your group members.
If a meeting chooses to close/suspend please let me know so that I can put a notice onto the Area Website.
National Convention in Durban , over the Easter Weekend has been postponed indefinitely , due to Government restrictions on gatherings of a 100 people or more.
I will keep you informed as to when any further developments take place.
See below some guidelines :-
It remains that group conscious comes into effect .
Please check number 8. Very important to keep a list of attendees.
a. Groups have come to the conclusion that, should AA become a hotspot for the transmission of the virus, it will undermine our ability to carry the message, now and in the future.
b. Groups have admitted that, on the whole, AA groups have a number of risk factors to manage: visitors from abroad and other cities, our frequent attendance at multiple groups, smokers, people whose health is otherwise vulnerable in early recovery, older members….
c. Groups have reminded themselves that precautions, carefully considered, are an act of loving service and can be a demonstration of our commitment to do the “next right thing”.
This has led to a number (not surprisingly, 12…) of straightforward practices adopted by group conscience, until such time that public health authorities tell us that the risks have passed:
1. There will be no catering (coffee, cookies…)
2. Rather than “passing the bag”, there will be a box on the table
3. Literature will not be laid out but rather managed by the librarian, and other actions that require handling objects will be minimized
4. There will be no hand holding at the end of meetings
5. People will need to make their own decisions about hugging or other greetings with people they know well, but one should seek explicit permission before touching another person at a meeting, and “elbow greetings” can rather be encouraged
6. Members who are not feeling physically well for any reason are asked NOT to go to meetings in person, but rather avail themselves of online meetings and the phone list
7. Members who have been, or suspect they may have been, in contact with someone with the coronavirus are asked NOT to go to meetings in person, but rather avail themselves of online meetings and the phone list
8. The meeting will keep a weekly log of who has attended, with first name and phone or email only. This is in case people at the meeting need to be contacted about possible exposure to the coronavirus. The log will be kept in a safe place and handled only by the designated person.
9. The group will cooperate with government health authorities if requested, e.g., for contact tracing, but keep the nature of the meeting anonymous (e.g., “a group of friends met”, or “a public meeting was held”)
10. We will remain conscious and respectful of other guidelines issued by the facility where we meet and public health authorities.
11. Relevant announcements will be added to the opening of the meeting, e.g., that we keep a log, that we work to minimize touching….
12. All of these measures will be implemented in a spirit of loving service
Good for our health, good for our recovery, good for the group, good for AA, and good for society. That sounds like a good programme to me.
This can be very serious , so please do not take it lightly.
Yours in Service,
ER Area Chair , Website and Eastrander Editor