My Two Cents
March 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

Last fall a team from the Homeland Security Unit of the Baltimore County Police Department came to Christian Temple to talk to our neighbors about how best to act in emergency situations. The emergencies envisioned clustered around building related events such as fires or storms, and people related events such as active shooters or the presence of someone who seems obviously troubled and might need some help.

Their suggestions began with preparations that can be made long before the crisis arrives. They talked about making sure there is adequate signage in whatever buildings we regularly inhabit. They suggested doing practice runs, like the old fashioned fire drills we did in school. They mentioned the importance scoping out any new spaces we enter to figure out where the emergency exits are and to verbally share that information with those we are with before settling in for the night, or for dinner, or maybe for the movie. And, of course, they repeated the advice we can never hear too often, “If you see something, say something.”

While these suggestions aren’t particularly groundbreaking, they do serve as a good reminder. And, what really brought this all home was the comment one of the instructors made after sharing the list. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that making a plan in advance serves the dual purpose of being able to enact the plan more quickly. But also when one knows that one is prepared- when we know that we know- the bodily symptoms of stress that can sometimes debilitate us when the crisis comes are considerably eased- and we make better decisions.

So, there you go. Maybe we need to have a safety drill once the weather gets better.

But in the meantime, the potential spread of the Corona Virus has visited our landscape. And, as is the case with other kinds of emergencies it is a good thing to be prepared. Toward that end, the elders are discussing possible changes to our communion routine. And the Administrative Council and Board may be discussing what to do about Fellowship Hour. While we don’t want to add to the hysteria that has characterized some of the recent news coverage, there is value in being prepared. And, if it’s true that the opposite of fear is love, then maybe the most loving thing we can do in the face of this spreading disease is to give ourselves some time to make reasoned decisions. That way, we will know that we know.

Stay tuned… Shalom, Rick