Michael Mooney, Exec. Elder
Many aspects of living have improved over the last 100 years more than all of world history combined. Especially in areas of health! Despite such progress, the viewing of a few news reports will leave you thinking the world drowning in chaos while being overtaken by plagues and diseases -leading to a zombie apocalypse (factious tone).
The Coronavirus is the centerpiece of news reports today. It is a serious problem which requires our attention. But that is not to say that the news should require our attention. In my city, Greenville SC I was informed the other day that a fist fight occurred at the Dollar Tree over the purchase of hand sanitizer. Toilet paper is becoming scarce and limited to 4 per purchase when it is available.
That is the percentage of US citizens who are confirmed to have the Coronavirus!
Yet to listen to the news, it seems so much worse.
Sensationalism is tactic used by news reporters and media agencies to excite the attention of viewers in order to achieve higher ratings and subscribers. This form of manipulation is achieved by appealing to emotions with over emphasized, insignificant, biased, and controversial information; portraying it as affecting society at large. Unfortunately, it is rarely done by attention to positivity or optimism.
Protect Yourself from Poor Thinking!
Negativity bias a term which describes the default tendency for people to focus on negative information.
Availability bias describes the tendency to overestimate the significance of negative information.
Confirmation bias explains the inclination to find “proof” of the negative report.
Keep yourself updated out of necessity while knowing when it is time to turn off news reports. Don’t let that chaos fill your mind with fear.
Ask the Lord if you may have an addiction to negativity.
We must stand apart from the world, even more during times like these. It is important to take precautions to ensure safety. This is an opportunity for ministers to share the hope and peace which comes only from our Father. We can not permit ourselves to become fearful and unreasonable like those who do not believe. We should remember the Word of God which tells us how to respond:
(8) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Continuing Education Opportunities in Ministry
Latest Updates to Safety Precautions Taken to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus Per US State as of 03-17-2020
ALABAMA : All K-12 schools closed for two weeks; state of emergency issued
ALASKA: Public schools closed for two weeks; State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska closed to the public as well as all government buildings; several public spaces shut down by the Municipality of Anchorage (the Brett Ice Arena, borough libraries, swimming pools, municipal recreation centers, ice rinks, museum); limited visiting allowed for Pioneer Homes, the state-run assisted living facilities
ARIZONA: All K-12 schools, including charter and private schools, are closed until March 27; child care centers are not included
ARKANSAS : All schools will suspend on-site lessons starting Tuesday
CALIFORNIA: All bars, nightclubs, wineries, pubs ordered to close across the state; restaurants can remain open but have to reduce capacity; “shelter in place” order for six Bay Area counties beginning Tuesday – San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda – until at least April 7
COLORADO: All ski resorts ordered to close; state of emergency issued; all dine-in services at bars and restaurants stopped for 30 days, although take-out, drive-through and delivery services are allowed; gyms, theaters and businesses ordered to close
CONNECTICUT: Gatherings of more than 50 people prohibited; visitor restrictions implemented at nursing and rest homes; 180-day requirement for public schools waived, although the state has not implemented a complete shutdown of schools; bars, restaurants, casinos, movie theaters, gyms to close at 8 p.m. Monday and remain closed until further notice; restaurants may stay open for delivery
DELAWARE: All public schools closed until March 27; state of emergency issued
FLORIDA: All public schools closed until March 30; temporary ban on visitations at long-term care facilities for any person who recently traveled internationally, has been on cruise ships or has had contact with someone who has the virus
GEORGIA: Public health emergency declared; court and clerk’s offices suspended all “but essential … functions” for 30 days across the state; no state enforced closures for bars, schools, restaurants
HAWAII: No state enforced closures
IDAHO: No state enforced closures
ILLINOIS: All schools closed until March 30; all restaurants and bars closed for dining in for two weeks; drive-ins, delivery and curbside service allowed to remain open
INDIANA: No state enforced closures; schools that do choose to close can do so for up to 20 days without having to make up missed time
IOWA: No state enforced closures
KANSAS: State of emergency declared; no state enforced closures
KENTUCKY: Public schools closed for at least two weeks; all bars and restaurants ordered to close in-house dining; carry-out and delivery may continue
LOUISIANA: All K-12 public schools closed until April 13; emergency order issued that prohibits gatherings larger than 250 people
MAINE: Gatherings of more than 250 people recommended to be postponed for at least 30 days
MARYLAND: Public schools closed until March 27; all bars, restaurants, movies theaters and gyms to shut down beginning 5 p.m. Monday
MASSACHUSETTS: All schools ordered to close; dining in for all restaurants closed, although they may offer take-out; gatherings larger than 25 people prohibited beginning Tuesday
MICHIGAN: All public and private schools closed until April 5; all bars, restaurants and other establishments ordered to temporarily shut down beginning 3 p.m. Monday; delivery and take-out may remain
MINNESOTA: All K-12 schools to close beginning Wednesday until March 27; state of emergency issued
MISSISSIPPI: State of emergency issued; schools districts asked to extend spring break for one week; state allows the Mississippi State Board of Education to waive 180-day school requirement
MISSOURI: State of emergency issued; no state enforced closures
NEBRASKA: State of emergency; Omaha and Lincoln public schools closed
NEVADA: State of emergency; many Las Vegas hotels, casinos, nightclubs, day clubs, spas, salons, and gyms closing; all K-12 schools to close through early April
NEW HAMPSHIRE: State of emergency; all public schools to close through April 4 and transition to remote learning
NEW JERSEY: State of emergency; all casinos, gyms, and movie theaters to close at 8 p.m. Monday; restaurants and bars to close and only offer delivery and takeout beginning 8 p.m. March 16; Hoboken enacts curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. beginning March 16; statewide curfew between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
NEW MEXICO: State of emergency; public schools closed for three weeks effective March 16
NEW YORK: State of emergency; Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery; Executive Order closing all nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues effective March 17; Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic temporarily shut down; Casinos, gyms, movie theaters, bars, restaurants in will close at 8 p.m. March 16; Gov.Cuomo asks President Donald Trump for aid from Army Corps of Engineers to combat coronavirus spread and expand hospital capacity
NORTH CAROLINA: State of emergency; public schools closed for at least two weeks; Gov. Roy Cooper issued executive order banning mass gatherings exceeding 100 people with exceptions for malls, grocery stores, restaurants, bars
NORTH DAKOTA: State of emergency; ND Department of Health advises nursing homes and long-term care facilities to bar visitors
OHIO: State of emergency; all bars and restaurants closed beginning 9 p.m. March 15, with exception of take-out services; schools closed until possibly the end of the year
OKLAHOMA: State of emergency; Oklahoma City Public Schools to close until March 23
OREGON: State of emergency; all schools closed starting March 16 until end of March; Portland declares state of emergency; Many Portland restaurants voluntarily close
PENNSYLVANIA: Emergency disaster declaration; all schools closed for two weeks beginning March 16; Pittsburgh lowers occupancy limit from 250 to 50 people following CDC guidelines; All Pittsburgh non-essential businesses requested to close beginning Monday; eating and drinking in restaurants and bars in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties is prohibited beginning March 16; Philadelphia orders closures of bars and restaurants with exception for drive-through and delivery services beginning 5 p.m. March 16
RHODE ISLAND: State of emergency; public schools closed beginning March 16; Providence declares state of emergency and bans entertainment licenses for two weeks
SOUTH CAROLINA: State of emergency; all public schools closed through March; visitation in state Department of Corrections facilities is suspended
SOUTH DAKOTA:: State of emergency; public schools closed through March 20, Gov. Kristi Noem advises private schools to also close
TENNESSEE: State of emergency; East Tennessee schools to close beginning March 16 until the end of the week; state employees trained and certified to work from home will begin remote work through March 31; state employees instructed to cease non-essential business travel; state capitol closed to visitors
UTAH: State of emergency; schools closed for two weeks beginning March 16; Summit County closes restaurants, bars, gyms, churches for 30 days
VERMONT: State of emergency; schools closed beginning March 18 until at least April 6; number of visitors at psychiatric and elderly care facilities restricted; unemployment insurance for residents who are required to self-isolate or quarantine expanded; non-essential travel for state employees suspended; large “non-essential” mass gatherings exceeding 250 people banned
VIRGINIA: State of emergency; schools closed until March 30; gatherings exceeding 100 people banned; many Richmond restaurants voluntarily close
WASHINGTON: State of emergency; public and private schools closed beginning March 17 until April 24; restaurants and bars in will temporarily suspend dine-in service for foreseeable future
WEST VIRGINIA: All public schools closed beginning March 16
WISCONSIN: State of emergency; schools closed until April 6
WYOMING: State of emergency; some school closures
WASHINGTON, D.C.: State of emergency; all bars and restaurants will become grab-and-go/takeout/delivery-only as of 10 p.m. March 16, no eating inside restaurants or bars will be permitted; nightclubs and multi-purpose facilities must close
PUERTO RICO: State of emergency; curfew beginning at 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.; shopping centers, movie theaters, dance clubs, concert halls, theaters, game/gambling rooms, casinos, amusement parks, gyms, and bars must shut down through March 30;