Letter To The Editor: Plan Now for the Person You Will Be

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As the coronavirus expands its territory, we, the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, call on everyone to prepare with compassion, diligence, and trust in good science.

Compassion: “Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumors and stigma,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom. So, strategize how you will respond. Lawmakers, help small businesses when employees are sick. Financially assist families when they cannot work. Support street medicine programs. Address the disproportional impacts on communities of color. Neighbors, make a plan to be actively compassionate while following CDC guidelines. Create ways to help working parents when healthy kids cannot go to school. Be determined to call, video chat, bring food to the doorstep of the sick, send cards of encouragement. Plan now for what kind of person you will be.

Diligence: Listen, learn, and prepare. Watch for news from the CDC and Spokane’s Regional Health District. Keep aware of what is being reported. Prepare your home with supplies as you would for an oncoming storm. While storms may change direction, we still take the forecast seriously.

Trust in good science: Wash your hands thoroughly. Cough into the crook of your elbow. Wash all surfaces. When you have symptoms, seek advice from your health care provider.

Be cautious. Pay attention. Make a courageous plan to control fear with facts. Challenge each other to let good science and compassion unite us. This storm will pass. Our response will live beyond.

Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience, Eastern Washington and North Idaho

You can submit your Letter to the Editor to tracysimmons@spokanefavs.com.

About Gen Heywood

Rev. Gen Heywood has been active in parish ministry for more than 30 years. From small towns to big cities, she always lets the needs of the community and the congregation be her guide. Gen credits the supportive leadership of Veradale United Church of Christ for including her work to overcome racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation as part of her ministry. “Veradale UCC is a small church with a powerful faith. They are the reason I can be a witness for a world where we do justice, live with compassion, and walk humbly with the Divine.”

Gen grow up in rural Maine. She received a BA in Music Therapy and German from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA and her M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA. She is a life long learner who lives in Spokane Valley, WA with her three dogs as well as, sometimes, with her amazing young adult children.

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