How COVID-19 Will Affect Houston
Please make sure that this email gets passed to people who are on the team but are not on this mailing list. Once we meet, I'll get their contact info.
The Trip Itself
The Houston area is hit with the coronavirus disease. As of today, the state of Texas records 194 cases with 24 of them being in the Houston area. Caroline, Harrison and I were supposed to have a conference call to discuss the trip this past Monday, but Caroline felt there wasn't much to talk about since the situation changes so rapidly. Currently, Caroline is trying to see whether Houston will want to make up school days or not.
The best estimates that I've seen suggest that the virus will ramp up in April but will die down a bit in May and the summer months. I anticipate having the trip to Houston, but it is entirely possible that either Netherwood or Houston will have to cancel.
Thus, we are moving forward as best we can with the mindset that the trip will happen. I will continue to be in contact with Caroline to find a "make or break" date.
As per the elder's decision to close down all activities in the church building this month, we will be following suit and postpone our meeting this Sunday for the rest of March. The decision came because of the concern for how long the virus can last on its own and the CDC's recommendation of having less than 10 people per gathering.
My original thought was to meet in homes during this time, but the <10 recommendation makes that not doable. Our new plan is to have more frequent meetings later on to make up for missing out on March. This could mean meeting as frequently as once a week to try and make sure we are prepared for the trip. We will need to work hard to make it a success.
If the virus continues into April, fundraising will be difficult, especially if our Spaghetti dinner ends up being canceled. People can still give money, but we probably won't be able to give them a cookie or dinner in return. My advice is to do what I typically did to raise money for my Ukraine mission trip: write out fundraising letters and send them to members or family. This is probably the most consistent and effective means of fundraising for the foreseeable future. The earlier you start, the more effective it will be. Contact me for any concerns or questions.
I will keep you all updated as best I can. Thank you for your commitment to go on this trip, I wish it were a less ambiguous plan.