Faith is a source of comfort for many people, especially during these trying times. Because of its importance, it can be difficult for those who rely on their faith and their community to practice it without furthering the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, some states have temporarily shuttered places of worship as they attempt to keep infection levels down. So, how are individuals deeply-rooted in their faith supposed to worship? If you are someone who wants to make sure that you are still able to meet your needs while being responsible about it, here are some tips on how to practice your faith safely in the face of COVID-19.
1. Follow CDC safety guidelines and recommendations.
For those who live in a state where they can still attend churches freely, the key to staying safe and preventing your churches from being temporarily closed is by following CDC safety guidelines. These guidelines will serve to help you avoid contracting the virus or passing it onto others if you have unknowingly been infected. But what exactly are these guidelines? Staying safe during the pandemic means:
Maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet from other people in your place of worship. Because churches can be so tightly packed together, it may be best to avoid any churches where people are sneezing or coughing (COVID-19 can be spread through respiratory droplets) and not following safety recommendations.
Regularly washing your hands to make sure that you do not introduce yourself to the virus via your hands. Another consideration to make is, if you’re Catholic, do not come into contact with the community holy water in your church as this may be a potential source of infection.
Wearing a mask to limit the potential for spreading infection. The biggest issue that people encounter when looking for a face mask is that most masks can be uncomfortable or feel like they are not safe enough. Instead of making a DIY mask or seeking out cheap products that provide limited protection, go for a travel mask like those provided by NxTSTOP. These products provide you with a washable mask that is comfortable to wear, provides sufficient protection as a face covering, and is designed for long-term use, such as the amount of time you would spend during worship. If you have yet to purchase face masks, buying a product like travel masks by NxTSTOP can help you avoid any of the common issues people may experience.
Covering your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze. This protects other people in the event that you are infected.
Not handling any items that may have been handled by others and have not been disinfected. For example, a book of hymns or the Bible.
The more you adhere to these guidelines, the more that you and your church will be safe and protected as you practice your faith.
2. Find ways to stay at home and pray at home.
If you’re in an area that has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus, following stay-at-home orders can be the best way to avoid becoming infected (unless your church has been shut down, which will require you to stay at home regardless). Of course, staying at home presents unique problems.
For example, how would a Catholic engage in Communion without their church? Fortunately, there are ways to go around these obstacles. Purchasing a portable communion set will provide you with the cups, trays, and bottles needed to engage in Communion on your own or with your family. No matter how long this pandemic lasts, you will then have all the tools you need (and often in an attractive looking box too). If going to a place of worship is not an option, practicing at home is always an excellent alternative.
3. Practice your faith online.
Community is often a major part of religion. Feeling isolated and separated can make it hard to successfully maintain your faith. The solution? Consider turning to online masses or using technology like Zoom to connect with church members can be a great way to circumvent worshipping alone. While it may not feel the same as traditional worship, it can be far safer while giving you the ability to practice your faith with others.
Gathering together poses a significant risk to all people, including those of faith. Fortunately, there are ways to worship outside of your local church! If you want to protect yourself and others throughout this pandemic, use the safety tips provided above to get started.