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I am writing today to address the current coronavirus pandemic and its implications for the services of Women for Sobriety, Inc. First and foremost, I wish to share my love and compassion for any difficult feelings you are experiencing in this uncertain time. My brother and his family live in China, and I am originally from Seattle, so all phases of this outbreak have hit incredibly close to my heart. All feelings, whether they are frustrated because you feel like this is all overblown, or fear for the health of yourself and/or loved ones, are valid. Indeed, I have probably felt them all myself over the past couple of months.
Here are some resources put together by experts to help with difficult emotions during this time:
- CDC Mental Health and Coping
- SAMHSA Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- SAMHSA Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
- Face-to-Face Meetings – Since WFS in-person meetings are held in a wide geographical area, there is no single recommendation at this time for whether or not local meetings should be continued. We refer to the competent women of each area to decide what is best for them, based on WHO and federal CDC recommendations, that of their local health authorities, and their own personal needs and health considerations. You may wish to contact the Certified Moderator in your area before making the drive to your local meeting. Please do not attend meetings if you are experiencing symptoms or have recently been exposed to someone who is sick.
- WFS Online – Our online peer-support forum will continue to operate and be available to women 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at https://wfsonline.org. Online chat meetings will continue daily as scheduled. I am working with our online volunteers to expedite the implementation of online video meetings in light of recent events. Check in on the forum regularly as that project develops.
- WFS Bookstore – WFS will continue to take online bookstore orders and fulfill them on schedule, unless local health authorities require the closure of local businesses or restrict local travel. I consider our life-saving work to be essential and I am committed to continuing to bring hope and New Life to the women seeking it.
- WFS Office – Fortunately, WFS has made many updates to procedures that will allow most operations to continue through telecommuting by all employees. Emails and phones will continue to be answered during normal business hours.
- WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2020 – Since the situation is rapidly-developing, it is uncertain what affect this might have on our annual event in June. The Conference Management Team is continuing to plan for the event, and we are also exploring a number of contingency plans. The Board of Directors will be evaluating special policy adaptations that may be indicated in this area.
Much Love to All,
Women for Sobriety, Inc.