Letter from our President, Bob Spaulding 3/24/2020

Dear Friends,
With the latest COVID-19 guidance being issued by Gov. Lamont, we all are being made acutely
aware of the drastic steps necessary to limit the pandemic's spread. I believe we also have no real
idea of the true depth of the impact this disease will have on our lives from whatever perspective
you choose, be it social, financial, and so on. We are all just learning what is really meant by
social distancing and curve flattening. Both terms are aimed at one essential thing — to spread
the disease out over time, to slow down the rate of transmission of the virus. And that is critically
important as none of us, all 7.8 billion of us on this planet, have any inherent immunity and are
potential carriers.
Broadcast news, articles in newspapers and magazines, and information via the internet are
collectively attempting to keep us informed. Opinions abound. We have been given much to
digest and understand. I found a transcript of an interview with Dr. Larry Brilliant, the
epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, that I found particularly informative and worth a
read. Click here: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/the-doctor-who-helped-defeat-
smallpox-explains-whats-coming /
In light of some of Dr. Brilliant's comments and the clear exponential progression of COVID-19 in
Connecticut, please do your best to limit your potential exposure to the virus. I met with a
contractor at the synagogue this morning. When I opened the front door we let out a quick laugh
as both of us were wearing N95 masks and gloves. And we both thanked each other for the
consideration.
I was thrilled with our inaugural Shabbat morning service last Saturday via Zoom. We had 44 of us
connected together, over telephone lines or internet, with video and/or audio, davening with
Rabbi Wainhaus. The next step forward is a Friday evening service along with Saturday morning.
That will happen this coming weekend (3/27-3/28). It is our intent to continue to broadcast
Shabbat services from the sanctuary; however, that will be dependent upon whether the Governor
issues more restrictive guidance, i.e., "shelter in place". We are also getting our YAHAD students
into the virtual Hebrew school world. Wednesday afternoon classes with be convened via Zoom.
Sunday classes will be Zoomed (along with YouTube video) from B'nai Jacob. And, we are
expecting to give morning minyan a go on Zoom as well...haven't picked a start date yet but keep
an eye out, it's coming. Links to all Zoom events with be emailed out separately and watch the E-
News for other important updates. Stay tuned as we make some administrative changes to our
Zoom account so that the scheduling and logon process is eased.
The synagogue office is now closed and will remain unstaffed until further notice. Rachel and
Ileane will be taking care of all business from home. If you need to call in, use the following
phone number: 203-833-9162. Procedures for handling incoming and outgoing mail are in place.
Jim, our custodian, will continue to service our building and we have given him some additional
maintenance tasks that will be attended to while we are away. This now includes the lawn care
and it will save some money as we can cut back on the landscaping service fees.
The next few weeks will be critical in determining the effect of social distancing and curve
flattening on the state's COVID-19 infection rate. The sooner we see some positive changes, the
sooner we can start to get back to normal.

Do your part as best you can...stay safe, stay home

Bob

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