(中文版在英文版後)

Dear CBCM Church Family,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling… The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:1-3, 7.

Psalm 46 is a powerful Psalm to remind us who are followers of Jesus to place our trust in the God who is in control, especially during times of troubles, instead of letting fear control us. The coronavirus has caused much real pain and suffering for the people within China, especially in Wuhan, and it also has caused much fear, panic, and anxiety for people who are outside of China. During this time of uncertainty and concerns, we would do well to revisit the words of Psalm 46, and remember that the Lord of hosts is with us and He is our fortress. While we should be informed and take the necessary precautions with regard to the coronavirus, and pray earnestly for those who are infected, we must not live in fear and panic. To this end, we hope the following update will also be of some help to you:

Much information and official guidance about the novel coronavirus relevant to those of us living in America, have become available since the church posted online more than 2 weeks ago.  To help CBCM update her web-based information, a few individuals from CBCM with expertise in public health have kindly agreed to review these recent developments and recommendations from the US public health authorities. For better understanding of the updates described below, resources are hyperlinked to help you find additional information. 

Despite increases in the number of novel coronavirus infections in China and the frequency of travel between the US and China prior to the ban on travel to/from China, only a limited number of cases have been identified in the US. As of February 7, all novel coronavirus cases reported in the US are individuals who have arrived from China (10 cases), or are family members in the US (2 cases) who were in close contacts with infected individuals returning from China. The virus is not known to spread through casual contact.  Those who are at the greatest risk of infection are travelers from China, and close contacts, like family members or health care workers, of infected individuals. According to the CDC, the novel coronavirus is NOT currently spreading in the American general public, and the immediate health risk for the general public is considered low.

Summary of novel coronavirus status in the US:

  • There are few confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the US.
  • Those at higher risk for novel coronavirus infection are travelers to China and close contacts of infected individuals.
  • Unlike influenza (flu), the novel coronavirus is not circulating in our community.
  • The risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus for the general public is considered low.

If you have visited China in the last 14 days, follow the CDC Health Travel Alert Notice:

  • Stay home and monitor your health for 14 days.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer 2 times a day and monitor your health.
  • If you develop a fever (100.4F/38C), cough, or have difficulty breathing:
    • Call your health department for advice before seeking care.
    • If you can’t reach your health department, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
    • Tell them your symptoms and that you were in China.
    • Do not go to any other public location or gathering.

Countries other than China have also reported coronavirus infections. Most cases are related to travel from China with a limited number of cases acquired from within the country. No country where the virus is known to have spread has declared a local outbreak. Therefore, if you have returned from Asia (including Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan) and have participated in activities or gathered in areas where travelers from China frequented, we, the church leadership, recommend you consider limiting your social activities and monitor your health for 14 days upon return, as well. We want to emphasize that this is not an official CDC recommendation and the current risk for exposure to coronavirus in other countries is low. However, your voluntary precaution would be a courtesy and might help ease the concerns of individuals who might be less informed of the situation.

For everyone else, the CDC recommends that you take the usual precautions to prevent getting sick from respiratory infections, especially since we are at the peak of the flu season (get the flu vaccine if you have not done so).These preventive measures are the same as recommended by the CDC for the prevention of coronavirus

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The US public health experts are monitoring the situation closely.  We encourage you to follow and keep updated with the guidelines from reliable public health sources and authorities such as the CDC.  Due to the wide usage of social media, there has been much misinformation on this issue, causing unnecessary fears and anxieties.

              In closing, let us return to Psalm 46. The last two verses of Psalm 46 tell us:
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:10-11)

Instead acting in panic or fear, let us be still before our God and remind ourselves that He is the exalted almighty God who is greater than any virus. Let us remember that while we should be wise and take precautions during this uncertain time, God’s Word consistently reminds us that we who are followers of Jesus must walk by faith, not by sight (nor fear or feeling) (2nd Corinthians 5:7), and we should not live like those without hope (1st Thessalonians 4:13), because we serve a sovereign, almighty, and loving God (Romans 8:37-39). Let us not be anxious and fearful during this situation, but rather keep praying (Philippians 4:6-7) and serve God all the more.

Let us continue to pray for:

  • comfort for those who have lost loved ones;
  • the local churches in outbreak areas, that they can be salt and light in this situation for God;
  • the safety and effectiveness of medical professionals to diagnose and treat the patients;
  • the leadership at all levels to contain this outbreak;
  • the wellbeing of CBCM brothers and sisters who are in or travelling to Asia.

In Christ,

Pastor Hugo & CBCM Leadership

 

親愛的弟兄姊妹:

“神是我們的避難所,是我們的力量,是我們在患難中隨時的幫助。所以,地雖改變,山雖搖動到海心,其中的水雖匉訇翻騰,山雖因海漲而戰抖,我們也不害怕。萬軍之耶和華與我們同在;雅各的神是我們的避難所!”詩篇46:1-3,7

詩篇46是一首充滿力量的詩篇,它提醒我們跟隨耶穌的人,要信靠那位掌權的神,特別在遭難時,不懼怕。新型冠狀病毒已造成中國,尤其是武漢居民巨大的悲痛,也帶給其他國家人民極大的恐慌和焦慮。在這充滿不確定性及憂慮時期,我們要再次思想詩篇46章,牢記萬軍之耶和華與我們同在,祂是我們的磐石山寨。我們應了解此病毒最新資訊及採取必要預防措施、為感染者誠心禱告,並不害怕、驚慌。在此,希望下列更新的資訊能幫助您:

教會在兩週前已在網站發佈許多美國居民應知有關新型冠狀病毒的訊息及官方指南。教會幾位公共衛生專業人士審核了美國公共衛生當局最新發佈的疫情及建議,以更新教會網站公告。下列鏈結網址,提供您更多最新訊息。

儘管在禁止往返中國之前,中美間的交通旅遊頻繁,中國新型冠狀病毒感染人數上升,但在美國僅有少數確診病例。截至2/7止,美國所公佈的新冠狀病毒病例,從中國來的有10例,因與從中國返美的感染者有密切接觸的家人有2例。此病毒並不是因為隨意接觸而傳播的。感染風險最高的是來自中國的旅行者,以及與被感染者的家人或醫護人員有密切接觸的人。根據美國疾病防控中心的資料,新型冠狀病毒目前在美國並未蔓延,因此即危及民眾健康的風險是低的

新型冠狀病毒在美國現狀概要:

•只有少數確診病例。

•高風險族群是前往中國的旅行者,及與受感染者有密切接觸者。

•與流感不同,新型冠狀病毒並未在美國各社區內傳播。

•一般民眾受新型冠狀病毒感染的風險是低的。

如果您過去14天內到過中國,請遵行美國疾病防控中心健康旅行提醒通告

•在家裡觀察健康狀況14天。

•每天用溫度計量兩次體溫,並觀察健康狀況。

•如果發燒(100.4F / 38C)、咳嗽或呼吸困難:

o問診前,請諮詢當地衛生部門。

o如無法聯繫當地衛生部門,在看醫生或掛急診前,先打電話說明情形。

o告知您目前症狀並曾到過中國。

o不要去任何其他公共場所或聚集。

除中國外,其他國家也公佈了新冠狀病毒感染病例。大部分涉及中國旅行者,在其他國家和美國本身境內感染者也有限。並沒有已知有病毒的國家宣佈當地的疫情爆發。因此,如果您從亞洲(包括澳門,香港和台灣)返回並曾到過中國遊客常聚集的地方活動,身為教會牧長,建議您考慮自願的限制社交活動,留在家裡觀察自己的健康狀況14天。我們要強調,這不是美國疾病防控中心的官方建議,而且目前新型冠狀病毒在其他國家傳播的風險並不高。然而,您自主的預防行動不僅是為人著想,並可減輕那些不太了解情況者的憂慮。

對於一般民眾,美國疾病預防控制中心建議採取日常的預防措施,以幫助預防呼吸道病毒的傳播,尤其目前正值流感高峰期(建議您注射流感疫苗)。這建議是與美國疾病預防控制中心對預防新型冠狀病的建議相同:

  • 經常用肥皂和水洗手至少20秒,特別是在上過洗手間後、飯前、擤鼻涕、咳嗽或打噴嚏後。
  • 如果沒有肥皂和水,可以使用含有至少 60% 酒精的酒精類手部消毒液。看到手髒了必須用肥皂和水清洗。
  • 避免用未清洗過的手觸碰眼睛、鼻子和嘴巴。
  • 避免與患病的人近距離接觸。
  • 請您在患病時待在家中。
  • 咳嗽或打噴嚏時,用紙巾遮住,然後將紙巾丟進垃圾桶。經常用家用清潔噴霧或消毒 紙巾清潔消毒經常碰到的物體表面。

美國公共衛生專家正密切觀察疫情。我們鼓勵您參考遵行最新發佈可靠的公共衛生資訊和美國疾病預防控制中心權威機構的指南。由於各種社交媒體,在此事件有很多錯誤訊息,造成了不必要的恐懼和焦慮。

最後,讓我們回顧詩篇46的最後兩節:“他 止 息 刀 兵 , 直 到 地 極 ; 他 折 弓 、 斷 槍 , 把 戰 車 焚 燒 在 火 中 。 你 們 要 休 息 , 要 知 道 我 是 神 ! 我 必 在 外 邦 中 被 尊 崇 , 在 遍 地 上 也 被 尊 崇 。”萬軍之耶和華與我們同在。雅各的神是我們的堡壘。”(詩篇46:10-11)

讓我們不驚惶,在我們的神面前站立得穩,提醒自己,祂是崇高的全能上帝,大過所有病毒。並謹記,我們應在這充滿未知的時期有智慧及注意預範,神的話語一直提醒我們跟從耶穌的人,要憑信心,不憑眼見(也不懼怕或憑感覺)(哥林多前書5:7) ,我們不該像那些沒有指望的人一樣(帖撒羅尼迦前書4:13),因為我們事奉一個全能,愛我們的神(羅馬書8:37-39)。讓我們此時不焦慮、不驚恐,要持續不斷禱告(腓立比書4:6-7),並更多的事奉神。

讓我們繼續為此代禱:

•安慰那些失去親人的人;

•在疫區的當地教會,可以因此為神做鹽、做光;

•專業醫護人員能安全、有效的診斷、治療患者;

•各領導階層能遏制疫情;

•保守在亞洲或計劃前往亞洲旅行的教會弟兄姐妹的安全及健康。

在主裡,

程牧師與教會牧長

Asian American Health Initiative of Montgomery County have given the web links and the attached resources for your information.蒙郡美裔亞洲人促進健康中心提供以下的一些連線, 方便弟兄姊妹搜尋相關的資源:

From Montgomery County Government.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

From CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fclinical-criteria.html (English)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread-chinese.html (simplified Chinese)

Let us keep seeking the Lord for guidance and help during this challenging time. May our faith in Him be stronger than our fear!
讓我們靠著主加給我們的信心不膽喪, 繼續在這艱難並滿佈挑戰的時刻尋求神的帶領與保守.