March 2022 COVID Policy Updates

Dear Old South Church in Boston,

I am writing to apprise you of revised COVID protocols. These protocols, informed by science and metrics, keep us aligned with the City of Boston (if just a tick behind). Some time ago, Boston announced the metrics that would lead to a lifting of the indoor masking mandate. For weeks we have been watching the metrics as they have steadily trended down. Now we are there.

We entirely understand that a great many people will take a lot longer to find their way back into former routines, if ever. Some people have been forever changed by the pandemic. Inertia is a powerful force. [INERTIA: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion, unless that state is changed by an external force.] While this may feel fast to some of you, Boston has been coming back to life for some time. Restaurants are full. Sports events and theaters are well attended. Churches are gathering in person. And the metrics are still trending in the right direction. We have been conservative in our response to the pandemic...not aggressive, not risky.

So, here goes:

As of today, Monday, March 7th Old South Church is shifting to OPTIONAL MASKING, with one exception: Church School children and teachers will remain masked in our classrooms.

Those choosing to wear a mask while in the building are encouraged to do so. We suspect many people will continue to wear masks. Anyone who is immunocompromised, who is close to someone at high risk of severe illness, or who is not eligible for vaccination will likely want to mask.
In addition, we invite each small group (committees, boards, ensembles, forums) to decide whether to mask while gathered in that group. That is for each group to decide among yourselves.

Social distancing protocols have been lifted (although I assure you there is plenty of room for you to do your own social distancing).

Refreshments following our worship services will be reintroduced. In addition, we will again break bread together, both via communion and common meals.

We strongly encourage everyone to be fully vaxxed and boosted, to attend to handwashing, and to refrain from entering the building if you have so much as a sniffle.

As has been true all along, we will continue to follow the metrics and if a reversal of these eased protocols is warranted, we will respond accordingly.

You did it! We did it! (Fingers crossed it stays this way.) Well done, everybody!

Now, come on back. We have missed you something fierce. - Nancy