COVID-19 Email #1: A message from the World Service Board about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 10, 2020
Dear FA Member,
The spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the Coronavirus, is of great concern to all of us. With the welfare of our members and the health of our fellowship in mind, the World Service Board (WSB) would like to offer some suggestions concerning FA meetings and gatherings.
Since each FA group is autonomous, decisions about holding meetings will be made by its members. We encourage groups to hold emergency business meetings in order to decide the circumstances under which a meeting will no longer meet; for example, some may choose to cancel if the local school districts close. It's a good idea to establish a way to communicate with other members and the local fellowship. Of course, it makes good sense to keep up with the recommendations of local health departments and to follow suggestions about social distancing. For example, members should refrain from hugging (elbow or toe bumps are good alternatives) and may choose to sit apart from others if they are concerned.
If your meeting chooses to stay open, use common sense regarding your own participation. As always, talk to your sponsor about your attendance. If you are high risk, consult with your doctor as well. We all must continue to be extra diligent in our hygiene habits and considerate of high-risk fellows. Health officials have advised that we are facing a particularly bad flu season, and that preventive measures for the flu and COVID-19 are very similar. If you are sick or have traveled to a high-risk area, it is better to remain at home to avoid infecting others.
At present, plans for the FA Business Convention have not changed. However, the WSB is monitoring the situation closely and is reviewing all options. Our current policy states that full refunds for convention registration and food plans are available until April 11, as long as the request is communicated to the FA office via email (email@example.com). We will keep you updated with any changes.
Most important, as recovering food addicts, personal recovery remains our highest priority. If meeting attendance is not possible, we will need to rely heavily on the other tools. To avoid isolation, the use of the telephone is critical. Those unable to attend their regular meetings are encouraged to read the meeting format and listen to an FA qualification; there are hundreds of MP3s available to download on FoodAddicts.org or to stream as podcasts (search for Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous). Reading FA literature is always helpful.
Again, we are aware this is a rapidly changing situation, and we will provide updates as needed. In the meantime, please do call on your fellows for support.
World Service Board