Gov. Whitmer today re-confirmed a recently added exception in the state Stay-At-Home order (Executive Order 2020-77). Although she extended the Stay-At-Home order until the end of May, she kept the recently added exception for 'addiction recovery' meetings. The actual wording is:
a. Individuals may leave their home or place of residence, and travel as necessary:
16. To attend a meeting of an addiction recovery mutual aid society, provided that no more than 10 people are in attendance.
Note that this authorizes travel for individuals only and does NOT mean normal meetings are all back in place! Individual meetings must still gain church or meeting place approval, plan and take reasonable precautions, and of course inform the website administrators so the resumption can be announced to all. After all it is our purpose to carry the message to those still suffering!
It is strongly recommended that individual meetings follow all suggested methods for protection of members, and the wider church community sharing the spaces. This would include:
1) wiping all surfaces with disinfectant
2) making hand sanitizer available
3) not make or serve any food or drink
4) prohibit personal contact (hand holding or hugging)
5) arrange seating 6 feet apart
6) wear masks
7) keep attendance in a single room to 10 or less - split up if necessary
Individuals may disagree with the need or effectiveness of these measures (and it is certainly your right to do so)...however, many of these precautions are required by the executive orders...BUT, more importantly, other members may feel safer and more comfortable with these precautions in place. Some members may leave meetings or refuse to go if they are not followed - and our common goal is for ALL to feel welcome and at home at meetings!
It is further suggested that any members of a group who may be a bit more fiscally sound than others contribute extra for supplies (disinfectant, wipes, sanitizer, masks...). Churches should not have to bear these costs - we support ourselves! Perhaps these things can be purchased in lieu of our customary coffee.
So this latest order from Gov. Whitmer is a very welcome development for our recovery community. It gives members a choice to attend some face-to-face meetings or stick to what has been working for them the past couple months. Many existing Zoom meetings will continue. Some face-to-face meetings may develop simultaneous Zoom presences. As time goes on we can slowly return to something approximating 'normal' as we have known it - or something even better! Stay healthy - and sober!