by Tova Inexperienced
The SFZC Well being and Security committee was shaped quickly after the pandemic started. Initially it consisted of the SFZC President and the administrators of Metropolis Middle, Inexperienced Gulch Farm, and Tassajara. The committee started reaching out by electronic mail to Michael Gelfond and Grace Dammann, each longtime Zen college students, for medical recommendation when questions got here up of their conferences. The committee quickly started to recurrently embrace the 2 physicians of their conferences. At first the committee met twice every week; now it meets weekly.
Michael and Grace, who’re each retired clinicians, additionally recurrently seek the advice of with different physicians on behalf of the H&S committee, together with Rick Levine, Frances Herb, Andrea Thach, Robert Brody, and Neal Halfon, all of whom have lengthy relationships with SFZC and Zen observe.
I spoke with Michael Gelfond concerning SFZC’s reopening to the general public.
Michael stated, “We try to barter the reopening as safely as potential—and there’s loads that’s not but recognized about this pandemic. We’ve all tried arduous for fifteen months to supply as shut as we might to 100% safety for SFZC residents. We actually wish to open the doorways of the temples however wish to do it in a method that protects each the bodily well being and the sense of security of the individuals who stay in them.”
Metropolis Middle, Inexperienced Gulch Farm, and Tassajara are usually not merely non secular establishments like church buildings, Michael famous, as a result of they’re locations the place residents stay and lots of of these residents are in high-risk well being classes. The world is in a dynamic state with respect to the pandemic. Some elements are usually not fully understood or could also be altering, for instance: How properly are vaccinated folks shielded from new variants? Is it potential for vaccinated folks to transmit the virus to those that are unvaccinated?
There are a lot of sizzling spots world wide the place the virus is spiking and folks could also be flying into the U.S. from a few of these locations. The H&S Committee acknowledges that there isn’t any solution to assure that reopening might be fully protected and subsequently needs to proceed cautiously and with as a lot data as is out there at any given time.
Michael’s medical profession was in scientific Emergency Drugs, not in Public Well being. Nonetheless, it’s reassuring for the Well being and Security Committee to have his perspective as a physician. “It’s been useful for all of us to get collectively and speak issues over, whereas understanding the boundaries of our information. It’s uncommon that there are questions which have clear sure/no solutions. It’s typically about possibilities, about making judgment calls about how a lot danger is concerned in every step towards reopening.”
San Francisco Zen Middle provides gratitude and appreciation to the physicians who’ve given their time and experience to our Well being & Security Committee: Rick Levine, Frances Herb, Andrea Thach, Robert Brody, Neal Halfon, Grace Dammon, and Michael Gelfond.