Coronavirus concerns are affecting many aspects of daily life in San Diego County and that includes Sunday church services.
On Sundays, the Rock Church in Liberty Station is usually filled with thousands of worshipers, but the auditorium that holds 3,500 was empty this Sunday as concerns over the spread of COVID-19 are now affecting the religious community in San Diego.
The sound of Christian rock filled the room, but the audience was mostly online. Pastor Miles McPherson told his congregation to stay home and pray while they watched a livestream of his service. It follows guidelines by the State of California, and the County of San Diego, to stop gatherings of large people.
“We do not want you and God does not want you to be filled with fear,” said McPherson, to the audience listening online.
“He wants you to be filled with faith. Yes, we have to be careful. Yes, this is serious. Yes, this is real, but to walk around in panic is going to tear down your immune system and make things worse for you,” Mc Pherson added.
Besides the message of faith, McPherson invited local health and political leaders to educate, and reassure the worshipers listening at home.
“If you are not actively displaying symptoms. The thinking right now is you can’t spread that to another person,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego.
Wooten reminded worshipers about the symptoms: fever, cough, acute respiratory distress.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was also part of the service. He reminded people of all faiths to maintain a connection to their loved ones, even if it has to be through the use of technology.
“We’ve been through emergencies before in San Diego, many times before. We’ll get through this one together,” said Faulconer.
Leaders made sure to remind worshipers to wash their hands and maintain social distancing as to not overload the healthcare system.