What we need to know....
With the coronavirus (coronavirus is a general name for a type of virus, the actual name of this specific virus is COVID-19) dominating the news recently, the Grand Lodge has gathered several authoritative resources for you to get the best, most accurate information on the virus, its spread, and prevention techniques. Special thanks to RWB Adam Tager, who works in emergency management for the government, and our Grand Lodge Physician, Dr. Jean Marcelin, Jr., MD for compiling these resources.
They are quick to point out that at this point, there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, so the best prevention method is to avoid exposure to the virus. This is especially critical for the most at-risk groups: children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and those with compromised immune systems or multiple medical issues like diabetes, heart failure, asthma, emphysema, liver disease, etc.
We will continue to update our website and official member communications (like our newsletters) with any new information or recommendations going forward. Until then, here are the most important things to know:
Past Communications from the Grand Master
The coronavirus continues to spread, and the population of our Masonic Community includes age groups that are particularly susceptible to this virus.
The city of Washington, DC has declared a State of Emergency, and most organizations have prudently suspended meetings and gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, and to give our health professionals time to prepare.
The health of our Masonic Family is of obvious primary concern to all of us. While we have no reported cases of the coronavirus within our membership, we want to keep it that way. And not only are we concerned about the older men and women who attend our functions, but even our healthy younger members can carry the virus home to more vulnerable family members.
The Grand Lodge of Washington, DC, F.A.A.M. will implement procedures designed to help protect our diverse Masonic Family from the spread of the coronavirus.
Please take note of the following:
All activities will be coordinated through the Office of our Grand Secretary.
Our Grand Master will coordinate with MESH, the Masonic Foundation, and St. John's Mite for suggestions, and to be prepared to assist our Masonic Family as necessary.
This message applies to the following:
Information updates will be posted on the main web site: www.dcgrandlodge.org. We will list cancelled events as well.
Our weekly and monthly email bulletins will continue.
Our "Voice of Freemasonry" magazine will still be published in April.
For immediate updates, follow @DCGRANDLODGE and @DCGM2020 on Twitter.
Please forward a report to our Grand Secretary on any of your Brethren who may contract the virus, and be kind enough to provide updates on their condition.
Finally, one thing you can do to make sure you are kept informed is to keep your email address updated in our Grand View database. You can make that correction on your own. Go to our Grand Lodge Website and select "Member Portal". If you do not get the weekly or monthly email newsletters, you can subscribe directly by going to the “member resources/member events, forms & files” section of the website and filling in the form on the right side of the page and hitting “subscribe.” Contact your Lodge Secretary or the OGS if you need assistance.
Continue to exercise all of the cautions and preventive measures that you've already heard multiple times (hand-washing properly, sanitize spaces, avoid direct contact, wear a mask if you have your own cough/cold). A good list of CDC references can be found on our websites’ homepage, and in the weekly and monthly messages from our Grand Lodge.
Brethren, I sincerely appreciate your understanding and cooperation with these efforts. We are doing something that, to my knowledge, has not been done before. Our Grand Historian is going back to see what measures our Grand Lodge took during the "Spanish Flu" epidemic of 1918, but we'll do now what we need to do.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Michael D. Nicholas Sr.
Grand Master of Masons
The Grand Lodge of Washington, DC
United States of America