Answers to last question on April’s Safety Survey

Please share any additional thoughts on UUS:E gathering safely during these ever-changing Covid times.

Note: Answers are ranked from first respondent to last respondent.

1. nope
2. wear hazmat suits
3. N/A
4. I feel that we should continue to mask and distance to protect our most venerable and give them the option of attending. Without masks or distancing, we are excluding them from attending.
5. If the BA.2 variant gets out of hand many of some of my responses here would change.
6. Please continue hybrid events, both because of COVID issues and because some of us like Zoom better.  Thank you!
7. Appreciate having access on line during the pandemic.
8. .
9. Let’s not be in a hurry.
10. Zoom options have been essential
11. Did attend one Sunday service. Considering how many people may not be bothered by B2, I have to say that Zoom works for me. I dont think i would feel comfortable coming to a full house with no masks. It really is a tough call…
12. The access to fresh air is difficult with hospital mask. Those of us with repiratory issues do need the open windows. I guess I am comfortable with our services and less public events with optional masks. I will wear one for now, so I am protected. I trust our community. Perhaps that’s not smart, but I do feel our group is cognizant of issues and cares about others.
13. x
14. I appreciate the Emergency Preparedness Team’s work on behalf of our congregation.
15. COVID risk has become more personal than societal.  Some people take all the vaccinations possible and take reasonable precautions.  Those cautious people, like myself, now feel more comfortable relaxing around others who we believe to have been vaccinated and cautious.  I would love to have the pleasure of their company; and I would take the modest increased risk that goes with their company.  This rather than live in anxiety and without their company.
Those people who find the cautions not enough should stay away, attend only by Zoom, keep their distance.  I respect their concerns and their cautions.
However, I believe the extent of the cautions at UUSE now appear excessive given all of the circumstances.
I can see continuing to wear masks when we gather.  I can see cracking open the windows when we start a service.  Some things are easy to do.  But to limit attendance, to continue keeping us all apart, to maintain many of the now excessive precautions – No.
16.
17.
18. Your committee is making the best decisions they can with the data at hand.
19. All of my answers could shift depending on the BA.2 variant, increases in hospitalization & death rate, etc.   Currently, although it is very contagious, it does not seem to increase hospitalization rates or be very lethal. If we learn new information that alters this current knowledge, my thoughts could change.
20. Given the high levels of vaccination, the risk is very low. Time to move on.
21. The reason for my conservative view is because 2 of my friends recently contacted COVID.  Although they were not seriously ill, they did feel pretty bad for a few days.  One contacted it when lunching with a friend who “didn’t think she had COVID,” but did have it; the another attended a large memorial service where people did not mask.  Unfortunately, this new variant appears to be very contagious and easily transmittable.
22. I personally am in favor of masks until BA2 peaks and goes down, but would be happy to reduce social distancing so more people can come.
23. It is important to encourage attendance in order to maintain a sense of community.
24. I’m in the middle on this issue and will leave it to UUS:East to formulate ongoing policies. Meantime, I’m quite happy with Zoom.
25. I appreciate UUSE’s conservative approach
26. I prefer to keep masking and ventilation protocols in place until we see what the BA.2 variant brings us. I do not find these requirements to be a burden.
27. I will feel comfortable with a slow, measured continued reopening based on current COVID status.  As one active in the kitchen, I strongly feel that the serving of coffee after services should be delayed for the time being.
28. Wondering how you will assimilate high risk members into congregational life.
29. Answering definitively is difficult given so much that is unknown about the future of Covid.
30. These issues are tough to assess independently. I’m fine with refreshments outside. Two of the churches I visit regularly have done this in good weather for many years. I don’t see how we maintain social distancing if we lift the 60 person max. If doing so is a primary goal, then I believe we must require masks. It’s a matter of prioritizing the inconveniences. I think we need to maintain any two strategies: social distancing/limited attendance OR masks and windows open for services.
31. I mind masks and social distancing LESS than the average church attender and that gives rise to the appearance that my fear of COVID is greater.
32. It seems like everything is back to normal except UUSE. I think people should be smart and not come to service if they don’t feel well. I would imagine most people in our congregation are vaccinated & boostered.
33. I continue to like the zoom services and I would come to selected events in person.
34. I feel comfortable being around UU members as they are responsible,  caring people and therefore mostly vaccinated and reasonably cautious
35. Attendees who have not been vaccinated.
36. Our restrictions have been successful in creating an atmosphere of safety for the community. Now that in person services are available we have not been overwhelmed with large numbers attending. People decide for themselves as to comfort/safety level. Many are still more comfortable doing zoom which is fine, people have choices. I’m good with in person attendance and feel safe doing so.
37. To be honest, my desire to be with the UUS:E family, and my confidence in members getting vaccinated keeps me pretty confident about my safety.
38. I would love to see some outdoor services, weather permitting.  I would be much more comfortable attending in person services outdoors.
39. I feel that we are now living with an endemic disease and have to accept this new reality.
40. I continue to be confused about the real risks involved and am not sure there is enough reliable information available to make these choices with any kind of certainty. I am generally still avoiding large gatherings of unmasked people but also, like most, am very tired of wearing masks so find myself avoiding attending larger gatherings when masks are required so will likely continue to attend SS on Zoom and not attend larger indoor gatherings until there is better, reliable information about the risks, efficacy of vaccines/booster vaccines etc.
41. I am vaxed, boosted, had Omicron in January, and do not have any comorbidities. So I feel pretty protected. That said, I understand that not everyone is coming from the same place. I hope this survey gives us a better idea of where the congregation stands on lifting precautions. Also, research is revealing that ventilation is vitally important in dispersing aerosolized virus droplets. Let’s continue to improve our HVAC systems.
42. I trust that the precautions in place are suitable for the times and that even lifting some restrictions such as masks is fine too.
43. None
44. I think with windows open, attendance limited, fans going and masks on, we face minimal risk for contagion. We need to pay close attention to the metrics as we have been doing and adjust accordingly.
45. Although I live in Cromwell and cannot attend as often as I like, I am glad you are continuing Sunday services. Whe I lived in Manchester, I was able to attend on a more regular basis. I would be comfortable with the current level of restrictions but look forward to the day when they could be lifted.
46. Windows in Meeting Room should be open with ceiling fans running unless it is so warm that AC is needed or if rain would blow in.
47. N/a
48. I am happy with virtual services.
49. I have been happy with the way the safety committee has been conducting the Covid restrictions for UUSE.
50. I am likely to continue wearing a mask, regardless of UUS:E policy/requirements.
51. I think we have been doing a good job thus far.
52. i am looking forward to more in person events
53. none
54. No additional thoughts
55. I trust that caution will be balanced with a realistic assessment of current covid trends.
56. I am comfortable with anything the board and safety committee decide.
57. I’m mostly concerned with the possible uptick of the new B variant.
58. Vaccination is key.
59. Unless a new variant that will not respond to our present vaccinations and boosters comes along, I would like to get back to normal as much as possible and sooner than later.
60. Much as I would like to be done with all precautions, I still feel there is a need. What if we required everyone to be boosted? That would make me more comfortable.
61. I work in healthcare. We have a substantial outbreak right now
62. I’m high risk so I still have concerns, esp. with BA2. So I plan to continue to wear a mask in any event. I like zoom services so expect to attend via zoom more than in person.
63. Prefer church be open with precautions as necessary rather than only Zoom options.
64. Many folks are not wearing N95 masks which was what I thought was agreed on. I have seen many surgical masks and cloth masks
65. I think it is fairly safe and I plan on attending in person when possible.
66. None at this time.
67. It’s important to keep up to date on progress of new variant and it’s risks.
68. No additional thoughts
69. FYI, I don’t attend services regularly.  … I’d love it services were held outside.  Perhaps under a tent.
70. I hope we’ll continue the online services/events and consistent messaging that people with any symptoms should stay home.  I take care of sick patients so my view may be skewed but it seems like people with mild symptoms explain away those symptoms when there is something fun they don’t want to miss.
71. Good ventilation (not necessarily windows open but air circulation through the heating/cooling system) and masking (especially when numbers are climbing) are most important to me
72. I’ve been visiting my father (93) each Sunday, which is the primary reason that I have yet to physically return to UUSE.
73. Still would prefer social distancing and masking.
74. None
75. I firmly believe that the CDC COVID-19 Community Risk Levels (Green, Yellow, Red) and the guidelines associated with each category should be the primary source for UUSE’s approach going forward. Vaccines and therapeutics are widely available now, and UUSE has invested extensive time and financial resources into building a state of the art technology platform that provides accessibility to those who are not capable or comfortable attending services in person. I no longer believe there’s a need to keep windows open or restrict eating or drinking in the building.
76. I appreciated and fully supported the cautious, conservative safety parameters UUSE initially set, particularly prior to the availability of a vaccine. Given that vaccines are now readily available, and given that we now have the technology to stream services and other events to Zoom, which makes attending more accessible to those who can’t or won’t be vaccinated, I feel like opening up more fully is a reasonable expectation.
77. I feel that it is important to continue to gather in person
78. Again address no hugging unless first asking the other person.  Elbow bumps could work.  Personally, without all wearing masks I would want to have space.
79. I feel we will have to learn to live with this.  If the CDC is lifting mandates, we need to trust their science-based recommendations for coming out of the pandemic as we did for the CDC’s science -based recommendations as it began.
80. UUSE has been a beacon of sanity!!!
81. The church has done a good job with precautions during the pandemic.
82. My feelings would vary depending on the specific events. Having individually packaged snacks in RE with social distancing feels ok for me. People gathering tightly upstairs for coffee hour eating communal food feels very unsafe to me. If masks were optional but we were still social distancing, that feels kind of ok to me, but lifting the attendance limits and having people packed in elbow to elbow, even in masks, feels unsafe to me. The new variant does not concern me specifically, but covid in general still has a significant impact on my involvement in UUSE activities. I am still masking in all social situations unless in very small groups of people very well known to me who are also careful and vaccinated. Thank you for all you are dong to continue to keep our congregation safe!
83.
84. I am proud of your work and of our community’s conservative, considered response to COVID these past years.  I believe now that it is time to take further steps to gather more fully and to share food and drink.
85. It’s time to move out of fear. The new variants are less harmful,  the vaccines are working, let’s move forward.
86. While things are gradually improving, it’s too soon to start eliminating precautions.
87. No concerns
88. I feel comfortable being in the church family because I think  most are vaccinated.
89. For me, personally, wearing a mask is the most important factor when in a social situation
90.
91. I think the above covers most of my concerns
92. I appreciate being back in person for service and RE
93. I believe that UUSE has done a good job of assessing the risk and acting accordingly. I watch the numbers and decide for myself which activities to attend. But knowing that there is a mask mandate and that windows will be open is critical in making my decision. I think food and drink outside is not unreasonable while the weather is good, but as long as transmission is high and variants abound I am not interested in attending events where masks are optional.
94. I have all my shots.  If I felt that I needed to wear a mask, I would.  I just use my own judgement based on how crowded a place is and how long I’ll be there.   If a “variant’ was raging and I went to service and there were a lot of people – I’d probably put a mask on AND if it were nice outside I’d suggest going outdoors to chat so it could be done without a mask.
95. Whatever is decided,  i hope we just keep an eye on numbers and v transition based on that data
96. The masking is most important to me.  If people are wearing masks properly, then I am much more comfortable with attending.  Ventilation is next.  If we can open windows, then I think we should.
97. I have autoimmune disease and attending any indoor activity is risky without taking precautions while we are still in a pandemic.
98. Agree with the current approach, and tracking covid trends to make changes.
99. My husband had COVID in early March, and 6 more members of my extended family have had it in the last week. It’s not yet time to lift restrictions at services, considering that we are there for over an hour. Thanks for asking for our input.
100. Ever-changing is the key.  For now, I’m pretty comfortable.
101. I am comfortable with easing restrictions.
102. The most vulnerable populations for Covid (plus, children) also pay the highest price for precautions in terms of psychological impacts, isolation, etc. It made sense to try to break the Covid cycle in the outset, but now we know that there are also many negative consequences. Continuing indefinitely with precautions is not sustainable and is in fact harmful. Things like ventilation make sense. Things like requiring everyone to wear a mask no longer do.
103. Honestly don’t know what to think or do.
104. I think if all other mitigation was lifted – distancing, windows open etc, we’d still want to wear our masks. A few weeks ago I had said I was more comfortable but now I am seeing friends get covid for a second time etc.
105. I am comfortable with lifting all COVID restrictions, but understand if others do not feel the same way.
106. I will probably continue to attend services on Zoom.
107. I feel very strongly that wearing masks is the best protection each of us can do to protect others. If I wear a mask, it protects other people more than it protects me.  I’m in favor of everybody keeping their germs to themselves, which is exactly what masks do.
Having said that, I am over 70 and I don’t think that my feelings about the covid policies should necessarily dictate what happens with everybody. As long as I can attend services and some of the other groups on Zoom, I think people who feel more comfortable should be able to do what they want to do. I don’t have to go to everything. And younger people don’t have a lot to worry about, but older folks do. During summer months, of course, a lot of events can take place outside which certainly helps. I appreciate the caution that UUSE has taken so far, and I trust the judgment of the people making the decisions. Thank you for asking.
108. At some point we need to be able to accept some level of risk in order to be together again as a congregation.  Those of us who are in good health and vaccinated should be able to safely gather again.  We should, however,  continue to practice safety measures to protect the most vulnerable among us.
109. It’s uncomfortable to have the windows open. Is there any proof that open windows reduce risk? Just wondering.
110. Certainly I might look at things differently if the new variant becomes a significant issue
111.
112. I have no other comments or suggestions
113. I am vaccinated and double-boosted and looking forward to normalizing services and events at UUSE. I strongly feel that it is time for this.
114. Continued monitoring for the foreseeable future.
115. I am at high risk, as some others may be.  Until we are no longer in pandemic, I will not return to in person service. Once it becomes like flu with yearly shot, then I will return.  This holds true for meetings as well.
116. Personally, I am still being super careful, but I understand that others are less concerned. Its just going to take me a while to readjust my comfort level. I am not attending indoor events at this time. I would not even consider attending indoor events if everyone is unmasked.
117. Although it has been frustrating to have these restrictions, I am grateful that safety had come first.
118. I am not comfortable attending indoor crowded events at this time. Numbers are increasing. More people in my circles have recently gotten sick with covid just as I was starting to feel more safe. The masking and social distancing requirements that we currently have allow me to feel safe attending service. Otherwise, I would likely not attend at this time.
119. Outdoor events might be beneficial.
120. .
121. We had a recent Covid infection in our family. I suspect that our child, who continues to wear a mask to school, was infected by a classmate during lunch, when it’s not possible to wear a mask. Until we have gone several months without an outbreak, I’ll most likely continue to stay home.
122. n/a
123. i do not have any
124. n/a
125. I have appreciated the care & concern UUS:E has shown during this time. I wish we could dispense with masking and all that, but my granddaughter just came down with covid despite being fully vaccinated and being very careful with masking, hand sanitizing, etc. It’s really difficult to know what the best approach is! I prefer to err on the side of caution.
126. None
127. How about requiring proof of vaccination for those over 12?
128. My only concern is singing with no restrictions. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, singing is one of the best things we do, on the other hand it seems like the best way to spread COVID.
129. Members need to be able to see each other, but masks are an EASY protection
130. I am comfortable with distancing, masks and our nearly fully vaccinated community.
131. I would like to continue having Sunday services even if attendance is limited.
132. If not done already, consider installing ultraviolet light sanitizers in the ventilation ducts.
133. As a member who signed the book during the pandemic, I feel robbed of the opportunity to fully embrace the community. Numbers are way down. I think we should come back.
134. I think it’s important to keep underscoring that if people don’t feel well they shouldn’t attend church events
135. I’m glad you are doing this survey.  I think it should have been done at least a year ago to guide Policy Board in making decisions for the whole community, with community input.
136. If we see the BA.2 variant begin to increase I would prefer to keep our current protocol. The question is how much of an increase.
137. You’re doing a good job
138. Members who do not feel comfortable with in person services have the option of attending via Zoom.
139. This is not the time to loosen restrictions.  We are in a pandemic; CT positivity rate is at 7.68% and rising.
140. I feel that people will still mask and distance themselves as they feel appropriate based on their risk tolerance and health.  I feel safe comfortable with ceiling fans running and doors in the sanctuary open to the rest of the building during services and RE events.
141. I think we are still in a pandemic, not an endemic situation. I won’t feel comfortable dropping precautions until at least we see the positivity rate and numbers trending downward for some time.  I am very grateful that Zoom has been a viable option through this time and going forward.  Thank you to all those who have been looking out for our safety!
142. Must wait and see what the BA.2 does, see if it has much impact.
143. None
144. Looking forward to a return to normalcy. As long as we’re following CDC guidance I think we’re okay to move forward.
145. I hope you will continue zoom service.
146. NA
147. Thanks for all you do!