We had a meeting last night at the Dragon Slayers NA Group in Farmington, Maine. There were four of us: Three in person and one by phone. Plenty of distance between participants, hand sanitizers and wipes, only one person touched the Seventh Tradition basket. At the closing we stood in a widely spaced circle (or triangle considering how few of us there were), said the "We" version of the Serenity Prayer, then it was back to the world.
A great many changes in numbers and format. The subject, however, was the same: Experience, strength, and hope on staying clean and in recovery for the next twenty-four hours. What did we do and what were we planning to do to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone else from the Covid-19 Virus. What had we done and what were we thinking of doing to make positives out of kids being home from closed schools and colleges. What had we done and what were we planning on doing to stay in touch with others in the program, to grow in the program, and stay in recovery. Among those things we discussed were conference call meetings, Face time, Zoom, and a number of other tech options.
It was a good meeting, and the Dragon Slayers is the oldest NA group in the State of Maine. It is not so much a prideful thing; It's just the way things turned out. The meeting is still going on because we were there. Those who attended are still clean partly because the meeting was there. Will it still be there next Tuesday? Who can say? But look at it this way: When you have been clean and gainfully employed for awhile, you can afford smart phones, laptop computers, and such. Newcomers though often come with little more than the clothes on their backs. A sit-down meeting is, perhaps, all they can manage.
So, what if more than ten addicts show up at a meeting? Gatherings of more than ten are forbidden in our area. We heard of an AA meeting that exceeded this limit by the addition of a newcomer who came in off the street. Three oldtimers got up, went to another room and had a meeting of their own there. Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.
Someone was there when I was fresh out of rehab and others just in off the streets. In addition, "We can keep what we have only by giving it away." But what about the risks? The Covid-19 Virus is terribly contagious and has virtually paralyzed the world! What about an overabundance of caution?
True. But consider this: At this writing there have been 116 confirmed deaths in the United States from the Covid-19 Virus. Almost double that number die every day in the US from drug overdoses.
Wash your hands, use hand sanitizers, maintain "social distance," don't touch your face, when you get back home wash your clothes, and add all these tools to sponsorship, using the telephone, working the Steps, reading the literature, and making some kind of meeting. Through telephone lines, cell towers, wi-fi, or in person: Meeting makers make it.
Be careful out there. Addiction can't be washed off, killed, nor does it ever self quarantine.