So, another great set of excuses for not going to meetings is spreading across the world. This time it is the Corona Virus. Colds are okay excuses, and there is always the flu. Now that NA has some decades behind it, we also have a gaggle of aged oldtimers, many with underlying medical conditions and compromised immune systems.
Funny the Dragon should mention that: about the "possibly fatal illness." I already have a more than possibly fatal illness called "addiction." In addition, its fatality rate makes the Corona Virus look like a case of sniffles in comparison.
My disease of addiction absolutely loves these moments. They present countless opportunities to sabotage my program of recovery. "Drop meetings," it says. "It only makes sense. I mean, they hug at those things! Do you want to catch a possibly fatal illness?" "Put the step work aside for now; It's time to clean the house and stock up on canned goods." "No point in calling my sponsor; He's probably becoming a hermit."
"Jails, institutions, and death." Left untreated, those are the end results of addiction. Over the course of my recovery I have had endless excuses and some pretty good reasons to skip meetings, avoid my runny nosed brothers and sisters, mostly to "look out for myself." You know, "protect my health."
Protecting my health, back when I was using, was my disease's rational for me to switch from rum to "diet" beer. I was saving thousands of calories a day and I couldn't understand why I was gaining so much weight. Then my disease suggested I quit the diet beer and drink rum. Rum had even fewer calories. The point here is that the suggestions my disease makes to me regarding health and medical issues, relationships, choices in clothing, parenting skills, or whether to attend meetings are by design aimed at one purpose: to get and keep me back in the nightmare.
There are sensible precautions one can take during cold and flu season and throughout the occasional pandemic. Possibly your meeting could forego the traditional closing hug. If that is not agreeable, those at risk (old, immune compromised) could stand aside from the hug circle during the closing. If you are sick, wear a mask to keep from spreading it. Wash your hands, use the hand sanitizers, stay hydrated, don't touch your face, and avoid putting stuff in your mouth handed to you by someone else.
There are telephone meetings and I can see virtual meetings through the net and social media coming into their own. Stay in touch with your sponsor, keep on with your program, use the telephone, read the literature, check in with your HP, keep up with step work, and hit those meetings. Should you live so long and make it back to a meeting after a relapso grande, do you really want to say that why you stopped going to meetings was because you were afraid of catching something? If you are like me, you already have something and it is a disease that is doing its best to kill me. There is a proven way to arrest my disease which does not involve either separating myself from the program nor isolating myself.
Be careful out there and do not let the disease choose your day.