As an Ubuntu choir, we are living and practicing Ubuntu in everything we do. When we remember that our choices affect one another, we are practicing Ubuntu. In no place has this been higher stakes than in the glaring reality of our global pandemic.
Singing together is a considered a high-risk activity, but that risk is, for many of us, offset by the joy and oxytocin, which helps heal, connect, and stabilize us all. With this polarity in mind, I have given great thought to how to proceed, knowing that, as life dictates, even these guidelines are subject to change as needed.
Here are the current protocols:
Within the lived philosophy of Ubuntu, we recognize that we are all connected, and that our actions affect one another. During this pandemic, we are called upon to LIVE UBUNTU in a very high-stakes sense. There is no way to completely guarantee safety from COVID with any in-person gathering, but we as a community will practice using what safety measures are available to us in the name of protecting each other.
- Barring medical or age exemptions, you must be fully vaccinated, and boosted to any extent, for COVID in order to attend. (If you have an exemption please talk to me privately.)
- We are letting go of the weekly testing requirement for the weeks we gather outdoors. With this in mind, please continue to be mindful of exposures, and help keep your community safe. If you have been recently sick, in a high-risk environment, or have had a likely exposure to Covid-19, please consider testing, masking, and/or distancing until your risk has lessened. We are trusting all of us to act in consideration of others, who may be more vulnerable than ourselves to illnesses.
- If we meet inside, we will require testing within the hour before gathering. On those days, you can choose to test at home and text your results, or test upon arrival (please request this in advance so we can have a test waiting for you.)
- Testing is a great safety tool, but is not fool-proof. Please continue to respect the variety of comfort levels in the group, including your own, which may change week to week as the circumstances of the pandemic change. We’ll continue to utilize our other group-safety tools as well. Masking, distancing, and being outdoors all are currently understood to make the biggest difference in keeping one another safe.
- We gather using the BIRD-CAT-DOG method; it’s nice to familiarize yourself with it ahead of time if you can.
- The courtyard is big enough to socially distance for those who want to. We respect each others’ needs for space.
- Everything is completely optional according to your comfort level. This was true before the pandemic, but is especially important to remember now. You are in charge of your own body and encouraged to take care of your needs while singing.
- Finally, if you are actively sick or have a positive Covid or Flu test, please stay home and join us next time. We can also send you audio recordings of the session if you request them in advance.
- If you are ill or exposed but still want to join, or if this just isn’t safe enough for you but you’d like to be a part of things, we are happy to Facetime or Zoom with you during the rehearsal! We want everyone to be able to join if they want to, while keeping others safe. This is the new way forward.