Update #1: Now What? (3/13/20)

COVID-19. NOW WHAT?

Summary here. Full details below bullet points. 3/13/2020

  • Central Office is closing to foot traffic as of 2PM on Saturday, March 14
  • We will continue to answer the phone lines and provide support through HelpChat (our online chat tool). We may need your help to do so and will ask if need be
  • Literature orders can be placed online for curbside pickup during office hours or shipping via UPS
  • We encourage groups to start online or phone meetings; we will begin publishing those meetings as requested on aasfmarin.org
  • SERVICE OPPORTUNITY! IF YOU CAN HELP other groups set up online meetings, email your contact info to: aa@aasfmarin.org
  • For now, please see this comprehensive list of all meeting closures
  • Clubs are open until further notice and may be your best bet for a face-to-face meeting
  • Seventh Tradition? Put a bottle of hand sanitizer in the basket or put the basket on the table instead of passing it OR offer a digital contribution option
  • Tell your A.A. fellow to SIGN UP for The Buzz to stay current! 
  • See WHO and CDC for updates on basic precautions and links for local information (SF and Marin) below
  • All decisions will be re-evaluated as the situation changes; we are doing our best and appreciate your support and understanding

The Central Office has received numerous inquiries asking for suggestions on how to handle meetings in light of COVID-19. In an effort to support the groups and members in San Francisco and Marin, we are providing the information below and ask each of you to consider the unity and common welfare of our Fellowship. COVID-19 is an unprecedented global pandemic; drastic measures to reduce the spread of this infection may be chosen so that the hand of A.A. will be there when this is over.  

Each group is autonomous and can choose what action to take using an informed group conscience.  It is up to each individual member to take precautions for personal safety. We encourage you to use the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts, as well as information from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control as guidelines for basic protective measures against the new coronavirus. Local information can be found here (SF) and here  (MARIN) Additionally, the General Service Office in New York has an update.

We have made the difficult decision to close the office to the public as of 2PM, Saturday, March 14. The book store will be closed to foot traffic and all meetings held at the office have been canceled. A.A. members will continue to answer the phone and respond to HelpChat, our online chat tool. 

If you need literature, place an order online. We will ship orders via UPS as long as we are able and will offer curbside, will-call pick-up during regular office hours (M-F, 10AM to 6PM and Sat, 10AM to 2PM). These practices will  be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. 

We will continue to serve the fellowship in the best way possible while balancing the need to respond with caution in keeping our fellowship safe, our website updated and the community informed. 

As more meetings close, we ask you to consider these ideas and resources so your group can stay connected. (This is not an endorsement of any of these services, but a list of suggestions.) If you need assistance, let us know and we will try to connect you with a member who can help you set it up.

Seventh Tradition: If your group isn’t already offering a digital contribution option, now is a good time to begin as passing baskets can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Contributions can also be made directly to Central Office online and with Venmo (@GGIntergroup) or PayPal (aa@aasfmarin.org), as well as to many of the other service entities.

Virtual meetings may also want to hold a group conscience on this topic. We will share any information we learn about it, so keep coming back.

Most importantly, if you have a desire to drink, reach out for help to friends in the fellowship or call the hotline: 415-674-1821 (from SF) and 415-499-0400 (from Marin). Teleservice is available 24/7 and our online HelpChat is responded to from 8AM to 10PM should you need to make contact with another sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous outside of a meeting. 

It is vital that we each be conscientious of the needs of other members of our groups and each individual members’ capabilities for reaching out and connecting to the fellowship. Some may be reticent or technologically challenged and require more assistance than others.  Many private Facebook groups have launched and they can be a great source of comfort. Many individual groups are moving their meetings online. We will list them here as requests come in and as we are capable. Your Special Workers are working diligently to stay on top of this ever evolving situation.

And again, for the moment, your best source of information is to cross reference the schedule with this complete list of meetings closures before you head out. 

Thank you for sharing this information with your groups. Here’s wishing everyone good health and continued sobriety. Your A.A. Central Office / Intercounty Fellowship of A.A.
Board of Directors 

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