The United Grand Lodge of England has issued guidance concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for its constituent lodges. Masonic lodges have a higher concentration of older members than the average random gathering of people, and the World Health Organization (WHO) believes COVID-19 more severely affects older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. UGLE has issued the statement because the largest age demographic for Masonic lodges make up this significantly higher risk group.
UGLE members are encouraged by Great Queen Street to circulate this information.
I am NOT attempting to stir up panic or overreactions to the virus in the United States. While prudent regardless of what part of the world you are in, England's public health guidelines are designed for their situation. Despite breathless media reporting of each and every new victim in the country, the Coronavirus is not spreading wildly throughout the U.S., nor does it seem likely to unless something changes dramatically. However, because it seems to affect the elderly more than it does younger people who contract the virus, Masonic lodges need to bear that in mind should it be detected in your vicinity.
Honestly, the flu appears to be every bit as dangerous as COVID-19, and arguably more so. So the UGLE guidelines make as much sense to prevent the spread of flu within your lodges, as well.
Click images below to enlarge. Or see the document at the UGLE website HERE:
UPDATE SATURDAY MARCH 7, 2020
After just two days, the UK press got wind of this and already they can't resist the mockery about Masons having to forego our 'dodgy handshakes.' Unbelievable.