UPDATE: Covid-19 (“coronavirus”) and community Qigong practice

This morning, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson signed a “shelter in place” declaration. This was in response to the flare-up of confirmed Covid-19 infections in Chatham County. Non-essential business establishments are to close. Restaurants and bars are to close as well, with only take-out and delivery services allowed. Schools are out until further notice. City parks remain open, but only for walking, jogging, and biking–which are essentially solo forms of exercise. Our community Qigong practice groups fall into something of a gray area.

SQC teachers conferenced this afternoon about how to move forward. After some discussion, we agreed to suspend all community practice gatherings (with two exceptions as noted below).

This decision flowed from a narrow reading of the Mayor’s declaration. However, it also reflects the core values of our group mission—“Qigong for Community Wellness.” We have a responsibility to model best practices, and those include adhering to guidelines from our local and regional public health officials.

The two exceptions are the practice groups on Isle of Hope and Tybee Island. As these are small groups, the teachers may continue with outdoor meetings until (and if) those communities issue restrictions. However, the teachers may also decide to suspend those practice sessions, after consulting with group regulars.

As we adapt to changing circumstances, we want to encourage everyone to continue with a Qigong practice that suits their individual temperaments and abilities. In fact, this is an opportunity to really engage with developing or deepening your own personal practice. Even though larger group meetings are on hiatus, the group energy can continue to support us.

Moreover, we now have an opportunity to innovate the social aspects of our work. One possibility is attending our new online mindfulness and Qigong meditation sessions (which are detailed in the previous post on the website). You are invited to join any of these meetings as your circumstances and schedule permit. We will be working together to develop these sessions into meaningful and beneficial encounters via the Zoom networking platform. 

Another opportunity is to spend time with the home practice videos here on the website. Each week, one or two videos will be reviewed and links will be posted, so that you can try out the routines whenever you wish.  

And for the slightly more ambitious among us, distance learning opportunities in different Qigong schools are available. These will be detailed and reviewed in a post within the next week.

You will also receive e-mails from individual SQC teachers with their own thoughts on these topics. Please refer questions or concerns to any of us, as you wish. We are here to support you as best we can!

This may be a difficult adjustment for some of us—and we certainly hope this hiatus need not last too long. Preserving our own health and the health of family members, friends, and the larger community are our top priorities. May we all be healthy, happy, and feel at ease, whatever inconveniences and challenges we may face in the coming days and weeks.