Starting May 28 Minnesota Governor Walz announced capacity limits will expire; mask requirements expire July 1, if not sooner depending on vaccination numbers, he said.
Online AA meetings through Uptown House and other venues really helped me get through a bleak pandemic winter. But now that most folks vulnerable to covid are vaccinated, its time to get back to in-person meetings at Uptown. Face-to-face meetings is how AA is meant to be practiced. Its a big part of AA heritage.
I had a good conversation with Uptown Steering Board Chairperson Peter K. this morning on this very subject, and he agrees. I’m 65 and fully vaccinated (Moderna). I’ve been to three in-person meetings at Uptown the last two weeks. There have been 6-10 people in attendance. All wore masks and maintained a 6-foot distance. While surface-borne infections are now seen as unlikely by health experts, Uptown House also has hand san and washes down chairs after every meeting.
In-person meetings are good for old timers like myself, but especially for newcomers too. I don’t think I would have remained sober in my early days without in-person meetings. Also, Uptown House needs in-person meetings to remain a functional, viable AA destination in every sense of the term.
At this point, everybody should know if they may attend in-person meetings or not. We can make that judgement now for ourselves. Minnesota Department of Health guidelines now allow for indoor, in-person gatherings for vaccinated, masked and distanced folks for example, in restaurants and bars.
The recovery community needs to get back to normal. When I was a newcomer I was disconnected from myself and others. This was a big barrier to sobriety and living a normal life. A big part of my short-term and long-term recovery was getting back in touch with myself, other recovering people, family and friends. This process is best facilitated by face-to-face interaction. There is no substitute for social intimacy. We are social creatures. We wither without it.
In an effort to walk my talk, I’ll be helping re-open the popular Saturday 10 a.m. meeting starting April 8! This may take time, but I believe its necessary on many levels. I hope our readers will take similar steps to help Uptown House and its members leave the pandemic lock-down behind us and get back to AA’s longtime, proven and valued heritage of face-to-face meetings.
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