HCCO Board Statement re COVID-19

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Community News | 3 comments

Update July 29, 2020

This has been a trying year, and we know the solitude of doing the right thing is wearing on us all. We want to thank everyone for sticking with HCCO through these trying and uncertain times. 

We know that being able to look forward to the resumption of in-person events including the end of summer picnic and winter solstice banquet have been bright spots for many of us. Unfortunately, given the progression of the pandemic throughout the state of Ohio and in Franklin County the board made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person events through the remainder of the year.

The summer picnic will be replaced with a virtual monthly meeting with James Croft from the Ethical Society of St. Louis, and we will update you on our plans for a virtual Winter Solstice program as information becomes available.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have ideas, questions, or concerns.


HCCO’s board met last week and one of the items on the agenda was COVID-19. At this point, it seems that in-person events in April are unlikely and even June events, such as Pride and Comfest, might also be affected.

We’re working on a way to create an online community, to help people keep in touch via webinars, chat rooms, etc., and we’ll be asking for volunteers to help with things like moderating. Our goal is to create a system of support/contact, so that people can stay in touch, even if they can’t be in the same physical space.

We’re also exploring creating a volunteer list of people willing to be out in the community to run errands (like getting groceries/meds) for people who are housebound, either due to high-risk factors or actual diagnosis. There are some kinks to iron out, as we must maintain the safety of everyone involved. The last thing we want to do is put people at risk, but we also don’t want people to be unable to get the basics that they need to survive just because they can’t get out.

We WILL get through this and we will come through it in better shape if we continue to work together and support each other. If you have any suggestions or questions for the board, then please feel free to reach out to us at board@hcco.org.


1. Currently, there are four confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio and indications of community spread (being spread from person to person within the state).

2. DeWine declared state of emergency, which, among other things, discourages social gatherings and allows for better coordination of state department and agency efforts to contain the outbreak. The World Health Organization updated COVID-19’s outbreak status to pandemic as of 3/11/20.

3. Currently, OSU and other universities throughout the state have canceled in-person classes and substituted online learning until at least the end of the month. Collegiate athletic events are running with essential personnel (athletes, coaches, etc.) only, no general admission spectators.

4. Columbus Metropolitan Library has canceled all events held on their premises, including those by outside groups, such as HCCO, until the end of the month.

5. The goal at this point is to slow the spread of the virus, so that needed health services remain available for those most severely affected.

6. Ohio’s Department of Health and the CDC are the best resources for current information, including prevention.

7. Exposure can happen in any public setting, including grocery stores, so washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer is the first line of defense.

8. Our decision to cancel HCCO events for the next few weeks is in line with the actions recommended by the governor and Ohio’s Department of Health, and follows what other public entities, including libraries and colleges, are doing.

9.  This was not an easy decision and we do not take it lightly, but, in living our humanist values, we felt it necessary. We will continue to provide information, updates, and support to our members as this continues to develop.

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  1. Jay Sherburn

    Your subscribe to newsletter section does not let you know whether or not your subscription was accepted.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Hey Jay, when you sign up for our newsletter you should see a message that says, “Success!”

    • Karen Shearer

      Jay, Havent been in touch for more than 15 years, have we? I wish I could get in touch with many people I once knew, and it really isnt easy if you arent involved in Social media. But I thought you’d be more visible with Google than most people
      Sorry we got angry with each other during our last phone call Ohio to Wisc. How are you? What’s happened in your life?
      Ive been married 14 years and its been a definite challenge. Havent worked for 10 years. That was a mistake. Might really be best not to quit a job til you somehow find a better one. Else, you end up not even able to rent an apartment, since they want current income, nowdays. I hope you’ll fill me in. Bet you might have kids by now! Send photos. If you want.


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