September Dharma Article
Incredibly, September marks the year and half “anniversary” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March of 2020, I could never have imagined that we would still be in this situation. It was always “it’ll be a couple of months” or “it will disappear in the summer heat” or “definitely be over by the end of the year” or “gone with the development of a vaccine”. Nope, nope, nope and nope!
As you probably could have guessed, the church remains closed at this time. We have a “Re-Opening Committee” that meets monthly to evaluate the current situation and to keep abreast of all CDC and Santa Clara County health regulations. Even as late as the June/July time frame of this year, we had expected to be able re-open this Fall for in-person Dharma School as well as Japanese Language School. However, because of the worsening situation across the nation as well as here in Santa Clara County, it was determined that it would be premature to re-open the facilities and risk potential spread of the virus to anyone in our Sangha, especially for our unvaccinated kids as well as our older members. This is especially crucial at this time as it has been determined that even those vaccinated may become infected and unknowingly pass it on to others.
We will continue with our virtual Sunday morning services so please join us. Also, the Coast District will be holding its annual Nembutsu Family Conference on Oct. 24, 2021. This will be a virtual event so please register and join the conference. Additional details are contained in this Dharma as well as the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin website; sjbetsuin.org.
I admit that I am naïve about a lot of things…but I really do not understand this whole “vaccine hesitancy” thing. Yes, we have a certain amount of freedom to do as we please, but don’t we also have a duty to ensure that those freedoms do not infringe on others? Why wouldn’t you do something that you know will benefit those around you? I am glad that we, as Buddhists understand the concept of interdependence. So please get vaccinated, wear a mask, maintain social distancing and we will eventually get to meet at church once again.