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Good afternoon friends,

As COVID cases
rise rapidly around the state once more, health officials urge increased safety precautions, and a return to schools draws near, MNA has decided to limit public and in-person events. Though we value – and wish for – face to face time with members, much of our work can be done virtually.

In addition to following CDC guidelines on any meetings or gatherings our staff does participate in, we will use an abundance of caution when considering in-person meetings for the foreseeable future.

We’re doing this for several reasons:
  1. We don’t want to contribute to another shut down. We believe Montana needs to continue moving forward, and we are in a position to participate in our state’s recovery by erring on the side of caution.
  2. Most communities in Montana have not reached the recommended vaccination rate, and we have children who can’t be vaccinated. With cases on the rise – including breakthrough cases – MNA will err on the side of caution so that we don’t inadvertently cause harm to community members.
  3. Our staff and members are once more experiencing decision fatigue. In the face of less public guidance now than we had last year, we’re on our own to figure out what’s in our best interest and the best interest of our community. Should we mask? Should we join someone for lunch at a restaurant? Should we ask someone else to wear a mask when we meet? And on and on. Decision fatigue impacts our thinking in every area, and one way to mitigate that is to decrease decision-making where possible. In times of uncertainty, we often fall back on a maxim of “Make the decision you won’t regret.” Our collective good matters, and to the degree we can focus on that rather than the frustrations of masking up, limiting sizes of group gatherings, etc., we can feel good about stepping back.
  4. We can be effective meeting virtually. It isn’t ideal, and we are all aware that we lose something when we can’t be together in person.  But we know we can connect and support our members in a Zoom world, for the time being.
 
This is not the position MNA  had hoped to be in, and it’s not fun. But there is some relief in just deciding a course of action so that we can get on with the business at hand.

If your organization is struggling to determine the best course of action at this time, we recommend you follow CDC guidelines, engage the board and staff in understanding levels of comfort, and remember you are not alone.

This too shall pass.

Sincerely,


Liz Moore,
Executive Director
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