I'm no more a believer than my esteemed colleagues the Reveres, but I sit up and pay attention when I find a story about churches planning for pandemic. I may not trust their views on the next world, but this world they can be brilliant organizers. Case in point from The Salt Lake Tribune: Looking out for Utah. Excerpt:
Ron Garrison credits his work for the LDS Church with inspiring his plan to inoculate all of Davis County against a pandemic flu in a matter of hours.
Working in human resources for the church, Garrison helped herd 800,000 people through the Bountiful LDS Temple before its dedication and with five hours' notice, found 400 people to compile food kits to send to Kosovo.
He learned about how to manage crowds and how to find volunteers - two necessities in the event a deadly flu spreads to the United States. If, or when, that happens, forget orderly lines at community health clinics now seen for seasonal flu shots.
Assuming there is enough vaccine to go around, Garrison said there aren't enough clinics or nurses to inject it.
Instead, Garrison's plan calls for training thousands of volunteers to give their neighbors and friends shots at their local churches. The county's 300,000 residents could be vaccinated in one day and expect waits of 10 minutes, said Garrison, who was recently named a Utah Public Health Hero by the Utah Public Health Association.
"We don't want to repeat what happened in New Orleans with Katrina. Everyone learned a great deal about what can happen if you're not prepared," said Garrison, who is on the Davis County Board of Health and lives in Kaysville.
The plan, which can be implemented for other outbreaks and is being copied by other counties, would set up vaccination clinics at local churches. People who don't want to go to a church would go to county facilities.
Well, in this case I prefer the church. At my age I don't have much time to waste. Nor am I in a hurry to die and find out I've been hilariously wrong all my life.