Dear Supporter Ji,
Despite the uncertain times we are now living in, I wanted to reach out at the close of this week and wish a very happy Vaisakhi to you, your family, and your loved ones.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all aspects of our daily lives, including by forcing the cancellation of Vaisakhi events at our gurdwaras. I know it is difficult, and even painful, to not be able to gather and pray together at gurdwara as we are accustomed to doing, but this is how we can best protect our sangat and others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are the sorts of sacrifices we must continue to make to keep everyone safe: Social distancing remains the best way to fight COVID-19. Across the world, people are being asked to serve our communities–and protect our most vulnerable–by not gathering together and spreading the virus. In addition, we are all being asked to wear a mask (even if it is homemade) at all times when outside for absolutely essential activities. Our healthcare professionals and other essential service providers, who are working tirelessly to help those affected by this disease, are counting on us to be responsible.
Vaisakhi reminds us to stand up for others; by socially distancing ourselves, we are helping to do just that. Consider joining your gurdwara, or another gurdwara, virtually for a Vaisakhi diwaan. Take the time to learn something new about Sikh history–Sikh Research Institute has some incredible resources–or revisit a sakhi that inspires you. Spend time with your family and create a Vaisakhi-inspired activity. Or even participate in seva activities by sewing masks, donating blood, or contributing to a local food pantry, if it is safe for you to do so.
Finally, as a reminder, please be sure to continue reviewing and sharing our COVID-19 resources for the Sikh American community, many of which are available in both English and Punjabi. This week, we’ve added several important new resources–including a guide to inform your healthcare provider of important, medically-relevant information about Sikhi, as well as an FAQ on immigration and citizenship issues affected by the pandemic.
If we continue working together, I am confident that we will be able to keep adapting to this ever-changing situation. And like all of you, I look forward to when we can join one another and our sangats at gurdwara once again!
The Sikh Coalition
[April 10, 2020]