Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Notice

Tradition 12: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice. Because A.A's Twelve Traditions repeatedly ask us to give up personal desires for the common good, we realise that the sacrificial spirit - well symbolised by anonymity - is the foundation of them all. It is A.A.'s proved willingness to make these sacrifices that gives people their high confidence in our future.

From Tradition Twelve, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

12th March 2020
The General Service Office has been receiving enquiries from members regarding the effect of COVID-19 (coronavirus) virus and how it might impact meetings.
While appreciating the concerns of the membership, The General Service Office does not have access to any information that is not currently publicly available and would encourage members to consider the advice given by their relevant governments and health services across Europe.
Regarding Anonymity, Groups are encouraged to co-operate with medical authorities. Therefore if a member of a group is requested to supply names of members to relevant authorities to check who has been in contact with whom for tracking COVID 19 spread, it is suggested that the Group hold a conscience about the dissemination of Group member identities. -
Here are some examples of the actions some groups are taking across the service structure, and these include:-
• Taking Local Health Authority advice to minimise spread e.g. hand washing, avoiding close contact, shaking hands, hugging, etc.
• Suggesting that members who think they may be at risk of having contracted the virus stay away from meetings until they are sure they are clear.
• We suggest that members who may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus consider their safety before attending meetings.
• Members who need to isolate themselves can be supported through telephone calls or electronically, e.g. WhatsApp groups.
• Groups can contact premises' owners to find out if they intend to close the building and under what circumstances.Should groups close temporarily, they can inform the General Service Office as soon as possible to enable meeting details to be updated.
• Groups can make use of online facilities - this has included regular face to face meetings converting to an online format as a result of moment restriction in their area.
• Individuals can attend one of the many existing online meetings - a list of those meetings registered with GSO are available at https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/AA-Meetings/Find-a-Meeting/online
• All of the suggestions above are best discussed in advance so the group is prepared for any eventuality. As with most things, they are best facilitated by the group talking about them.
278 As Bill sees it: Speak up without Fear
"Few of us are anonymous so far as our daily contacts go. We have dropped anonymity at this level because we think our friends and associates ought to know about A.A. and what it has done for us. We also wish to lose the fear of admitting that we are alcoholics. Though we earnestly request reporters not to disclose our identities, we frequently speak before semi-public gatherings. We wish to convince audiences that our alcoholism is a sickness we no longer fear to discuss before anyone.
If, however, we venture beyond this limit, we shall surely lose the principle of anonymity forever. If every A.A. felt free to publish his own name, picture, and story, we would soon be launched upon a vast orgy of personal publicity."