Coronavirus Response Council


a Report from the School's

Coronavirus Response Council


When the world turned upside down back in early March, we at Lost Borders – like so many organizations – found ourselves staring at a wave of questions and considerations that was well outside of anything we’d had to face before. I’m sure each of you can relate in your own ways. In response, SOLB created a Coronavirus Response Council (“the CRC”) to attempt some sense-making out of the rapidly changing information.


The CRC has met weekly since, working with guides to determine whether programs that were scheduled could be run safely and developing safety protocols for how to run programs again in the future. Sadly, all scheduled programs in March through June were cancelled. We felt much grief with each cancellation. We also felt strongly that each cancellation was the right call. The decision-making process has involved protecting the safety of participants as well as the communities we operate in, considerations for responsible travel, personal comfort levels of guides, and compliance with federal, state and county ordinances (to name just a few!). 


Much of our focus the past two months has been developing a set of backcountry protocols that would allow our desert ceremony to remain intact, while continuing that strong call to create a safe container for those coming to join us. These protocols are now posted on our website – check them out!


We now have much more clarity about what it would take to safely run a program, and so we are on the verge of offering several. Ruth Wharton and Pedro McMillan will co-lead a shortened, three-week version of the month-long training in Colorado starting July 18th. And then Betsy Perluss and Scott Eberle will co-guide the summer vision in California beginning July 27th. Both programs are already full with a waiting list.  Visit our website for the latest information about programs to come:


Our commitment to the safety vow has long been the container that allows everything we do at SLB to flourish and thrive. We join now with all of humanity in expanding this call to care for the safety, health and well-being of the collective. Of course, it is a call far broader than this moment of global pandemic; the safety and well-being of so many people, communities, species and ecosystems was already imperiled before the world was turned upside down at the beginning of this year. As made clear in the Solidarity Statement that begins this newsletter, our prayers within the School align themselves with the preexisting and resounding calls for social and environmental justice that define our times. May the care we take in response to this unusual moment extend well beyond the pandemic alone. 



We do not go into the desert to escape

people but to learn how to find them:
we do not leave them in order to have

nothing more to do with them,
but to find out the way
to do them the most good.

Thomas Merton-