March 26, 2020

Dear Brothers:

On behalf of General President Everett B. Ward, I greet you in the unwavering spirit of God’s everlasting love. In my dual role as chairman of the A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper National Program and cochairman of our National Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force, it is imperative for me, as your Brother, to provide you with unmitigated information about this virus. Our goal is to promote the health and well-being of our senior and vulnerable Brothers, widows, Alpha families, and the communities we serve.

Because we do not currently have immunity or a vaccination developed to combat COVID-19, most virologists believe it will be a year or more until this virus runs its course. Consequently, we, as Alpha men, will have to use innovative strategies more than ever to operationalize serving as our brother’s keeper. Together, our brotherhood will continue to provide brotherly love to its members, families, and the communities it serves.

A mass number of young men and women who attended spring break activities are now diagnosed with COVID-19. Although people over 60 years old and people with preexisting medical conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19-related mortality, no race, age, or sex is exempt from death as a result of contracting this disease. As Surgeon General Jerome Adams stated, “Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. Test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”

Below are some innovative actions that you can take within your district, chapter, or individually. You can serve as your brother’s keeper by utilizing some of the suggestions while avoiding unnecessarily exposing Brothers, Alpha families, communities, or yourself to COVID-19.

Fraternal Communication and Needs Assessments

1. Please consider making calls to all inactive and active college and alumni Brothers, Alpha widows, and family members of our dear Brothers who are in the Omega chapter. The purpose of the calls is to maintain fellowship with those in social isolation and to conduct an informal needs assessment of their overall wellness and their access to food, clean water, utilities, and so on. Although all Brothers should be called, priority should be given to Brothers age 60 and over, Alpha widows, and Brothers with preexisting conditions.

Acquiring Health Care Thorough Telemedicine

2. If individuals need health care intervention, please encourage them to contact their health care provider or local hospital via telephone and make an appointment to be evaluated and/or diagnosed remotely via telemedicine. If they do not understand or do not have access to the internet, provide them or a family member with information about how telemedicine is utilized while supporting their privacy rights. In addition, please request that they either pick up their medicines from a pharmacy drive-through or receive them by mail.

Alternative Methods for Procuring Groceries and Living Essentials

3. If individuals need help with online grocery shopping, please offer to do so because this will minimize their unneeded possible exposure to COVID-19. Some of the best online shopping sites are Instacart, Boxed, and Walmart. In addition, most local grocery stores offer home delivery or pick-up services through which customers can order online and pick up their groceries in a designated area of the store’s parking lot.

Recommended Safety Protocol to Minimize COVID-19 Home Contamination

4. According to a new and unpublished study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, (van Doremalen et al., 2020), COVID-19 has a surface stability of 4 hours to 3 days (4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel). In addition, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Moriarty et al. (2020) on the spread of the COVID-19 on the infamous Diamond Princess cruise ship revealed traces of this virus “on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated.” Therefore, contrary to some reports circulating through traditional and multi-media sources, it is recommended that when receiving items in your home such as mail, groceries, and packages, you should take precautions to protect yourself and your family by taking the safety measures recommended below.

Suggested Precautions Before Bringing Packages, Boxes, or Objects Possibly Exposed to COVID-19 into Your Home

(Please do steps B to F Outside of your Home)

A. Prior to unpacking received items, open all doors and/or garbage receptacles that will be used to discard packaging.

B. Wearing disposable gloves, wipe down the outside of each package thoroughly with a solution of 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water. The solution may be applied using a disposable paper towel. If the outside packaging is a plastic bag, toss it into a garbage receptacle. If you do not have disposable gloves, lather your hands with the solution before wiping down the package.

C. Toss any used paper towels in a trash receptable.

D. Wipe down your gloves or hands thoroughly with the aforementioned bleach and water solution.

E. Obtain a new paper towel and clean any additional items, repeating steps B through D.

F. Once all items are out of their packaging, wipe them down with the solution.

G. Wipe down surfaces that were exposed to the potentially contaminated contents, throw away the disposable gloves, wash your hands thoroughly, and bring the belongings into your home.

NOTE: Do not allow items to touch your body until the unpackaging process is complete. These recommended safety precautions can be easily modified to decontaminate all items that may have been exposed to COVID-19 during transit: cars, items of clothing, credit cards, wallets, keys, etc.


Methodologies for Virtual Socialization and Spiritual Upliftment


5. Please consider initiating virtual brotherhood through prayer services for Brothers and the people we lead and serve. This can be accomplished by organizing gatherings via teleconferencing applications such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. In addition, for Brothers who enjoy videogaming, we recommend organizing friendly eSports competitions (on games such as Fortnite) among districts, chapters, Alpha families, and/or college and alumni contemporaries (Pan-Hellenic Council organizations, student government members, faculty, academic societies, etc.).


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. serves as a vehicle for intellectual expression and innovation. With that said, please share the creative methodologies that your district, chapter, or you personally utilize to be your brother’s keeper on social media for all of humankind to model for the well-being of others.

In closing, my personal belief is that “there is a paradise in every storm; you just need to see it.” Under the stewardship of our leader, General President Ward, our paradise is fulfilled as we operationalize our mission statement and continue our legacy of being a beacon of hope to our Brothers, Alpha families, and the communities we serve. We are our “Brother’s Keeper”! We are at are best when we are called to lead, model, serve, and fight!



Brother Dr. Ronald “Pepper” Peters
Chairman, A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper National Program
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.









1. Moriarty LF et al. (2020). Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise

Ships— Worldwide, February–March 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 69:347- 352.DOI:


2. van Doremalen, et al. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

compared to SARS-CV-1. New England Journal of Medicine. Ahead of Print.