There is a saying that goes like this. You have a right to walk down the road swinging your arms, but your right to swing your arms freely ends at the point of my nose. If we want to view this in the great airline seat recline debate, you can recline your chair all you want, but when your chair hits my knees, you can’t go any further.
There have been many pictures of angry protesters without masks yelling at police and even health care workers. Maybe the government can’t tell you you have to wear a mask, but I think they can tell you you have to wear one when you are out in public and you come within six feet of another person, because the free air your breathing contains respiratory droplets that if you have COVID-19 can slay an innocent person as well as the AK47 you have slung over your shoulder.
I read this article today about a church where in two and a half hours one person infected 52 of 61 members of the choir. Two of them died.
I believe in the separation of church and state and if people want to pack into a church and sing the COVID out of their souls, they should at least be aware that they may be sending their fellow church members an early ticket to the promised land leaving behind much heartache and suffering. If all are willing to accept that risk, then so be it, but their decision to attend should be fully formed and then they should understand that they may be putting those they love at risk. A church might also want to look after some of its older, frailer members who might be most at risk, and be unable to protect themselves.
Yesterday on the ambulance, I drove by several churches holding services in their parking lots, preachers, mikes in hand, some backed by their church band, preaching the holy word to congregations all members spaced six feet apart and many wearing masks. We pulled over and listened. It was a beautiful day and it made me happy to see people enduring and adapting.
We will get through this. Let’s do it as safely as we can.