This post is about the hope expressed by Christians for a “happy and religious” Easter, and of course, it’s actual reality.
First, The Hope from your “Friendly Neighborhood Epidemiologist”
*From “Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist (Dr. Emily Smith)”
“I’m not going to make this post data-heavy. I just want to make an appeal to church leaders and congregants for this Easter weekend. I’ve based these recommendations on what I would feel comfortable with this weekend as an epidemiologist and a Christian/pastor’s wife.
The big-picture from a data standpoint: As of today (April 1, 2021), 16.4% of the country has been fully vaccinated (29% have at least 1 dose). 31 states have increasing cases. The B.1.1.7 variant, which is more transmissible and more severe, is circulating quickly in the US and all data indications point to it becoming the dominant strain. Our friends in the UK are warning us that this strain explodes in cases and is more severe. I’m also hearing more anecdotal stories from MDs on the front-lines I trust that the people being hospitalized in the US with this strain are younger, without co-morbidities, and have more severe disease. All of this points to caution, friends.
This is also Holy Week and is the most important week for many of us in the Christian tradition. It’s also the highest attended Sunday of the year. It’s special because you want to go with your family, even if you don’t attend church for the rest of the year. Lots of people go only on Easter. And, for good reason, friends! As a Christian myself and a pastor’s wife, this week is really special, important, and anchoring. In the middle of the pandemic and the brink of the 4th surge, let me give some guidance to church leaders and then to congregants.
- If you meet outdoors, everyone needs to distance and wear a mask all the time. Not just when people get to their seats. All the time. Even if people are vaccinated, masks are a sign of respect to those that aren’t – which is the majority (84% of the country). There’s other ways to do outdoors that many of you are doing – car-church, parking-lot-church, etc.
- If you meet indoors, masks need to be on at all times. Not just when people walk to and from their seats. All the time. We can praise and pray behind the masks. But, the big-data-picture I mentioned above warrants extreme caution this weekend…”
Now, The Reality…
Some Christians just don’t get it. They are killing their own flock of sheep, and allowing the contagion to spread to their neighbors’ flock.
Perhaps they believe that is ‘God’s Will’?
Perhaps they believe in a bizzaro version of “Survival of the fittest…” as individuals, not species. Who knows?
The issue becomes serious when these Christians willfully spread contagion to other folks.
Then the final word after Easter – Christian campus closed…