This past week, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced that it would immediately implement the just announced CDC guidelines which stated that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in outdoor or most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Throughout the pandemic at national, state and local levels that last phrase “congregate settings” have included churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship. Following on the heels of the Commonwealth’s announcement, our local diocese announced that because of some ambiguity in the announcement, that we were to not inhibit or challenge people who wanted to not wear masks during the celebration of Mass. While we did not agree that there was ambiguity, we complied. As folks and families approached the doors of the church they were not asked if they were vaccinated, but were simply informed that “fully vaccinated people were not required to wear masks but were also free to wear them if they desired.”
It is a quiet morning before the sunrise. I am getting used to the change of parish, locale, and of course weather. The autumnal days of Virginia in October are far different than those in the Tampa Bay region. Since Virginia is not a “swing state” for the upcoming elections, I am also getting used to being able to watch television without the bombardment of political ads. I am not sure what is more refreshing the lack of political ads or the autumnal days and nights.
I was reading the news online (from a variety of sources) and several of them reported that in the face of steeply rising coronavirus infections, increasing positivity rates and hospitalizations, and the decreasing level of available ICU beds,a governor is moving to mandate the wearing of masks and social distancing in all public settings. The lieutenant governor agrees that masks and social distancing are vital to controlling the virus, but held that the mandate of wearing a mask is an infringement on personal freedom and an unnecessary intrusion of government into the lives of its citizens. This logic escapes me.
Back in May I wrote an article that essentially said, politics is politics, economics is economics, and biology is biology…and biology does not care about anything but biology. One only has to review the IHME website for the whole country (or your state) to see the relentless spread of the coronavirus. Biology is biology. Continue reading