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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:05PM

New public health orders yesterday include all religious institutions - no in-person meetings in churches, synagogues, temples, etc for two weeks. Baptisms, weddings and funerals can still be held but with a limit of 10 people, including the officiants, and no receptions are allowed (due to the tendency for guests to be milling about, eating, singing, hugging, etc).

It's obvious that we are in our second wave of CV now in B.C. and in Canada overall. Our case numbers here in B.C. were in the single digits for months in the beginning but have been spiking up, with over 700/day being reported last week, in the 500s still yesterday. They still seem low, compared to other areas, but with that exponential growth potential our public health officials are getting ever more serious. The projection now is 20,000 new cases a day for the country overall in the coming months if things don't turn around.

The B.C. public health officer yesterday made mask-wearing in public spaces mandatory for the first time. Before it was just "strongly recommended". But people wanted hard and fast, black and white guidelines and rules and so that's what we've got now, for at least two weeks, in an attempt to settle the daily new case numbers down again.

There have been restrictions before limiting numbers of people allowed in certain spaces at a time (usually 50% of normal capacity in restaurants, for example). It was also often repeated that being outdoors is generally considered quite safe. Now there's a wider scope of restrictions, such as no spectators at sports events (such as kids' soccer games - no parents on sidelines), and certain types of fitness facilities are closed altogether, such as spin classes, hot yoga, most gyms. Some people are happy with more regulation, some feel confused, some are decidedly unhappy.

We have excellent public health oversight regarding outbreaks and trends and contact tracing, etc to try and manage the pandemic. Most people seem happier with the new mask mandate because there were still a lot of people who didn't use them. Now the poor folks (usually younger staff) in shops and restaurants don't have to argue with stubborn customers who didn't want to wear masks, even if a facility had the rule that they were required. It's coming from the government now and so hopefully it lessens the pressure on each individual establishment to try and gain cooperation from resistant clients (who seem to be in the minority).

Predictably, I guess, spokespeople for churches etc that I've heard so far today have not been happy. One commented that freedom of religion is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He explained how important gathering and worshipping is to religious people. I get that. But these are extraordinary circumstances and so far, this order is in place for only the next two weeks, then to be revisited.

I am not a legal expert but I do believe that public health situations trump the Charter. It does not bestow unlimited freedom on a citizen. We've all accepted that wearing seatbelts is mandated, as is the injunction against smoking in public spaces, especially indoors. A temporary mask mandate would seem to fall into that category.

I know that Christians, for instance, take very seriously the principle of not forsaking the gathering together in worship. But there is the counterbalance of the clear statement in the Bible to obey secular authorities. There is also the principle that wherever two or three are gathered in JC's name he will be there. So you're covered even if you stay home and if alone you can always call a friend. That's 2, so he will be there, according to scripture.

So I don't get how at least the Christian leaders couldn't with good conscience lead their flocks by example and follow public health mandates for the good of their communities. The spokesperson I listened to on the radio this morning was calm and reasonable but still he was defending their right to gather and mentioned the possibility of launching an appeal against the order.

The authorities here are closing down places where they know that transmission of CV has occurred but trying to leave other types of places open. I think that is what is confusing to people. If restaurants can be open why can't we go to church is the question worshippers have.

If I feel like listening to or watching a religious event there's always the radio or TV. I don't feel a huge need to be in-person in a crowd. But I do get that others feel differently. I don't see it as an assault on religion though. And I think no matter how careful people think they're being, clearly things are falling through the cracks. Or more to the point, the virus is swirling through the air. I don't mind just breathing my own air, by myself, for a little while, if it's going to keep me healthy. I do feel for people who love to socialize, wherever that may occur. I'm lucky that I enjoy my own company, at least for a little while. I can make it through two weeks.

It will be interesting to see if the faith leaders accept the new reality or if they fight against it. The arguments I heard this morning for being able to continue with in-person church meetings weren't very convincing.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 05:24PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:20PM

I was totally disgustipated at Wal-Mart last night. Even though there is a sign outside the entrance stating that masks must be worn over mouth and nose, about half the people inside the store ,including employees, were not wearing masks over their noses.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 05:35PM by Dave the Atheist.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:29PM

Yeah, the nose thing bugs the hell out of me. In a deli I (used to) go to for sandwiches, one of the staff members always has her nose hanging all the way out above her mask. (And not to be mean but she has quite a large nose). I cannot believe my eyes when I look at her. She's breathing all over everybody's food! And nobody ever tells her, obviously. I even mulled over the thought that maybe she has a medical exemption. But then why wear a mask at all, just covering your mouth. And for sure, why put her in a deli where she's handling cut meats and bread and veggies and condiments all going into the sandwich you are now going to eat?

I'm making my own these days. I was a little OCD about germs before CV. Now. I'm a bit worse.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 05:29PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 06:23PM

It helps if it's been a part of the local culture for a while. There might be some pushback at first, but once most people start complying, it becomes harder for others not to fall into place.

The local police also have to be on board. My closest Wal-Mart often has a police officer or two stationed at the entrance. Go right ahead and tell *them* that you won't be follow local mask mandates. Another local market got fully on board when the mayor said that police would be enforcing the mask mandate.

Once everyone becomes used to wearing the mask, it's a lot less of an issue. Of course, I live in an area were most people tend to be cooperative with government.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:36PM

" A Psychopathic Radiologist coupled with a Narcissistic Sociopath, I mean, what could go wrong ? "

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:38PM

"We're working on mass distribution of the virus." — Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 05:51PM

The church I attend in Idaho was YT only for some weeks early in the pandemic. After that services switched to the fellowship hall (easier to disinfect and distance) and went from one service to two. One is mask only and the other is mask optional. My wife and I attend the mask only service which has about 30 attending spread across the room. The second service is more heavily attended. This Sunday will be our very popular pastor's last Sunday before retiring and there is to be a special Sunday afternoon program to honor him. As much as I like and respect him and his service at our church that will be a bridge too far in terms of our attendance during this crisis.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 06:09PM

What next? No texting while driving?

Este es ináudito!!! No lo aguanto!!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 06:28PM

I've been saying that a lot of people heard the word, "rights" in their high school civics classes, but not the word, "responsibilities." If businesses, government offices, and schools can conduct their work and meetings online, well then, so too can churches. Churches don't get a special free pass.

If it's been one thing that's been a tremendous disappointment during the pandemic, it's been the display of rampant selfishness. It really is not a huge sacrifice to give up large gatherings or to wear a mask. I had no idea that such a large number of my fellow citizens are so careless and uncaring.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 06:29PM by summer.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 07:00PM

Canada has crappy passenger trains just like U.S.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2020 07:02PM by Dave the Atheist.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 09:34PM

1951 U.S. covid deaths today.

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Posted by: looking in ( )
Date: November 21, 2020 12:45AM

Here in Alberta the number of covid cases has risen by 15,000 in just 3 weeks. Our population is only about 4.5 million people. Our Chief Medical Officer of Health began her update today with the words, “Our situation is grim.” Meanwhile our Premier, the leader of our government tweeted about tech startups. But that’s another subject...

The second wave is hitting us with a bang, as it is elsewhere. My little town instituted a mask mandate today and some activities are starting to shut down. Though covid numbers have been relatively low where I live, one of our local doctors has written posts on a community fb page warning that even if our cases here remain lower, ICUs in hospitals in larger centres are filling up and may at some point have to turn away non-covid patients who require specialized care not available in our small town. I’m feeling so unsettled and uneasy and I wish this was over with.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2020 12:47AM by looking in.

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