As we increasingly see society batten down the hatches as the Delta variant spreads throughout the US, we face the prospect of further shut-downs and another wave of social distancing. This was inevitable, given the politicization of public health and the relatively low uptake of COVID vaccination, even here in Virginia. And I’m predicting difficult times ahead as schools reopen for the fall and people spend more time indoors.
With that in mind, I have one word for Grace Episcopal’s plan to hold a Shrine Mont event this year. The word is STUPID.
- Grace has a disproportionate percentage of elderly parishioners.
- There are a fair number of pre-existing health issues in the parish, ranging from obesity, to diabetes, to alcoholism.
- The consumption of copious quantities of alcohol at Shrine Mont will result in a lessening of inhibitions, particularly after not having Shrine Mont last year.
- Those who are vaccinated run the risk of bringing low-grade infections back into the church and the community, placing others at risk.
- The presence of swarms of children at the school, none of whom are vaccinated, already provides a strong vector of transmission back into the parish.
- The primary Shrine Mont activity, which is swilling copious quantities of alcohol, is not possible while masked.
Holding a social event of this sort in the midst of a still active pandemic that is now getting worse is just plain stupid, and you can quote me on that.
There’s absolutely no reason for parishioners to place themselves and others at risk simply to get smashed for a weekend.