The governor of Illinois has said he will continue to ban public gatherings of more than 50 people—including religious services—until a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus is available.
The announcement comes as the White House is reported to have shelved guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on gradually reopening sections of the American economy and society.
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday that gatherings of more than 50 people in the state would not be allowed until a coronavirus vaccine “or highly effective treatment” is “widely available.”
The “for a year” not yet in sight. #4 has it, from the inimitable, omnipresent Dr. F. et al.:
Public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have cautioned that a COVID-19 vaccine is at least 12 to 18 months from being developed and made available.
So Pritzker is taking a very hard line, requiring “highly effective treatment . . . widely available.” Perfection. He throws boldness to the winds.
According to Pritzker’s five-part plan for reopening the state, [not even] gatherings of ten or fewer people are . . . allowed until phase 3, the “recovery” phase that can begin, at earliest, May 29. However, following a lawsuit last week, the governor has allowed citizens to leave their homes for religious services as long as ten or fewer people are gathered for worship.
Has allowed it, yes. So Chicago has its (also cautious) what-to-do:
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on May 1 that public Masses with 10 or fewer people would resume.
Other dioceses across the United States have already begun rolling back total suspensions on the public celebration of Mass.
First come, first served? Ushers at the door to bar the door on admitting the eleventh? Sequence of low masses 20 minutes each, w/shorty-short homily, no handclasp of peace, no nothing that takes up sacramental time. Sign up now for adoration? Sign up for your mass of choice. It’s the sacrament. Do it.
And when required masses are done, open the building for independent (silent) prayer — not a service, so Pritzker couldn’t stop it — and ushers pointing out the six-foot minimum.
Later: Such masses would not pass muster for many who (to quote Obama) cling to their post-Vatican 2 add-ons. But as imperfect as these masses would be, they would do the sacramental part completely, leaving out nothing that is essential.
The haiku-homily might be a good idea anyhow, building on what a South Side Baptist pastor once passed on to me, about the preacher who, asked to give a two-minute sermon, said a week. If a ten-minute one? A day. If an hour? “I’m ready right now!”