The Covid-19 pandemic persists, but progress progresses here in central Minnesota.
And our Peacetime Emergency rules are still changing. Which I think makes sense. Our world, pandemic included, is still changing. I’d be concerned if the rules we use didn’t change when our circumstances do.
It’s been an — interesting — two months.
Some weekly newspapers in Minnesota’s metro area shut down, permanently. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, it was the Fargo Forum in my youth, stopped its ink-on-paper publication but kept the “e-edition.”
Some restaurants, and at least one antiques and eclectic stuff shop, won’t be re-opening.
Hog farmers may not be able to sell enough of their hogs. That’s what happens when meat processing plants shut down.1
Businesses that are still in business are re-opening, gradually. And the local parishes are easing back into a rough approximation of public prayer and worship as it was before March 17, 2020. Carefully easing back.
“Dear Friends in Christ,
“Little by little we are able to open our churches. Last week we were able to open the doors of our churches for a few hours a day. This week we have been given more permissions. For church safety notes see the information below the videos….
“…10 Important Notes
“1. The obligation to attend Mass is suspended until further notice per Bishop Kettler.
2. Attendance will be limited to 10 people until further notice…..
…10. Please be patient. This is new for us as well. We are learning as we go and we desire that this process be as safe as possible for everyone.”
(Catholic Parishes of St. Alexius, Our Lady of the Angels, St. Paul’s (May 2020))
I checked with one of the coordinators today. I’ve got my old Wednesday afternoon shift again, and learned what to do if an 11th person comes in while I’m there.
Adoration will be in St. Paul’s sanctuary, not the Adoration chapel. No surprises there. We’re still expected to keep six feet away from each other, which will be easier in the sanctuary.
I’m looking forward to getting back into that part of my weekly routine.
But I’m not bothered, hurt or offended by Bishop Kettler’s temporary suspension of our obligation to attend Mass. For one thing, it’s temporary. For another, not rubbing elbows with a church full of my neighbors makes sense when COVID-19 is loose in our area.
Not spreading a highly infectious and occasionally lethal disease strikes me as doing both.
I’ve talked about that before:
- “Missing Public Masses”
(May 11, 2020)
- “Worry, Concern and COVID-19”
(April 2, 2020)
- “Pandemic Perspectives”
(March 31, 2020)
- “Mass Suspended: COVID-19 and the Common Good”
(March 17, 2020)
- “Polka Mass and Adoration”
(December 13, 2019)
- “More Minnesota restaurants announce permanent closures”
Andrew Krueger, MPR (May 17, 2020)
- “Downtown St, Cloud Shop Bumbledees Closing Permanently”
Abby Faulkner, WJON (May 15, 2020)
- “‘An absolute tragedy’: COVID-19-related plant shutdowns could force hog farmers to kill and dispose of 200,000 pigs”
Walker Orenstein, MinnPost.com (April 23, 2020)
- “Hastings and Woodbury/Cottage Grove newspapers to cease publication, citing coronavirus fallout”
Nick Woltman, Pioneer Press(April 6, 2020; updated April 7, 2020) via TwinCities.com