I have a friend who is going through a difficult time in their life and they said to me at one point, “No matter what I do, it seems to always be the wrong thing. I never know what the best action is for me in any situation.”
I think we all can share that perspective a bit. OK we are supposed to wear masks. It makes sense. If someone actually has the virus, and doesn’t know it using a mask will definitely cut down transmission. That is true. And if we wash our hands (often??) that helps too.
But how often is “often”? Do we wear masks as we drive in our car, with the windows shut? Should we don a mask if we open the windows?
I normally don’t wear a mask until I arrive at Shoprite or maybe Walgreens, if I need to go inside. Is that being too “blasé”?
In the end, we don’t really know, so for most of us, it makes sense to err on the side of caution, and always wear the mask whenever we enter any space where other people might be. For me, that still doesn’t include walking my dog around the neighborhood.
Yet, other folks don’t treat the mask issue with the same urgency. Standing on line to enter Ace Hardware (only 5 customers permitted in the store at a time) one lady ahead of me had her mask on, but not covering either her nose or mouth. In the end, probably not a real issue, but it made me think.
Our leaders on the town, county, state and federal level have many decisions to make that aren’t so easy. There is a tension. On one hand, we need to keep people safe, so keeping the social distancing in force, and the stay-at-home order in force makes perfect sense. Except, for the economic consequences. Opening some things up would ease the economic downside, but then will likely expose higher numbers of people to the virus, resulting in additional deaths.
Very tough decisions. And, in some way, there really isn’t a correct, or right decision. Any expert will likely admit that all of their expectations involve guesswork. We really don’t know what will happen if we do something, or if we don’t do something.
Our Bishop has stated that even if the Governor of New Jersey lifts the ban on gatherings, he may not lift his recommendation about avoiding gatherings. He has stated that he doesn’t want any action of any United Methodist Church in our Conference to result in the exposure of any person to the virus.
No matter what decisions are made, they will affect people’s lives. Let us continue to pray for all of our leaders during this very difficult time. And may they be guided by the love and grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I will be writing the Wednesday Post after I leave as the Pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church in EHT. After July, I will no longer post these on the Asbury UMC Facebook Page, but will post them on my blog: https://thewednesdaypost939095248.wordpress.com/