As travelers, we all can agree that staying home is not easy.
And for many, missing out on celebrating special holidays like Easter only makes it that much more difficult.
In many different states and cities, Easter services were held online today in order to protect the public and prevent widespread transmission of the coronavirus.
At this point, it’s widely been proven that social distancing works and slows down the spread so any type of large gatherings work directly against that progress.
But social distancing gets tricky when it comes to religion.
There’s the whole separation of church and state constitutional law issue but there’s also deep psychological forces at play.
People have a deep urge and need to meet regularly for religious purposes and many feel like the government is “beneath God” when it comes to enforcing rules that prevent them from gathering to worship. People also have a deep urge to socialize and gatherings like Easter services are a perfect time to get out and mingle.
Unfortunately, pandemic spread data doesn’t care about these deep urges and that is why a lot of entities including governments and churches, have decided to call off in-person church services until things settle down. It’s just too risky.
Well, in Kentucky, Maryville Baptist Church decided to hold their Easter Sunday service despite what is going on around the globe and despite an order from their governor to not hold mass gatherings.
About 50 worshipers ignored the Governor’s order against mass gatherings and so police were issuing 14 day quarantine notices to empty vehicles in the parking lot.
Troopers also took down license plate numbers, presumably to track down those individuals and make sure that they are following through with the quarantines (we don’t know how it will be enforced).
Some attendees of the church had covered their license plates but troopers simply took down the VIN numbers instead.
Watching things play out like this is extremely frustrating.
There are several alternatives to in-person church meetings that thousands of other churches have been able to switch to temporarily. There are online services and also “drive-in” services which both have been widely used across the country.
Yet, some people simply cannot comply with the rule of law and also recommendations based on hard science that have been implemented to protect their own communities.
It truly is baffling but hopefully the local law-enforcement in the community will enforce these 14 day quarantine orders to keep other members of their society safe.
I know it’s religion so people feel different about it, and I understand it’s a sensitive topic.
But there are also people out there who feel strongly about things like travel and are being forced to sacrifice their needs and desires for the betterment of society. There are people who have been forced to put off in person therapist meetings because those are not considered “essential” enough in some cases.
We all have to do our part regardless of how important and vital we think our needs are. Otherwise, our road to recovery is going to be much longer and bumpier.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.