The Faithful Wisely Consider Safe Ways to Do So
The faith-based community side-stepped church services and family gatherings for the first time in their lifetime last April. Most Passover Seder meals were done under lockdown. No Sunday morning Easter bonnets at Mass. This year, there is a sense of hope as restrictions loosen a bit, but there are still limitations to note, even as more people are being vaccinated.
“We still need to reach ‘herd immunity’ before we can safely get together in large groups with people from outside our household,” said Dr. Anthony Zeimet, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin, a Be Safe Wisconsin partner.
Even if you are vaccinated, there is a risk mixing with people outside of your “bubble.” Chief Clinical Officer at ThedaCare, Dr. Mark Cockley, notes, “There is still a chance – albeit small – a 5 percent chance you might get sick with COVID-19 and spread the virus while sick. But we are encouraged by new scientific findings that show people who are fully vaccinated are less likely to be asymptomatic, so less likely to transmit the coronavirus to other people.”
Despite the encouraging news, health care leaders suggest continuing to abide by safety measures to reduce your risk of exposure to the coronavirus and keep those around you safe too.
SAFE IDEAS NEAR HOME
For those getting into the spirit of the holiday season, consider these safe, socially distanced community events and activities.
- Send Easter cards. Update family and friends on how the first quarter of 2021 has gone, sharing what you are most grateful for, just like you did a review of 2020 at Christmastime.
- Hop, hop, hooray, it’s Easter picture time. The event promises an egg-citing, picture-perfect moment with the Easter Bunny. It will be held March 18 – April 3 at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute.
- Travel around town. Drive or walk around your neighborhood and wish passersby “happy spring” from a safe distance.
- Deliver with delight. Drop off food or gifts at the door to nearby family, friends or neighbors.
- Connect with local charity to see how you can help others in need.
If you are gathering for the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some suggestions, including hosting a virtual gathering with friends and family. But if you plan to hold a small gathering, and if everyone is healthy, public health officials say clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and open windows and doors – even use a fan – to keep air circulating indoors.
The same holds true for Easter gatherings for Christians.
Since much of Easter is focused on Christians celebrating in person as one big family, many churches are anticipating a flock of congregants and holding additional services to better accommodate the socially distanced crowds. Check with your church, which have guidelines on wearing face masks and washing or sanitizing hands frequently. That said, public health officials still advise churchgoers to engage in Easter Mass and services online or on TV.
In addition to church, here are some family fun ideas to celebrate from home.
- Listen to a worship/hymn playlist.
- Dye Easter eggs.
- Dress up in your Easter finest, bonnet and all, and take pictures.
- Have an egg hunt in the backyard.
- Establish a new tradition.
Whichever way you mark these spring holidays, public health officials hope you hop to it in making it a safe season.