A new set of coronavirus guidelines demands places of worship “Discontinue singing and chanting,” as well as generally discouraging attendance at religious institutions.
On July 1st, California released the new guidelines highlighting the alleged risk of attending houses of worship: “convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death.”
A new stipulation from the guidelines singles out “singing and chanting” as risking the spread of coronavirus:
Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities.
The guidance also forces houses of worship to “limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees” while “outdoor attendance should be limited naturally through the implementation of strict physical distancing measures.”
“We recognize that singing is a challenge,” said Jason Batt, chief operating officer of the Capital Christian Center.
The media has been pushing the anti-church and especially the anti-singing narrative for some time, now.
In early June the New York Times led a so-called news article with a particularly graphic hypothetical:
Imagine the scene: You’re at church, belting out a hymn, and the sound is so joyful that you turn, smiling, to look around. You notice a spray of spit coming from the mouth of the person next to you: One particularly large droplet arcs toward the person in front, then lands, right on their neck.
Singing in church has been a long-standing point of contention during the pandemic, with the Centers for Disease Control removing guidance on its website in May.
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Twitter users responded to the news with skepticism of Governor Newsom’s new diktat:
“While bars, beaches, and vineyards are shut down for the 4th, Our Governor’s vineyard, PlumpJack Estate Winery is open and accepting reservations. I guess COVID-19 rules don’t apply to Gavin Newsome [sic].”
Another commenter noted: “This is absolute insanity. You had two sets of rules for protesters: One for those who supported reopening and another who rioted. You ignore public health officials who say transmission is occurring in large gatherings in favor or bankrupting businesses and denying freedoms.”