With some exceptions [here’s looking at you, Sweden!], governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.
Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!
(Imagine a healthy 21-year-old believing that being locked into his/her/zir/their apartment is a reduction in his/her/zir/their personal freedom! He/she/ze/they is free to sit in any room in the apartment, watch any TV show, and eat anything/everything from the fridge.)
If we take the Pope at his/her/zir/their word, after coronaplague is a distant memory shouldn’t it be illegal for people to drive to a Catholic church? When it is quite easy for people to participate via Zoom, if “protecting health and saving lives” is the #1 goal, why let anyone subject themselves and others to the risk of an accident on the roads? A person killed from a car accident is just as dead as a person killed by COVID-19 (and, in fact, the loss of life-years is likely to be much higher due to the much younger age and better health of the average car accident victim).
God is everywhere, according to the Catholic religion. If we #FollowThePope, why shouldn’t the government protect health and save lives by forbidding anyone from driving to church in order to find God?
- Why do we care about COVID-19 deaths more than driving-related deaths?
- “3 members of family killed in crash on the way to church in Texas” (ABC 2019)
- “Jacksonville father of 3 dies in crash after leaving church, family says” (January 2020): “Crittenden was leaving from Bible study at his church, Christians United, and was on his way home, when the crash happened.”
- “5 killed on their way home from church by suspected drunk driver” (2012)
- “Girl leaving church killed as fleeing van crashes into car” (NY Post, 2014)