In these trying times, people often find comfort in religion. Religion gives people faith that we will be able to beat the Coronavirus pandemic. A Texas church closes down since some of its members contracted Coronavirus. It was the Holy Ghost Catholic Church that suffered this onslaught of the Coronavirus. Sadly, one of the priests in this church even died due to the Coronavirus. The priest died at his home on May 13. The church had close down within days of reopening. This church is in Houston and the entire city woke up to this shocking news on May 14.
Texas Church closes- The exact scenario
Texas had imposed a lockdown which started easing recently. In light of this, the church restarted on May 2. On May 14, the parish stopped the mass service and all other services. This because Father Donnell Kirchner had passed away. On May 18, the church officials gave a statement. Five people from his congregation have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. This led to a flurry of comments by officials. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston told Fox news they need to contain this. He asked everyone who had visited the church or attended a mass to keep track of their health. He also said that anyone who had ventured into the church should get themselves tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.
Kirchner died at 79 on May 13 and his cause of death remains unknown. He was, however, diagnosed with pneumonia shortly before he died. The church said that it is conceivable that it was Kirchner who contracted the virus. Thus, people from the community be exposed to COVID-19 if they had contact with him. Kirchner’s cremation is on May 21 and the ceremony will go live on Facebook.
Kirchner lived with 7 other people from the religious community called Redemptorists. Five of these seven priests have now tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. Out of these five two actively seen in public and even conducted masses. All of these priests were asymptomatic and hence they didn’t know that they had contracted COVID-19. The church typically seats 900 people at a time but not more than 179 were allowed since its reopening. This was keeping in mind the social distancing norms that should be followed.
Everyone who had visited the church any time after May 2 should get themselves tested. They may be exposed to the virus and may be asymptomatic even after contracting it. Thus, a formal test as a precaution will help stop further spread of the virus in Houston. Texas already has over 49,900 cases of COVID-19 and 1,369 people have died due to COVID-19. These numbers are staggering and the state needs to take new measures to fight the virus.
Religion is no doubt an important part of our lives but we need to be careful while visiting religious places. The virus does not see the religion, caste or creed of the people it infects. Gathering of any sort can expose you to the virus and hence everyone must exercise caution.