Churches are taking the virus seriously, but the New York Times needs to take churches seriously.
The New York Times just published an article with this headline: "Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases."
The lede continues: "The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to reopened religious facilities."
"More than 650 cases" in churches. Out of three million. Now, @NYTimes says churches are a "major source," of the virus spreading, that cases are "erupting," and so on.
As someone who has strongly advocated for churches to take COVID seriously, and whose church is not yet meeting, this article seems very odd to me.
To be clear: There were 60,000 cases each of the past two days in America. That's almost 100 times the 650 case that the NYT criticizes churches for since reopening on consecutive days.
Let me unpack some of the obvious issues with the article.
First, churches have cooperated.
Churches have been remarkable partners in the fight again the coronavirus, with the vast majority closing their gatherings all around the country. Yes, there have been a few outliers, but their paucity demonstrates the cooperation of churches with officials throughout this pandemic.
Second, hyperbole helps no on.
It is bizarre to use words like “major” and “erupted” when describing 650 cases.
On that point, the headline is quite misleading. Having 650 cases in my county might be news, but 650 nationally out of three million cases is a headline looking for a story. The real story is this: churches are gathering and remarkably few infections are taking place.
Third, the article overlooks the obvious.
In fact, it buries something quite essential: “… some of …