Let’s not take unnecessary risks
Corona keeps our country in suspense for around 300 days. We all long for normalcy – especially at Christmas. Even for submarine Christians who only appear in church once a year, this means that the traditional church service on Christmas Eve is a must.
But does it really have to be? No. Not now, not this year, not in the middle of the height of the corona pandemic, which today has already claimed more than 22,000 deaths in Germany.
Sure, many priests, presbyters and parish councils racked their brains for months over hygiene concepts. And yes, of course there is a fundamental right to religious freedom, which for many people includes going to church – and which we are not allowed to throw anything overboard with you.
Nevertheless: Even if the distances can be maintained in most churches, nowhere can it be prevented that clusters of people form before the entrance, that the faithful meet on the way to and from the church. It is not only when the mask slips that the service becomes so easily a superspreader event.
It would therefore only be consistent in the sense of the hard lockdown to cancel all face-to-face events in the churches this year – and instead rely on television, radio or online services.
Even if the soft sofa in the warm living room may not be the same as the hard wooden bench in the draughty church: Nobody would be prevented from listening to the Christmas story, praying and even singing. However, there is no unnecessary risk that the number of infections will explode two weeks after Christmas.