Today I met with two other church members who also live alone. We maintained social distancing and enjoyed the outdoors. They played with Penny and gave her treats. This time gives us an opportunity for social interaction.
Today, county health officials reported just one new case of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 227 cases. Officials stated, 39 people are recovering at home, four people remain hospitalized with two patients in the ICU, and 183 people have recovered. The health department explains that per CDC guidance, “recovered” is defined as at least three days of no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications), improvement in respiratory symptoms, and at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. San Luis Obispo County has had one death attributed to COVID-19.
This is an example of what the closure of businesses in our community is doing. Owners of a long-time Los Osos gym closed due to shelter-at-home orders have decided to not reopen. In a message posted to members on their website, the owners thank the community for supporting them over the last 25 years and say they will not be reopening due to financial reasons. “Every day we did our best to make exercise a therapeutic and fun part of your life. Staff and members seemed like one big family. We have missed that very much since we had to close almost 2 months ago.”
Nearly 500 California pastors said the plan to reopen their churches on May 31, regardless of lockdown orders. “The churches are not asking for permission,” said Bob Tyler, a religious freedom attorney advising the pastors. “The governor is sitting here as a dictator, trumping the Constitution and is kind of hanging on to this state of emergency for as long as he can hold it.” The pastors have signed a petition and said they will let Gov. Gavin Newsom know of their plans, which include social distancing. “We’ll give the governor an opportunity to amend his order,” said Tyler. “If he doesn’t, these pastors have told me that they’re committed to opening regardless of what the governor decides.” Newsom said the churches could potentially be closed for weeks or months, although he allowed “lower risk” workplaces such as clothing stores, florists, and sporting goods stores to open on Friday. The pastors are arguing that there is a public health reason to open the churches. “We have all kinds of emotional issues that are going on. We have marital issues in our church. We’re seeing a spike in depression, suicide, drug addiction,” said Pastor Matt Brown in a video posted on the church’s website. Brown teaches at Sandals Church in Riverside. Dr. John Jackson, the president of William Jessup University, a Christian college, said people need human connection right now. “I love technology but it is not a replacement for physical presence and I think we can do so with social distancing,” Jackson said. “…I find it very inappropriate that I can go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread and be with all other kinds of people. I can go to the hardware store and get my supplies for my home maintenance, but I cannot go to a church.” Tyler said most of the churches that plan to reopen will only allow 25% to 30% capacity and may use a reservation system so they can add services as they fill up.
Many church leaders say that coronavirus shutdowns are no longer bearable — and some are taking reopening into their own hands. In Illinois, for instance, where Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s slow walk toward reopening has frustrated many business owners, some churches are no longer waiting for his signal to welcome their congregations back. One such church, Metro Praise International, which serves an evangelical congregation in Chicago, on Sunday staged “passive resistance” to Pritzker’s order. “This is a principled stand for our First Amendment rights and, more importantly, our biblical mandate to gather with other Christians in worship and fellowship,” church leaders said in an announcement, noting that from henceforth, normal services will resume. Joe Wyrostek, the church’s pastor, told the Washington Examiner that he does not plan to sue Pritzker, but instead wants to show the governor and other political leaders that the First Amendment right to assemble is important to his congregation. In Wyrostek’s view, the needs of church communities have not been prioritized during the shutdown. “This is our right,” he said. “We laid it down for seven weeks, but now, this is how we’re taking it back up.” Wyrostek said that in his first two services since breaking Pritzker’s order, modeled after the restrictions laid out by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, about 100 people total showed up. Nearly all of them brought masks, Wyrostek said, and he put out hand sanitizer stations for those who wanted to use them. Wyrostek plans to continue holding services and trusting his congregation to be responsible in their efforts to stay safe. “We’re adults,” he said. “We know what to do.” Metro Praise is not the first Illinois church to resume services during the shutdown. At least two churches have sued Pritzker in the past month for banning church gatherings. After a lawsuit from The Beloved, an evangelical church in northwestern Illinois, Pritzker changed the ban from a zero-person to 10-person limit on church gatherings. That concession was not enough for The Beloved, however, and the church pushed forward to hold socially distant services with more than 10 people, a legal representative for the church told the Washington Examiner. The church has continued to hold services without legal retaliation. On Sunday, Cristian Ionescu, a pastor at a Romanian Pentecostal church in Chicago, delivered a similar message to his congregants that Wyrostek gave to his, saying that opening back up was not “a rebellion for the sake of rebellion.” “We feel that we are discriminated against,” Ionescu later told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We follow the same rules as other places that are also considered essential, and yet we cannot have more than 10 people in a service, which is ridiculous.” In Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam’s 10-person limit has provoked backlash from the Justice Department, one church decided to send Northam a message. Although the governor does not allow for churches to resume in-person services, and even then, at 50% capacity, Josh Akin, pastor of Grace Built Church in Waynesboro, decided to kick off early. Akin opened his church on Sunday at 30% capacity because he felt “so personally convicted” that no governor should have the right to tell him when to hold service, he told the local ABC affiliate. “I’m so happy that next Sunday, every church in Virginia can gather up to 50% capacity, free from worry that police will come and shut them down,” Akin said. “But I’m glad that this Sunday we had a chance to show that, even if somebody doesn’t approve, it’s good for us to worship Jesus. Even when people are frowning at you, unhappy with you, or insulting you, Jesus is worth it.”
This shows the hypocrisy and bias of the liberal left. Many A-list Hollywood stars were big supporters of the #MeToo movement, speaking out against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 after he faced accusations of sexual assault — but a new study has found that nearly 100 celebrities who made their voices heard on Kavanaugh have been silent on Tara Reade’s sexual-assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden — or they’ve come to his defense. News Busters found 95 of the country’s high-profile entertainers showed a drastic change in the way they treated Kavanaugh versus the way they treated Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee.
A San Luis Obispo County court record from 1996, which was obtained by the Tribune, provides additional support that Tara Reade told others that presidential candidate Joe Biden sexually assaulted her while she worked as a senate aide. Reade says she informed Biden staff, family, and friends in 1993 of the alleged assault in which Biden allegedly attacked her in a corridor, shoved his hand up her skirt and penetrated her with his fingers. Biden has denied the allegations. In a court declaration contesting a restraining order Reade filed against her former husband Theodore Dronen, the estranged husband attempts to show that Biden’s alleged assault caused Reade emotional harm. Dronen writes that he met Reade while they were both working as Senate staffers. “On several occasions’ petitioner related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office,” according to the 1996 declaration. “She eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator’s office and left her position.” Several individuals have also recently vouched for Reade, including her former next-door neighbor at a Morro Bay apartment complex who said Reade had tearfully recounted her story.
The weather today provided some beautiful cloud patterns over the Central Coast.