These pictures were taken hours before Christmas Night Mass of the Lord’s Birth was to be celebrated. But instead, when I should otherwise have been up at church turning up the heat and getting the altar ready it started snowing a dripping wet, heavy blanket freezing more than it was with precipitously precipitating temps rushing down from near 50ﾟabove zero to a predicted 10ﾟabove zero Fahrenheit. So, lots of danger, lots of black ice, crusty ice, crystalline ice, slippery ice… I’m thinking of the elderly of the parish…
I’m from Minnesota, and this bit of snow and freezing rain and ice wouldn’t have stopped me one bit, but the driveway to the church is as steep as a staircase and there’s zero chance anyone could drive or walk up, even on the actual staircase next to the driveway without crashes and broken legs. The “blizzard” of inches!
Even worse, WNC is suffering an “outbreak” of “cases” of China Virus among some super-service oriented people, also among my parishioners, who are everywhere with everyone in WNC all the time, and they are down with Covid. To give an example of what I mean by super-service oriented: one is a FedEx driver. And there are way too many all at once, also amongst parishioners coming here also from surrounding counties and surrounding states. So, to be prudent – for once – we’re locked down. This could drag on into the new year as people go through their imposed or self-imposed quarantines.
I myself was tested way back, also with our Police Force (I went down with the Chief of the Day®). All told, if I remember correctly, three brain-swab tests over time, all negative. No brains I guess. Anyway, the head of the county health invited me to come back the next day to get the antibody test which was being delivered. But then she said she changed her mind and wasn’t going to do it. Her decision was based, she said, on the fact, she said, that the antibody test is not at all accurate. I tried to get tested the other day, but was turned away again, this time in another county. They did the test for others ahead in the line but when it came to me, they said no, as I described what services I was providing up at the jail and getting groceries for the elderly-co-morbidities people, saying I just wanted to be prudent. No. Rejected for testing. That kinda makes me wonder what it’s all about… as it seems they don’t want to take service oriented people out of the community. I tried, right?
But then the storm. The great fear expressed by many. That caught me unexpectedly. So, no Mass as no one, I was told, were going to come. Sigh. Anyway, absolutely Confessions, Last Rites, etc., will go on. No fear with yours truly. But the numbers of cases are a bit freaky round about the town and the local counties. We do our best. Hopefully things will be back to completely normal in a week or two.