Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Washington State Temporarily Bans Weddings And Funerals

                To say these are crazy times is to engage in understatement. Much of the world’s population is being encouraged—or forced—to “self-quarantine” and/or “shelter in place” due to the coronavirus threat. In many countries, “non-essential” businesses have been forced to close until further notice. Time will tell us these businesses aren’t so “non-essential” as unemployment skyrockets and economies weaken. “Social-distancing” is another practice we are all encouraged to utilize. It seems strange observing a line of people at a checkout being spaced six or more feet apart, or being one of only, say, six people allowed into a store at the same time.
                The governor of the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, has taken social-distancing to a new level. In addition to ordering the state’s 7 million residents to stay home and closing all of the aforementioned non-essential businesses, he recently banned weddings and funerals. This seems a bit draconian, even in these times. Okay, I can understand putting the kibosh on weddings for a while in the interest of keeping people healthy. Plus, people can assumedly still run to Las Vegas and elope. But banning funerals? If there is one service that is essential during a bleeping pandemic it would be funerals. They, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand. They are endemic to a pandemic as it were. As the number of deaths rises, it seems a bit harsh to tell families they can’t give their recently deceased loved ones a proper good-bye.
 It is relatively easy to postpone a wedding indefinitely. The same cannot be said for funerals. There isn’t a funeral version of eloping. Or at least there shouldn’t be. The deceased shouldn’t be the only one in attendance at their own funeral.
Let us hope the coronavirus can be contained soon. With each day—and every person—that passes, we become a little less human.

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