More than a hundred worshipers gathered on Sunday for the Holy Mass led by Bishop Andris Kravals. In the relatively small church of Mary Magdalene, it is not really possible to observe a distance of two meters, so absolutely all visitors are conscientiously provided with face masks. If someone forgets it – you can get it for free at the entrance to the church.
The regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers do not make masks mandatory for the head of the service and the service staff, but most of them have also put them on.
Visitors wear masks patiently throughout the service. Only for a moment, if required by a church ceremony. In conversations after the service, they admit that the mask causes inconvenience, but it is still necessary.
“It’s hard. Especially when you sing and praise. You want to take a breath and then you meet with the whole mask. It’s hard,” says Valentina.
“It’s pretty hard to breathe. I don’t like it, for example. I’m trying to endure it, but now I have it. We come to church every Sunday, and it’s hard,” says Martha.
“I think it’s reasonable and to be respected. I live a lot when I see each other on a tram without a mask. But people generally follow it strictly,” says Juris.
“I think everything is normal. That’s the way it should be. There must be protection. We are a lot of people together.
Anita, on the other hand, believes that we should pray to God that there is no coronavirus.
Both the churchmen and the pastor explain that Christianity does not teach passive reliance on divine protection, but encourages and encourages people to take active action, to take care of themselves and others.
“If I don’t take care of myself, I can be a carrier without realizing it myself. It’s too brave to do. Time will tell. It doesn’t take much effort.
So I think – caution. Protect yourself and then God will protect and bless you, “says Pastor Kravalis.
To reduce the risk of infection, the church has introduced other measures not specified in government regulations. For example, the number of services on Sunday has been increased to five. This allows both to reduce the congestion and to separate the risk groups – a separate mass for the elderly, a separate – for families with children, and another – in English for foreigners. After each service, the church is ventilated and the rows of benches are disinfected.
In Latvia on June 10 ended Emergency to declare the new coronavir announced on 12 March. The virus is still circulating and there is no medicine or vaccine for it. Certain restrictions still apply to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The situation was stable during the summer, but at the end of September the incidence rose sharply and the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population exceeded 25 cases. Queues for Covid-19 tests are also increasing, and asymptomatic people are already invited not to report the test.
In response to the spread of the disease, the government decided that face masks are mandatory in public transport from 7 October. On October 13, the government decided that masks should also be worn in public placesstaying more than 15 minutes. Currently in Latvia public events Up to 500 people can gather indoors, up to 1000 in the open air. In private events, 30 can gather indoors and 300 outdoors.
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