OP-ED: Hypocritical anti-maskers give Jesus the finger

Gregory P. Fazio

I am a physician at Wellspan. I am not on the COVID-19 front lines. I would first like to honor those nurses, nurses’ aides, secretaries and physicians who are on the front lines. They deserve as much respect and gratitude as any military veteran.

But that is not why I wrote you. I am writing to you about masking.

I have definitely come to the conclusion that masks work. Masks protect other persons from my potential germs. However: Masks have also been very effective at protecting me from others. Many of my colleagues and myself have had the occasion to have cared for patients who turned out to have COVID-19 but we did not know that at the time. We were not wearing N95 masks. Nevertheless because we were all wearing simple surgical masks, we did not fall ill. The masks protected us. A mask will also protect you.

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Here is a most incredulous story:

I was at the 5 p.m. Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Church in York a few weeks ago. Our pastor stood up prior to the Mass and announced several changes because of the COVID-19 surge. First, doors and windows would be open wide during the services. A really good idea.

He then asked that everyone wear a mask "so that we could continue to come to Mass and worship God together.”

He went on to request that when we come forward to receive communion that the mask be worn until the last few seconds or so before we say "Amen" and receive the Eucharist. We should then replace the mask immediately.

Well, communion time came. And in the midst of that at least one large family — young children, teenagers and parents — came up to the altar to that priest to receive communion. None were wearing masks.

When Catholics receive communion, we stretch out our cupped hands to receive the Eucharist. It struck me that these individuals were holding out their middle fingers — saying "give me the Eucharist. I have a constitutional right."

It was a most incredulous sight. I could not believe the astounding hypocrisy. "Please Jesus save my soul. But I could care less about this priest or all the other people in church because I have a constitutional right! And besides, this COVID stuff is all just fake news."

I think I have said enough. 

Please wear a mask. Right now it is all we have.

Those men and women on the front lines in the hospitals are drowning in COVID-19 patients. They deserve better. Our pastor deserved better.