Our View: Church leads by example with Covid response
February 26, 2021
Good Hope Church in Cloquet recently suffered an outbreak of Covid-19 in its congregation, and immediately took steps to minimize the effect on the community, as we reported in last week’s Pine Knot News.
We applaud the responsibility in acting quickly to contain the outbreak as much as possible. The church canceled services, informed members and strongly encouraged testing. It contacted the health department and did its own contact tracing. While most of those infected had mild symptoms, they looked out for everyone.
“We want to be conscientious for the few who may be very negatively affected,” Pastor Mike Stevens said.
Such open and quick reactions will be what helps us combat and beat this virus. We believe the experts who say we eventually will achieve herd immunity, but no one seems to know how long that will take or how devastating that process might be.
There often seems to be a common misunderstanding of what herd immunity means. The concept is that if enough people get vaccinated or are exposed to a contagious virus like Covid-19, they become immune, thereby decreasing the likelihood of spreading the virus. If, say, 80 percent of people already have had the virus or have been vaccinated, the remaining 20 percent are less likely to be exposed to the virus, thus achieving herd immunity.
The problem is that without a vaccination, millions must contract the virus and suffer its consequences. While many exhibit only mild symptoms, more than 500,000 people in the United States have died from the virus in the past year. That’s an enormous number of deaths. And many more have suffered greatly. Without the vaccine, the health costs of letting so many people catch the virus are just too great.
That’s why we applaud Good Hope Church and others like them who have treated this pandemic with transparency and are taking proactive steps to slow the spread. Soon, we hope, this virus will be contained and we can get back to a semblance of normal life. If everyone follows the example set by Good Hope, we can hope that time will be sooner rather than later.