Covid-19 Can Spread through Singing, Is Clearly Catholic

A recent (ok, relatively recent) CDC report  on a Presbyterian choir practice outbreak in March suggests that their might, just might, be a connection between singing and Covid-19. We know, we know – it’s crazy to think that a respiratory infection can be spread by an activity that involves the manipulation of air from the lungs through the mouth. But while evidence is still somewhat anecdotal, similar cases in Germany and Amsterdam seem to suggest that church choirs are hazardous for more than just your eardrums. Even before the CDC made its own (short-lived) recommendation against it, a panel of scientists and choral bigwigs gave a sobering webinar on the future of group singing.

This is a problem for many Christians, particularly Protestants. If Methodist, you like to belt out off-key notes to embarrass your kids. If African Methodist, you like to put that whitey’s butt to shame with your Gospel rhythms. Either way, singing is a Protestant’s most beautifully obnoxious and individualistic expression of love for Jesus Christ. Without it, we lose about 25%-30% of worship content. God forbid our sermons get LONGER.

But likely due to Great American Evangelical Episcopalian Donald Trump’s intervention, the CDC has since dropped their recommendation against group singing, but scientists are still wary, and many churches will likely keep things as sotto voce as possible for a while. I’m as militant low-liturgist as they come, but Catholicism’s relative quietude is starting to seem a little more reassuring than spittle-filled Baptist churches.

What Does Covering Oneself in Jesus’ Blood Do, Anyway?

Recently CNN Anderson Cooper 720 or whatever did a report on the states that were still allowing religious gatherings. This generated a semi-viral clip of a woman leaving church, which @RampCapitalLLC posted on the Twitters:

This begs the question (yes, I use the phrase that way) of what, exactly, a person might mean when they say they are “covered in Jesus’ blood.” I have some thoughts.

First of all, to my knowledge there is no Christian tradition in which one bathes in Jesus’ blood, literally, transubstantially or consubstantially. Unless we are talking about Brother Blood , but his church isn’t exactly orthodox. It is certainly possible that she was speaking metaphorically and spiritually here, as in being “washed” in the blood of the sacrificial Lamb of God. This is an ancient means of ritual purification that is given new meaning in Christ (see Heb. 9:22, for example) and is now analogous to baptism.

However, the lady in question spoke with a conviction that belies such figurative language. Also, “covered” is a state different than “washed,” no? Washed is the state of no longer being covered by something (sin). This can’t just be baptism, not even “baptism by blood” (martyrdom) as she seems very much alive. I think she is talking about real blood here, people!

This leaves the only thing in the Christian tradition that really deals with literal blood (for some denominations). Was this women referring to her stomach lining, which very well could have been covered in wine? For this to work, of course, we would have to assume that her church is wine-drinking and believes in tran- or consubstantiation, but something tells me that she is a teetotalling (at worship) Protestant. After all, she seems to be coming home on a Wednesday night, extra-credit time for Baptists or Baptist-adjacent groups.

But even ignoring this, what protection can the wine-cum-blood really offer against the plague? Assuming consubstantiation, the alcohol content would not nearly be high enough to disinfect (though the antioxidants are certainly beneficial!), and the healing properties of human plasma are certainly dubious. Heck, there can be a lot of nasty crap in that stuff these days. Even Christ’s blood has never been seriously considered for its physical healing or protection properties, though I suspect this could be due to misinformation from BIG BALM (looking at you, Gilead). 

So we are back to the figurative meaning, I suppose. I’ll just assume that her blunt and serious tone was in response to the reporter’s rudeness, not confirmation of some new and disturbing sacrament or a complete misunderstanding of her church’s position on the Eucharist. Instead, she just means the blood of Jesus Christ is spiritually present through her baptism and continued faith and stubborn insistence in attending church. This must create a church-wide force-field that filters out submicroscopic particles. This is confirmed by the entirety of Christian HISTORY, which shows us that good Christians NEVER EVER got sick or infected others.

So don’t worry! 

Christians Need to Become Anti-Social Again

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica or something

It’s easy to forget these days, with all the (somewhat justifiable) backlash against individualist spirituality, that part of being religious is getting the sheol away from everybody. Christians have been social-distancing since before it was cool, the 3rd-century desert fathers and mothers setting the trend. Their embrace of asceticism and solitude allowed them to embodied the poverty and pain of Christ and commune more closely with the Creator. Sure, those like Anthony the Great were a tad world-denying, but later Christians found ways to maintain physical distance while continuing fellowship through houses of hospitality (hospitals and hospices), monastic movements and abstinence pledges. 

Yet despite the fact that the Coronavirus attends church more consistently than Omar Little’s grandmother, many in the US still insist on singing hymns with people they pretend to like. CNBC notes that of the 15 states with the most vulnerable populations, 11 have exempted religious gatherings from “stay at home” orders. There is evidence that most churches aren’t meeting anyway, but it only takes a few community breakouts to un-flatten the curve.

So fellow Christians, be like St. Anthony and get thee to thy man-cave!