Virus is God's Will; Invisible Sky Fairy unavailable for comment.

They defied health rules for a storybook San Francisco wedding. The virus didn't spare them.

Guests of the illegal 100-person wedding were instructed to enter the North Beach church through a hidden door from and underground parking garage. [...]

San Francisco's city attorney had warned Catholic leaders to stop holding illegal indoor events only days earlier. Yet the leadership of SS Peter and Paul's helped organize the wedding ceremony, the city said. The celebration included a rehearsal dinner and reception with invitations extended to large groups from multiple households, at a time when such gatherings remain heavily restricted in much of the Bay Area.

In the days following, the newlywed couple and at least eight attendees tested positive for the coronavirus, two guests told The Chronicle. [...]

The potentially exposed guests flew back to Nashville, Arizona and San Diego, hot spots of the pandemic, potentially spreading the virus and providing a textbook example of health officials' biggest fears about such large gatherings. The event showed the challenges authorities face in enforcing health orders. [...]

"This is the perfect example of why public health officials have been trying to convince people of the problems with getting together in crowds," he said. "And I would be shocked if we didn't see this consequence. This should be the poster child in why people should take responsibility."

Update:

San Francisco won’t cite Catholic archdiocese after church wedding:

The wedding appeared to violate the health order and Herrera’s cease-and-desist letter, which threatened a temporary restraining order if the Catholic churches continued to hold large, indoor gatherings, but city officials appear reticent about bringing punitive actions against the church.

"Indoor gatherings are not allowed, for good reason," Herrera said. "The reported COVID-19 outbreak that resulted from the archdiocese’s failures has hopefully shocked its leadership into taking responsibility for the life and death consequences of what is happening in its churches."

Suuuuurrrrrrre they will...

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11 Responses:

  1. Michael says:

    What most people don’t seem to realize is that when you see the infections rise it’s usually two weeks after the infection happened and it seems people are spreading the virus well before they show symptoms. This will be “interesting” to watch develop. Here in BC people are getting way too relaxed about it as well and as a result cases are rising again. Slowly, we had around 30/day for the last week, but I am not expecting that to hold.

    And yeah, same problem. Large groups of people together. The only upside, so far, is that it’s mostly locals mixing with locals.

    • o.o says:

      This article was written > 2 weeks after the event.

      • Michael says:

        I know.

        My point is that when people look at the current infection numbers they need to realize they are looking back two weeks. You see this under comments all the time that the "numbers are low", forgetting that this is that these people got infected a week or two before.

  2. Flotsam says:

    "The celebration included a rehearsal dinner"

    If some people are so clueless that they have to rehearse eating then bumping into Mr Darwin later isn't very surprising.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      It's part of the greatly extended modern marriage "tradition". If you're the sort of person for whom the ceremony is the whole point then more and more, and more ceremony is an improvement. So while the law requires merely a few witnesses and somebody authorised by law to do the paperwork which only takes a few minutes, such people expect far more. First multi-day events (a "stag do" and "hen do") for each partner before the marriage itself, trips to choose and fit a wedding dress for the bride, then a "rehearsal" and dinner to celebrate, and a fantastic marriage ceremony itself, perhaps in a church building with many guests, with singing and rituals, and then a wedding reception, perhaps again with dinner, at another location, perhaps a hotel, with even more guests, dancing and drinking into the night. Then a multi-week "honeymoon" holiday in an exotic location for the bride and groom. All of this to be extensively documented perhaps with video or at least many still photographs.

      Because it's tangled up with the romantic notion of "love" you can exploit this enormously and whole industries have grown up to do that. Starting of course, long before the marriage itself, with the "engagement ring". Persuading enough women that they "need" a diamond ring, so as to then persuade far more men that women expect such a ring and will secretly be disappointed not to receive one.

  3. nooj says:

    So there was a contract for minimum attendance required for service, and surely some penalties for canceling on both sides. No one wants to cancel, and they figure it was only three days into the city's prohibition, no big deal. So they compromise and allow exactly the minimum attendance required for the contract, and turn away everyone else. Guest groups will sit every other pew and not take communion and it'll be fine.

    This is the exact kind of reasoning that smokers make: "It's just a couple of cigarettes, it'll be fine."

  4. o.o says:

    You have to read way far into the article (practically the very end) to find this: "None of the known cases has led to hospitalizations, they said." I'm also curious as to whether or not the SF Chronicle devoted as many column inches to coronavirus being spread at protests and/or riots; a cursory search leads me to think not.

    • Michael says:

      > I'm also curious as to whether or not the SF Chronicle devoted as many column inches to coronavirus being spread at protests and/or riots; a cursory search leads me to think not.

      Studies have not shown an uptick after the protests. Probably for two reasons.

      1. The ones I saw had a very large percentage of people wearing masks and keeping their distance between people.
      2. It was outside, where the risk of transmission / infection is greatly reduced.

      None of that applies indoors where people eat and drink and droplets get put everywhere.

    • jwz says:

      If the point you're trying to score here is "everybody's fine so whatevs", that is a moronic take for the following reasons:

      1) Not hospitalized emphatically does not mean not infectious.
      2) Being lucky does not mean that you were not also criminally irresponsible.

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