How I Performed a Wedding Ceremony During A Pandemic
W. Paul Alexander
The Better Call Paul Blog
[March 24, 2020 | Jacksonville, Florida]
Running Commentary/Opinion Piece
Most Recent Update: 03/26/2020
Well, everyone, I join you today for some bittersweet news.
We will start with the obvious elephant in the room. Today, the United States surpassed 1,000 deaths from #COVID-19. We look at the overall numbers and we don't give that much thought to 1,000. But lets think about it for a minute.
1000 People. 1000 children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces. 1000 whites, blacks, Asian, Hispanic, etc.,
There are millions of dreams that will never take place, millions of trips that will never get taken.
1000 souls in a single day met their maker. Wonder what he said?
Shifting from that terrible news is the bright and shiny spot in the middle of all of the darkness.
At about 2:00 PM, I received a phone call from a couple that wanted me to complete their marriage license and perform a quick ceremony. Without thinking, we all suited up in gloves and masks and performed the ceremony at a 6 feet social distance.
Upon seeing the joy they had in the middle of this crisis, I obtained their permission to use these photos to share their joy with the world at this time of darkness
Performing a Wedding In the Middle of A Pandemic
It was a beautiful little ceremony that these two will never forget. They were coming just for my wife to notarize their license, but we gave them a full ceremony (with full social distancing protocol in effect, of course -- except for them, as they live together and touch all of the time!).
Congratulations to the happy couple whose courage to follow their love in the middle of the worst crisis we have ever faced!
And remember, if you are running low on your mask supply, you can get supplies shipped right to your door with zero delay. CLICK HERE TO ORDER MASKS
------End of Update 03/26/2020------
ORIGINAL POST 03/24/2020
Hey Folks! Thanks for joining me here for the informal commentary piece that heavily features my informed and educated opinions. If I am reporting on news, the tone of the piece will be much different. For instance, here, in an opinion piece, I can speak directly to my readers.
Throughout all of the unprecedented chaos that has occurred in the last few months, even my own strongly libertarian mind conceded to the fact that certain emergency powers would likely be necessary, albeit my recommendations have always been for as little absolute power as possible while still being able to adequately impose quick guidance and rules in order to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Throughout this entire time of uncertainty and flat out fear, the restrictions imposed by the government have slowly been more invasive. In fact, the entire reason I am writing this little piece is to make a statement regarding the upcoming curfews across the nation.
This morning, as I went to a doctor's appointment I have been waiting 3 months for. When I got there, the nurse verified my contact information in a matter that had never occurred before. Then, about 10 minutes later, a staff member approached me an gave me a piece of paper and told me to keep it on me at all times in the event that a curfew is imposed, which will probably happen here in Florida very soon, as we see the virus ravage through our state.
This paper was a form issued by the state of Florida, and it gave the bearer (me) the authority to be out of my house, so long as I was traveling to and from the excluded activities, which include "essential" activities.
I am not going to post the letter right now, as it contains some private medical matters, but I will say -- a curfew is definitely about to be imposed nationwide, and as the form I received stated:
Violation of any curfew imposed by the state is a criminal offense, and any violators will receive fines and possible imprisonment for 6 months.
Then, it gets worse...
It states that this permit I have received notifies any police or military officer to verify the reason I am out of my house during a period of more harshly imposed restrictions. It also states that it is valid and should be accepted by any law enforcement officer "for the year."
Now, this is in-line with several other orders issued by other states imposing a statewide curfew that have expiration dates of April 2021. Such a measure has not yet been imposed in Florida, but the fact that I was issued a permit today to validate movement outside of my house was downright frightening.
This means that they are preparing to impose martial law on a state-by-state basis, eventually turning the COVID-19 outbreak into their advantage. They plan to transition the workforce into being service or delivery providers, with administration taking place at levels above what we can see.
The fact that they are preparing for a one-year curfew demonstrates just how many times the constitution will be wadded up and thrown in the garbage. Why would the curfew need to be one year when it should not take anywhere near a year to control this virus.
Reports from the field act as a testament to the scale this is being rolled out. Across the nation, we have watched national guard troops using football stadiums and empty Walmarts staging grounds to roll out once the executive order is issued and activated.
What Does It All Mean?
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, I have consistently stated that these massive restrictions on personal movement equate to martial law without the politicians actually using the the term "martial law." But ladies and gentlemen -- we have entered a phase where rights are being dissolved in the name of a "public health emergency" declaration.
While I believe the social distancing is absolutely necessary, it is very difficult for me to accept the curtailing of our rights. COVID-19 usually causes mild illness, like a cold or the flu; unless you are in one of the high risk categories.
To me, it reminds me of RSV -- in fact, it is very similar to the virus that causes RSV. RSV is a respiratory illness that usually causes mild-to-moderate sickness in full-term infants; but if a premature baby contracts RSV, death is a very, very possible outcome.
With COVID-19, it is reversed -- the elderly are the most at-risk, along with people who have chronic illnesses that affect their immune system.
So, does it warrant all of the precautions that are being taken now? Who knows. Personally, I believe this virus has been around for quite some time, just not detected. This is evidenced by the large number of people testing positive as more tests are available. I just think it was misdiagnosed as a cold or the flu. To determine if this is the case, studying elderly flu deaths in recent years combined with the new COVID-19 data to determine if these flu deaths may have been misattributed to influenza.
This is the only reasonable explanation as to how we are at 400,000 cases right now.
Now, do we really need quarantines and stay-at-home orders to combat this?
Well, the small town of New Rochelle, NY was one of the hottest clusters of coronavirus in the United States just 2 weeks ago. See story here. A 1-mile exclusion zone was set up where everyone was forced to home quarantine. Martial law was fully in effect as all activities were shuttered and National Guard troops were called in to enforce the quarantine and deliver meals to those in quarantine.
The measures worked, and New Rochelle is now seeing the flattening of their curve.
This is inspiring, as it demonstrates we can beat this.
So, yeah, everyone -- stay home as much as possible, stock up on immune vitamins and minerals, and drink lots and lots of fluids. These steps, while they may not prevent an infection, will give you a huge advantage over the virus, especially if you are already practicing them before you get sick.
I live in Florida, which is one of the hardest hit places. I believe we are going to be under a Stay-at-Home order soon, especially after the governor (Ron DeSantis - R) allowed local jurisdictions to make their own decisions, which resulted in large crowds for Spring Break. As a result, DeSantis has been trashed in the media for his response.
Thus, I see us becoming more restricted in the coming days.
I will keep you all updated as the saga continues.