JPus in the News

The Patch MA: 3/13/2020

But, I’m Getting Married: Tips from the Experts in the age of the Coronavirus

Planning a wedding is a big deal. Expensive, and loaded with social implications. Add into the mix a pandemic, and indecision skyrockets. Fear and anxiety are understandable. Thanks to The Atlantic’s Kaitlyn Tiffany, we have some help. She collected responses from experts in the public health field to help guide our practice of social distancing. These were published in an article entitled “The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’”, on March 12, 2020. (The date is important, as guidelines change as more information is understood.)

Because findaJP’s role in the community is wedding focused, (we help couples find their perfect marriage officiant), we’re sharing the experts’ recommendations on weddings. These guidelines are for healthy people showing no symptoms of illness. Older people should heed the more conservative suggestions. And if one is ill, stay home. We should all follow the CDC’s recommendations on how to prevent and manage the coronavirus.

The question posed to the experts is, Should I cancel my wedding?

Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security says: It’s hard to ask everyone if they’re feeling sick and harder to know what their exposures have been. I would take a look at who is invited to the party. Are there people who are very vulnerable? Older people, people who have underlying health conditions, pregnant women? If that’s the case, I would err on the side of caution. I don’t want to tell somebody to cancel their wedding. That would be terrible. But I think you have to look at the situation, maybe ask guests who are feeling ill not to come. If it’s being held in a community where there’s widespread disease, then it might be worth [reconsidering the event].

Albert Ko, the chair of the epidemiology department at the Yale School of Public Health says: If those events can be postponed, I think that’s certainly productive. If a wedding can’t be postponed, there are things you can do. Hold it in an open space, where people are spread apart. You have to be really careful about exposures and really practice social distancing from the elderly.

Carolyn Cannuscio, the director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania says: One of the best ways we can show love to the people we care about is to step back and to stay away. In many cases that takes courage, and it takes speaking out over these social norms that dictate that we should be polite and we should be together and we should celebrate and gather. Really seriously consider whether now is a joyful time to gather family members for a wedding celebration.
Finally, for suggestions on how you should proceed with your own nuptials, talk with your JP. The wedding officiants on are professionals. They are equipped with information to help you make your day special, while also being mindful of the reality that our community is facing.
Kaitlyn Tiffany’s full article, published in The Atlantic, is available here.

See the article in the Patch

Related Links