Do Any of These Churchgoers Know or Care How to Use a Face Mask? May 25, 2020

Do Any of These Churchgoers Know or Care How to Use a Face Mask?

The York Dispatch, a newspaper in Pennsylvania, has a very interesting photo essay about some just-reopened churches in the York area. I make a living in photography myself, so I know that John A. Pavoncello‘s excellent images weren’t shot with an iPhone. The look says DSLR or mirrorless, and he used a long lens (I’m guessing a 70-200mm f/2.8, which is by definition not small and compact). That is to say, Pavoncello couldn’t have flown under the radar. Churchgoers knew he was there, and that he was photographing them.

So you’d think they were on their best behavior. And maybe they were, and they honestly didn’t know any better.

Notice anything?

Above is a crop of one of Pavoncello’s 14 photos (to which either he or the paper has the copyright — we’re publishing it here under Fair Use rules, purely for purposes of criticism and comment, and will nonetheless take it down if requested).

This and the other images published by the Dispatch show the same situation. Most of the congregants in the Genesis Church in Seven Valleys have the face masks pulled down over their chins or around their necks, or they have the masks affixed over their mouths but not their noses. Apparently they don’t breathe through their nostrils, and they certainly couldn’t possibly sneeze, I guess.

This is no different than wearing a condom after puncturing the latex tip; the object’s protective properties instantly become negligible.

With this level of caution and intelligence, no wonder we keep seeing clusters of coronavirus infections after religious gatherings.

(Image by John Pavoncello via the York Dispatch)

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