As a part of my ongoing tracking of place of worship related outbreaks of COVID-19, I asked the Georgia Department of Public Health if the department logged the number of church related outbreaks. Public information representative Nancy Nydam told me, “As of today, there have been 49 COVID-19 church/place of worship outbreak investigations reported to DPH.” She added that as a result of those investigations, 517 cases have been reported as have 91 hospitalizations and 15 deaths.
As of today, GA has reported 241,702 cases and 4,795 deaths. Thus, in GA, church outbreaks have been a small fraction of total cases. However, these cases may be accelerating. There were 8 place of worship outbreaks from August 6-12 of the 110 outbreaks in Georgia during that time period.* As churches have come together in person, outbreaks have increased. The low total numbers may not be due to safety in church as much as because many churches were meeting online until recently.
As of August 18, 2020 in the U.S., I count 263 religious gatherings associated with at least 3,136 cases of COVID-19 and 43 deaths. My sense is that it is getting harder to keep up with them as churches are beginning to relax their restrictions.
*From the Coastal Health District of the GA Dept of Health website. There were 110 total from August 6-12, 2020. An outbreak is defined as 2 cases or more.
These outbreaks are occurring in settings where people are physically congregating and underscore the need for distancing and source control.
- Long-term care facilities 23
- Schools/school athletic teams 14
- Offices/workplaces 14
- Manufacturing facilities 13
- Prisons/jails 13
- Churches 8
- Restaurants 4
Outbreaks were also documented in hospitals/outpatient facilities, daycares and grocery stores.
Or perhaps they should call it, the Anti-Demographic Displacement Rally. Or the Rally to Prevent White Genocide.
According to the League of the South, white nationalists of various sorts will be in Uvalda, GA on Saturday to “rally against our displacement as a people.” League president Michael Hill told white nationalist radio host Rodney Martin that illegal immigration will lead to “anti- white genocide” if it remains unchecked. Uvalda is the home of Paul Bridges, mayor of the town and defender of immigrants who provide much farm related work in the region. Called a “scalawag” by the Georgia League president, Bridges has become a focal point of League anger.Thus, the League heads to the little George town of Uvalda to make their stand.
They want their stand in Uvalda to be inviting to those who might be attracted to their cause. To present a “friendly first impression” of white nationalism, the League has promoted some guidelines for protesters, including a dress code:
No t-shirts. Shirts must be tucked in. Belt needed. No belt buckles with pictures, flags or messages. The same goes for hats. No old or holey jeans. No re-enactment paraphernalia. Do not bring flags or signs – we will provide these. Please be ready to smile and make a positive, friendly first impression of the League of the South and Southern nationalism!
Instead of the Confederate battle flag, the group will sport the Georgia secession flag and a new flag which is a black cross on white background.
The new black cross flag is designed to be the antithesis of the American colors. Watch:
Very European. Opposition to forced equality.
See especially the conversation where John describes the differences between their black cross and the colors of the American flag. At 4:19, he says:
John: It’s a complete rejection of course of the red, white, and blue which was borrowed from the French revolution. You know, equality, democracy, fraternity, you know, liberty
Michael Cushman: Propositional nation.
John; Right, it was a nation built upon a philosophy, or something of that nature, and this is a complete rejection of that, obviously.
By proposition nation, Cushman is referring to the League of the South rejection of Lincoln’s Gettysburg statement that the United States was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
So when the Michael Peroutka’s League of the South displays this new rejection of the red, white and blue, the group’s protesters will not be advocating for the American view, but rather the Confederate view.