It’s a cautionary tale for those in Delaware and elsewhere who host or organize events.
A small wedding and reception in rural Maine became a Covid-19 “superspreader” that apparently claimed one life and even found its way to a county jail and a school.
Thanks in part to a low infection rate, contact tracing, and the ability to identify those attending the wedding, public health officials were able to develop a full picture of what took place.This Boston Globe piece fleshes out what you might have heard on 30-second news clips.
Possible reasons for the outbreak run the gamut:
- This area of Maine had no experience with the virus.
- The public has been inundated by conflicting information, conspiracy theories and skewed statistics, often on social media.
- People living in small towns can have more multiple personal contacts than those living in suburban areas.
- Weddings are multi-generation events, with those at the greatest risk being the elderly with pre-existing conditions.
- Weddings draw people from a wide area.
- Both the wedding and reception were held indoors.
- Temperature checks that were taken at the site of the reception – the Big Moose Inn – may have provided a sense of false security. Many carrying the virus have no symptoms.
- Not everyone wore masks.
- Weddings and receptions go on for hours, increasing the odds of Covid-19 spread.
The outbreak apparently took the life of an elderly woman who came in contact with one of the people attending the wedding. Her husband, a World War II veteran, is now on oxygen.
The Maine tale illustrates the random nature of the virus and the reason why we see restrictive government orders on public gatherings.
It is true that dozens if not hundreds of weddings have been held in rural New England during the summer and similar cases have not cropped up.
In other words, you have a greater chance of getting killed or injured in a traffic accident on the way to the wedding.
For a business owner or pastor, the risk is greater. On the off chance that your church or restaurant is the scene of a super spread event, the damage is permanent.
It is doubtful we would be reading any of this if at least part of the event had been held outside and if more attendees had been wearing masks – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.