Force Love Life Charlotte to cancel their Week 40 Prayer Walk to protect our community

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On Saturday, November 21st, the local organization Love Life is holding their biggest event of the year, the Love Life Week 40 Prayer Walk, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Love Life holds similar Prayer Walks each Saturday, which attract, on average, a few hundred people. They gather shoulder-to-shoulder around an outdoor stage and few, if any, wear masks. For the Week 40 Prayer Walk, Love Life says that they are expecting THOUSANDS of attendees, some traveling from other counties in North Carolina or South Carolina. Masks are NOT required, instead "available for those who would like them." 

I am calling for the forced cancellation of this event in order to protect the safety and health of our community and its citizens from a further worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

North Carolina is currently in Stage 3 of its COVID-19 restrictions. According to the North Carolina government website (nc.gov), "smaller outdoor entertainment venues, such as arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less." Though Love Life regularly violates this 100 guest rule, their Week 40 Prayer Walk is a blatant disregard of not only these restrictions, but the health and safety of the Charlotte community. 

The United States has seen almost 11,000,000 total cases and more than 245,000 total deaths (CDC). North Carolina has recorded almost 19,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 200 new deaths in the last seven days (CDC). Mecklenburg County has seen the worst of it, with more cases and deaths than any other county in North Carolina (NCDHHS); 38,526 and 417, respectively. 

Though NC Executive Order 169 exempts religious gatherings from the Stage 3 Requirements, this gathering takes place in extremely close proximity to a medical facility, where its employees, patients, and volunteers will be involuntarily put at risk by the irresponsibility of this group's actions. The event's attendees will go back home to their families, jobs, and communities and put additional unsuspecting people at risk. Because of the nature of this virus and its rapid, airborne, and often asymptomatic spread, this issue extends beyond First Amendment Rights, as it infringes on the health and safety of those around them. 

To our representatives, we ask you to help us in protecting Charlotte and putting the health of its citizens first. Thank you for your time and service to the city we call home. 

Picture courtesy of Grant Baldwin on behalf of QC Nerve.