Things That Matter

This Priest Went Viral After He Used A Squirt Gun To Bless Churchgoers With Holy Water And We Can See Why

Social distancing is at the top of pretty much everyone’s minds – especially as communities start to slowly reopen businesses and more people start to venture out from their homes. If you’re going out – wear your mask and maintain your sana distancia.

Although there’s so many stories of churches ignoring social distancing orders, there’s finally one of a Michigan priest who made sure his congregation followed the health requirements with a drive-thru service.

The Detroit-area priest decided to use a squirt gun to bless his congregation with holy water.

In Detroit, a region of the country that has been hit really bard by the Coronavirus, a Catholic priest was following social distancing measures when he held a drive-thru mass for Easter. He took the order so serious that he decided to bless his churchgoers with a squirt gun armed with holy water. We’re serious. This actually happened and to be honest, I’m kinda here for it.

Timothy Pelc is a reverend at the St. Ambrose Church outside Detroit and decided to move forward with an Easter mass but took the necessary precautions to protect his congregation. As each car approached him, he’d shoot holy water into the car at each person who wanted it. For his own protection, Rev. Pelc wore a mask, face shield, and rubber gloves as further precautions against the Coronavirus.

The photos of the priest were taken at Easter but have recently gone viral and have inspired memes online.

One of the church’s parishioners, Larry Peplin, had taken the original photos and they were first posted to Facebook in April by the St. Ambrose Parish. But recently, they’ve gone viral – even getting hits in Ukraine, Colombia, and all the way to the Vatican. The photos even sparked a Reddit Photoshop battle. Peak 2020.

The original idea was to do something for the kids of the parish,” Pelc told BuzzFeed News. “They were about ready to have an Easter unlike any of their past, so I thought, What can we still do that would observe all the protocols of social distancing?

He said, ‘Not only is this safe, this is fun,’ and he came with his kids,” Pelc said. “He provided me with all the personal protection stuff that I needed. The sun was out. We had a nice turnout. It was a way of continuing an ancient custom, and people seemed to enjoy it.”

One meme in particular got Rev. Pelc’s interest.

In his interview with Buzzfeed News, Rev. Pelc said ”I’m not objecting to it — this whole idea of combating evil is a good one. When Jesus dies, he doesn’t just lay around doing nothing. He goes down to hell and kicks the doors in. He really wrestles with evil. We all want to believe that the devil is not the most powerful force on the earth and neither is COVID-19.”

Pelc told BuzzFeed News that he was a little concerned about how the Vatican might react when the photos of him squirting holy water began circulating widely on the internet. But, he said, “I haven’t heard anything yet.”

Pulp Fiction anyone?

Credit: UEzo_NL / Reddit

OMG as a huge Pulp Fiction fan this is too good.

Michigan has been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The church and surrounding communities have taken the pandemic seriously. Parishioners have tied blue ribbons on trees at the church for each person who has died of COVID-19 in Michigan. That number is now approaching 5,000. And Detroit’s largely Africa-American population has faced a shortage of medical supplies and PPE that have led to a very high per capita incidence rate of Covid-19.

Rev. Pelc says he would like to start regular services again next Sunday but that many people are just too afraid to venture out.

Michigan has also been hit hard with armed protesters who are upset at the state’s stay-at-home orders and precautions. They’ve stormed the state capitol and demanded Gov. Witmer relax the orders. But according to Pelc, they do not reflect the mood in his community.

He told BuzzFeed he had hoped to begin holding in-person masses next Sunday but was struggling to find churchgoers to help him stage the socially distanced services.

“People are saying they don’t want to come out just yet,” Pelc said. “There’s still a lot of fear out there and I don’t blame them.”

White Teens Are Mocking The George Floyd Killing On Social Media And This Is Why We Need #BlackLivesMatter

Things That Matter

White Teens Are Mocking The George Floyd Killing On Social Media And This Is Why We Need #BlackLivesMatter

John Minchillo / Getty

As protests and marches take place across the country in a fight for justice and to defend Black lives, some racist teens are instead taking to social media to mock George Floyd’s death.

A Change.org petition has been created demanding social media platforms take down the content, in it there are graphic photos. In each, two white guys mugged for the camera, as one knelt on the other’s neck—both mocking the murder of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis cop knelt on his windpipe for eight minutes and 46 seconds. 

Examples of the George Floyd ‘Challenge’ photos are in this story below. Please note that these photos are disturbing.

There’s a disturbing new challenge mocking the death of George Floyd that’s making the rounds on social media.

In one of the most twisted social media “challenges” to have ever surfaced is the so-called ‘George Floyd Challenge.’ In response to Floyd’s death, some people have started posting photos and videos of themselves kneeling on a friend’s neck, saying it was part of the challenge.

Although most social media platforms have stated to take action and have banned the hashtag, screenshots of the images are still being shared widely on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s worth noting that most of the related posts are actually people criticizing the trend and denouncing those who participated – but the fact that a social media trend like this would take root after such an immense tragedy at all is further proof of why we need #BlackLivesMatter.

There’s currently a Change.org petition circulating as well, urging social media platforms to remove all related content from their sites.

A petition posted to Change.org has already passed its goal of 5,000 signatures. The new goal is now 7,500. It demands that social media platforms taken action to remove any related posts.

“There is a challenge currently ‘popular’ on the app TikTok,” the petition claimed. “It’s called the ‘George Floyd challenge’. It shows teens (white teens) kneeling on the neck of another teen and with a big smile on their face. This is a racist, inhumane challenge and needs to be deleted from TikTok IMMEDIATELY!!!”

The “challenge” has made it as far as the UK, where people have been arrested for participating.

All the way on the other side of the Atlantic, teens in the UK were also accused of participating. Two white teens were arrested by police in northern England after their ‘George Floyd Challenge’ picture started circulating on Facebook and Twitter, according to The Tab.

They were arrested on suspicion of causing anxiety and distress, and the incident is being treated as a hate crime, the news site reported. Both suspects have since been released on bail. 

Police there said in a statement, “We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.” 

Although it seems that so far the challenge is only being attempted by a few racist young adults, this shouldn’t be happening at all.

George Floyd was murdered by a police officer who had a history of brutality. His death has inspired a nationwide movement of justice and accountability. Yet some racists have hijacked his death for their own disgusting need to be seen and relevant.

This so-called challenge didn’t emerge out of thin air. The cropped illustration in the Change.org petition, among the most widely-shared graphics of the challenge, features photos of four Challenge attempts. There are at least four more documented instances, including three photos and a grotesque video. An eighth picture, featuring two white teens laughing in a bunk bed, is also frequently found in posts about the challenge. The latter image is wildly racist (the caption reads: “if we kept them as slaves this would of never happened”), but does not mention or depict the “George Floyd challenge.” 

It looks like the meme’s origins date back at least to May 27th, when a Washington wrestling coach named Dave Hollenbeck posted an image mocking Floyd’s death on Facebook. The image shows Hollenbeck facedown, with a knee in his back, which he claimed was intended as a “defense” of police officers. He was fired from the Bethel School District the next day. The coach did not call his stunt the “George Floyd challenge,” or connect it to any broader trend.

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Things That Matter

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Kathleen Demayo / Getty Stock

A recent survey shows that thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown. As someone who has gone from working in a social, fun-filled, compassionate office space, I can consider myself part of that 35%.

Although working from home (for those privileged enough to do so) is a necessity for our safety and that of the community – it definitely presents some unique challenges.

Yes, the benefits are many: avoiding transit problems and the stress of commuting; sidestepping office politics; adopting a flexible schedule that allows for chores and errands to be incorporated into the work day; more time with family and pets; and a break on keeping up a business wardrobe and other appearance-related expenses.

But there’s a dark side. It’s an arrangement that fosters isolation and disconnection, two conditions that feed the greedy depression monster.

Here are some excellent tips for taking care of your mental health during these unprecedented times.

Break up your workday

Credit: youmatter / Instagram

Some common challenges when working from home during the pandemic is the lack of stimulation and connection to people you used to see regularly. This can become a bit confusing, so it’s great to try to break up the schedule.

One of the best tips for working from home that I’ve discovered is breaking up the work day with movement. This can be a quick burst of movement (like jumping jacks, or lifting kettle bells) or some lower impact movement like a walk. I’m also a huge fan of taking a mid-afternoon break (longer than your typical 30-minute lunch break) to go on a long walk or run errands.

Get a routine and stick to it

Routine is essential, and it’s even more important when structure is missing.

Sticking to a routine does not mean that you have to abide by the old standard 9-5 office hours, and only take downtime in the evening. It simply means that you have a system for waking up on time, getting ready, feeling confident and getting your work done in a timely manner. 

When you do this regularly enough, it will feel more natural over time, and you won’t have to think about it so much. For me, this has meant taking my dogs out on a walk to get a coffee in the morning and then coming home and getting to work – it’s like creating my own little commute.

Stay connected

Credit: Unsplash

Remember to keep up with friends and family, even if that can only be done through a Zoom or FaceTime call. Text someone you care about, and when restrictions are lifted in your area, try to make plans as regularly as you feel comfortable.

Connection is key, and it can be challenging when you don’t leave your home for long stretches of time.

It’s also helpful to join platforms of people doing similar work as you and interacting with them throughout the day. Or you can join an online book club or participate in volunteer work – having this sort of obligation will go a long way in helping you show up when you don’t feel great.

Incorporate wellness activities into your day

Credit: BeLatina / Instagram

One of the biggest perks of working from home is that you get to do things you might not be able to if you’re in an office all day.

I’ve been doing 20 minute walks around my neighborhood while listening to music. This moves the energy in the body and allow us to to have a shift in consciousness, which is so important when you’ve been isolated in front of a computer screen.

Another way to experience new energy in the body is to pause from work, find a comfortable place to sit, and then do deep belly breaths. This involves taking one deep breath in, and then focus on the exhale. You’ll notice your shoulders will relax, and your body will feel lighter.

Learn how to detach

Credit: Unsplash

It’s so important when working from home that you keep your work and personal lives and actual physical areas totally separate. For many, it may not be possible to create an actual separate office space but you can create workspaces outside of your most “lived in” spaces. That’s what matters most.

There is a risk that working hours will get longer if the boundaries between work and personal life become blurred. It is necessary to establish a rigid system in which work can be carried out in a planned manner, such as by setting working hours and the timing of contact with supervisors.

No matter what you do, remember that working from home is yet another “new normal” to get used to — and the sooner you adapt to what makes you most productive, healthy, and mentally well, the better.