Image Credits: APN News (edited)
Health officials announce COVID ‘beard ban’ for religious leaders once services resume
MELBOURNE, VIC – The Victorian Health Authority have announced that a ‘beard ban’ will be in effect for religious services when restrictions are lifted.
Hospitals have already made ‘beard bans’ a requirement among health workers, and are now expanding the restriction to category 1 workers involved in places of worship – which include all religious leaders.
The announcement came in the midst of police breaking up a Jewish New Year festival in Melbourne.
“The Jewish incident reminded us that it is not just large gatherings that are the problem, but also large, virus spreading facial hair,” a health spokesperson said.
“Our studies have shown that beards are, without a doubt, the most infectious and dangerous feature for spreading of COVID.”
“Let’s be clear – beards capture masses of saliva, shed all over the place, and you can’t even cover them properly with a mask.”
“Therefore, if any religious community wishes to meet again any time in the future, then the shaving off of all beards will be a strict health requirement.”
Many religious leaders expressed outrage at the news, indicating that beards were an important part of the practice of their faith.
“Jewish beard culture is literally thousands of years old. Moses had a beard. King David had a beard, How can they dare ask us to remove our bushy channels of divinity?” cried Chief Rabbi Raymond Apple
“How am I supposed to illustrate the harmony expressed in Psalm 133 without being able to drip oil from my beard like Aaron?” Coptic orthodox leader, Bishop Suriel, exclaimed.
“Beards give credibility. Beards give gravitas. There is no way we are going to be able to be effective cultural gospel communicators looking like clean-shaven bank managers,” roared Pastor Stephen McAlpine
It is further reported that the Government is hoping to run a community awareness campaign promoting beardless religious practice, which will include artistic depictions of Jesus, Mohammad and Abraham all clean shaven and COVID safe.
They have indicated however that any depictions of Karl Marx without a beard will be banned, as his beard is just too sacred for the Victorian Government.