‘You can’t hide in your house:’ Churches finding ways to minimize coronavirus fears for fish fry patrons

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Yvonne Lewandowski

WHITEFISH BAY -- Holy Family is one parish that will be giving communion a little differently this Sunday. It also had extra hand sanitizer on hand for its fish fry Friday night.

"We all know fish fries are huge, very popular in Milwaukee," said Yvonne Lewandowski, a volunteer coordinator.

Concerns over the coronavirus and the flu did not keep the usual crowds from attending neighborhood fish fries.

Annette Lucchesi

"It doesn't matter, they still want to come together as a community," said Annette Lucchesi, co-coordinator of the Catholic East fish fry.

Several, fish fry providers in the Milwaukee area took extra precautions.

"We used to have more of a family-style, where you had ketchup and tartar sauce in bowls," Lucchesi said. "We've gone to containers now to try to keep things a little more sanitary and safe for everyone."

Sunday mass may have some changes, too. Leaders at Holy Family in Whitefish Bay said it, and several other parishes, made the decision Friday not to offer wine for communion because of the risk of picking up germs. Still, the parish is not anticipating parishioners will stay home.

"We're doing everything we can, but you can't hide in your house. You can't let that fear overtake you and this is a fabulous way to be out," Lewandowski said.

The line at Holy Rosary church in Milwaukee was out the door.

"We've been doing this fish fry for 38 years," said Lewandowski.

Holy Rosary church, too, is putting safety and hygiene first.

"We've changed things around knowing what's going on, so we have as many things in squeeze bottles and our kids know they have to wash their hands, and we have plenty of gloves," Lewandowski said.

The important thing to remember is if you feel sick and are showing signs and symptoms, stay home. Doctors say that is the best way to help limit the spread of germs.

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