Roach: Will COVID-19 be an uninvited wedding guest?

Well, didn’t the Roach clan pick an interesting time to plan a wedding?
little coronavirus symbols around an August calendar month

Well, didn’t the Roach clan pick an interesting time to plan a wedding?

It seems our daughter, Maggie, has fallen in love with an Irish lad named Bryan, a strapping soccer player from Long Island.

This would require his large family and their friends to make their way from New York to Madison in August to gather with our large family and friends so that we may all bid the young couple a lifetime of happiness.

But there is an issue.

Added to the usual logistics of fitting a wedding dress, booking a church, reserving hotel rooms, hiring a DJ, ordering flowers and determining whether to offer salmon or chicken as alternatives to steak, there is a new consideration to ponder: Will COVID-19 be an uninvited guest at Maggie and Bryan’s celebration?

Ours is not the only family struggling with this bastard of an interloper. Already high school and college graduation ceremonies have been canceled because of the invisible thug lurking in our communities. Countless spring weddings have been postponed or radically altered to be executed at a distance of six feet or more, which sounds like the antithesis of a celebration.

So now Maggie and Bryan have to decide if family and friends should congregate on the second weekend of August to honor their decision to become wife and husband.

Throughout our nation, there are varying views of how to make this decision.

As advocated by some recently deceased Southern preachers, the bride and groom could trust in Jesus, hoping that all of their guests would be protected by his mercy ­— that common methods of viral transmission would be temporarily suspended by divine intervention specifically for their wedding. Or they could simply place fate in God’s wise hands, and if it is time for some older aunts, uncles and parents to die from the coronavirus, well … then that is what God wants for Maggie and Bryan.

Hopefully, that won’t be the couple’s plan since God, or whatever higher power is at work, if any, gave them a brain.

Perhaps the president of our great nation can provide guidance on the wedding date. At various times the leader of the free world has told us that the virus was under control, that it would go away, that things would be safe by Easter, or that we could dose wedding guests with hydroxychloroquine and rinse their lungs with Lysol while bombarding them with ultraviolet lights at the church door. In any case, the wedding would Liberate Madison.

It’s not my call, but I hope Maggie and Bryan ignore him.

There is also no shortage of conspiracy theories to take into account. I mean, why plan a wedding at all if the Chinese plotted to create a virus specifically to stop the ceremony? Or maybe it was the Dems. Or Bill Gates. Or Hillary. Or Obama. Or Tony Fauci. Or Oprah. The head spins.

I assume the wedding couple will ignore these theories because, as best as I can tell, neither of them is that gullible.

An August wedding would be great for the local economy, except I assume Maggie and Bryan want everyone working the wedding to be safe, too.

In the end, it comes down to the wishes of this young couple. Rather than let Jesus, a president, conspiracists or economic pressure make the decision, it is my hope that they look to the facts. Facts informed not by amateurs but by virologists, epidemiologists and public health officials.

August is the warmest and sunniest month in Madison. Let’s hope that the virus is repelled by both the heat and light of our sun. Then maybe the wedding can go on as planned.

But if it doesn’t, the father of the bride hopes that Maggie and Bryan know that the most important thing isn’t a virus, but rather that they met and fell in love and that there are a lot of us standing by to help them celebrate that fact on any date they choose.

No matter where, no matter when, all of us are going to dance and sing and laugh and hug and shed a tear in their honor.

And no virus will stand in our way.

John Roach, a Madison-based television producer, writes this column monthly. Reach him at