This is how my more religious friend answered this question:At this point, we don't know how long it will take to get an effective treatment or a vaccine; even if there is a vaccine, nobody knows how much protection it will afford. On the one hand, that means we have to be cautious, open things up gradually and take reasonable precautions. On the other hand, it means that we have to figure out a way to live with this, and that means going beyond only opening up essential places. That's an appropriate step when things are only getting back to normal, but it leaves too many people without sources of income, social and spiritual support.
I'm not remotely religious, so I don't understand the need to pray at a synagogue, a church of a mosque. But clearly there are people for whom their religious traditions are very much important, and faith communities are also a source of social and emotional support (which many people desperately need these days). If it's done carefully, with a limited number of people present at any one time and best public health practices, opening religious institutions can probably be a net positive.
As I wrote, not every country can keep businesses and people financially afloat over an extended period of time. So you weigh the risk of allowing businesses to open, and in some places it is low enough that you can go ahead.
There isn't going to be a one-size fits all approach to dealing with CV at the country/regional level. If you look at the NYT link I posted about New Zealand, you can see that Jacinda Ardern isn't wearing a mask. Does anyone doubt that she's responsible and attentive to the public health concerns? What's right in New Zealand is different from what will work best for Israel, or Senegal, or Germany, or of course the US. And I think it's worth remembering that as we discuss things - yes, it's a global pandemlc affecting us all, but it's hitting different places in different ways, and that affects our perspectives.
”Praying from anywhere works. However, many of us find great comfort in worshipping with our fellow parishioners.
Also, the the sacrament of Holy Communion is a very important part of the Catholic Church. This sacrament is not done outside of mass“.
So it is important/essential for some people...