One Less Worry

The debate over masks rage on although both sides claim it’s scientifically settled … in their favor. I’ve seen convincing articles and persuasive videos from both perspectives, but I tend to lean toward my own sources; medical professionals and scientists in my circle of trusted friends. Almost all of them believe that masks offer some protection to others, are non-hazardous to the wearer and are generally a good idea if we’re in a pandemic. Ding! “Come out of your corners fighting!”

Now it’s the touchless thermometers. I saw a meme that said, “Don’t let them take your temperature at the grocery store. It erases your memory … I went in for milk and bread and came out with wine and chocolate.” That’s funny … but posts claiming touchless thermometers are harmful to humans are not. It’s never humorous when people spread fear and misinformation without checking their facts. You can trust me or not … but I personally understand (and have double-checked) the science on these devices. They may look like a gun, but emit nothing. Radiation is involved … but that radiation is coming from you. We all constantly emit heat in the form of infrared light. A small lens in the thermometer captures that invisible light and focuses it on a thermopile. That sensor converts the infrared radiation into electricity which is averaged to calculate your temperature. There are two real … but nominal risks with these thermometers:

1.) In an infectious situation, the person taking the temperature and the one whose temperature is being taken might stand too close to one another.

2.) These thermometers sometimes produce lower and less accurate temperatures than contact devices. This could miss a reading that would indicate that a person needs medical attention.


Please don’t add thermometers to your list of worries. Unless you’re so annoyed by them that you’re going to have a stroke … there’s no danger involved.

Please do be circumspect about what you share. What’s really at stake? Quickly sharing something (even out of concern) that is untrue makes you a party to the lie. Christians follow the God of truth and are called to be a people of truth. We cannot be careless …

Ps 15:1–3 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman …

Ephesians 4:25 Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Colossians 3:9–10 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Clarification: Some models of touchless thermometers have an incorporated visible-light laser for pinpointing the area to be measured. That laser could conceivably pose a risk if directed into the eyes, but these models are usually for industrial applications, are more expensive and are not widely used for checking human temperatures.