Shortly before the consecration on Sunday, the priest had a fit of coughing, and coughed into his right hand. What should he have done? I was worried about the transmission of germs, and did not go to communion.
That’s your choice. That’s an option.
You are not obliged to receive Communion at every Mass. You are obliged to confess all your mortal sins in kind and number and receive Communion once a year.
As far as priests are concerned… priests, like human beings… no, wait!… they are human beings, sometimes do things like this, cover with the hand when coughing, unconsciously. I supposed he could have turned his head hard about over this shoulder, or turned away from the altar and then coughed with out covering up. Good heavens. What could he have done? What can you do when your hands are occupied with something. Say you are involved in food preparation or serving and you are holding the Christmas goose on a platter – in both hands with hot pads – and leaning in so people can help themselves. Coughs and sneezes can sneak up, right?
Father, however, can’t just leave the sanctuary and go wash his hands. It could be helpful to have some kind of hand purifier around – yes, even at the altar. I have done that before, even when I had a cough but knew I wasn’t contagious.
On the other hand, and allow me to think out of the box for a moment, would it be possible these days for this to take place? Father comes out of the sacristy and says, “Folks, I am really ill today. I think I am contagious. I will say Mass, but no qualified ministers of Communion present. I won’t be distributing Holy Communion. FYI”, and then see the congregation not freak out?
In any event, if you don’t want to go to Communion because Father coughed, fine! Good choice!