In general we refrain from observing fast days during the month of Nissan (S"A O"C 429:2). There are some exceptions, like a taanis chalom.

For a communal distress such as a deadly epidemic a communal fast day should be declared (S"A O"C 576:5).

Can such a fast day be declared during Nissan?

  • 3
    Mordechai certainly thought you could (Esther 4:16) – Double AA Mar 31 '20 at 21:15
  • 4
    See Shulchan Aruch OC 572 for the days that you legally can't declare a public fast day. Your source is mentioning a custom not to during nissan. The question becomes if the need to fast and cry out to God in a time of distress (a biblical commandment) outweighs said custom. – Double AA Mar 31 '20 at 21:17

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