Listening to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and his team announce Walz’s eagerly anticipated but extremely disappointing new edict on bars and restaurants at his press briefing yesterday (video below), I had the thought that we have reached the San Marcos phase of emergency rule as depicted in Woody Allen’s Bananas. “Hear me! I am your new president. From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish,” the power-crazed revolutionary president of San Marcos declares. “In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check.”
Churches remain subject to the facially unconstitutional provisions of Executive Order 20-56, paragraph 6(c). Thus the resistance from Minnesota’s Catholic bishops and Lutheran leaders on the continuing restrictions placed on church worship. See the letters of the Catholic bishops here and the Lutheran leaders here.
One can hear echoes of San Marcos in yesterday’s briefing as related by MinnPost’s Walker Orenstein in “What to know about Minnesota’s latest guidelines for reopening bars, restaurants and salons.” Orenstein takes up the issue of religious worship:
In [future] Phase 3, outdoor religious services with up to 100 people will be allowed if everyone involved wears masks and can maintain 6 feet of social distancing. (Until Phase 3, people can gather in groups of 10 or fewer indoors or outdoors for religious services.) [Steve] Grove, the DEED commissioner, said there will be even more restrictions, including on singing.
Grove said singing is “one of the worst things you can do,” because it can project infectious particles further into the air than talking.
Mark that down: “Singing is one of the worst things you can do” (at about 25:00 of the video). There is no singing, no singing in the archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Paul (capacity 3,000). It’s “based on the science.”
Walz had no good answer to the question about the disparate treatment of church services (at about 40:00 of the video): “I will acknowledge the logic of the arguments is sound.”
Thank you, kind sir. Now will you please remove your boot from our necks?
The authorities attributed 29 new deaths to COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 717. Reminder: Minnesota Model 3.0 — released last week — projected 1,441 deaths by the end of May.
The age breakdown of new decedents followed the pattern. Two were in their 100’s, 7 were in their 90’s, 8 were in their 80’s, five were in their 70’s, five were in their 60’s, one was in his 50’s, and one was in his 40’s.
You wouldn’t know it from yesterday’s briefing, but 26 of the 29 new deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities, bringing the total to 635. Nursing home/LTC deaths now approach 82 percent of all deaths attributed to COVID-19. We’re number 1!