Go Ahead and Celebrate Thanksgiving

Minnesota is one of a number of states that are living under what amounts to martial law. Our proto-fascist dictator Tim Walz, in his latest edict, purports to ban traditional Thanksgiving get-togethers:

Saturday, Nov. 21 through Friday, Dec. 18, Executive Order 20-99 requires all Minnesotans to:

* Limit social gatherings to one household.
* Not gather outside of your household.
* Postpone all celebrations, events, receptions, and parties, including any social gatherings for weddings and funerals.

So it is “illegal” for me to invite any of my four kids to Thanksgiving dinner. Better send the heat, Timmy, because I have no intention of complying with your grotesque order.

For a while, Governor Walz told us he was “following the science,” and his dictatorial orders were required by “the data.” That pretense has been abandoned, as Scott reported, with Walz now saying, pathetically: “It’s not about numbers. It’s not about data. It’s about neighborliness.”

So one naturally wonders: is there any rational basis for Walz, and like-minded governors, to purport to ban Thanksgiving dinners? My colleague John Phelan says there is not. Let’s start with a dose of reality:

Minnesotans have been very poorly served by their media during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, we get a constant stream of stories about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which led to four hospitalizations and one death in Minnesota, but an almost total silence on the failure of the state government to protect Minnesota’s care homes, where 71% of Minnesota’s Covid-19 deaths have occurred.

How about having guests for Thanksgiving? John Phelan quotes the New York Times:

[A]re dinners and backyard barbecues really the engine driving the current surge of infections? The available data do not support that contention, scientists say.
In Colorado, only 81 active cases are attributed to social gatherings, compared with more than 4,000 from correctional centers and jails, 3,300 from colleges and universities, nearly 2,400 from assisted living facilities, and 450 from restaurants, bars, casinos and bowling alleys.

In Louisiana, social events account for just 1.7% of the 3,300 cases for which the state has clear exposure information.

Here in Minnesota, we have no idea where COVID infections are coming from. Phelan notes that the state’s Department of Health admits that it can identify no source for 69% of cases. Back to the New York Times:

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of banning people from different households from meeting indoors or outdoors, even though evidence has consistently shown the outdoors to be relatively safe.

But the executive order allows places of worship, funeral homes and wedding venues — while they are encouraged to hold virtual events — to host as many as 250 people indoors.
These recommendations are unscientific and “bizarre,” said Ashleigh Tuite, an infectious disease modeler at the University of Toronto.

Unscientific and bizarre. That sums up the approach to COVID taken by Tim Walz and a number of other governors. When a far-left governor has lost the New York Times, it might be time for a new approach.

Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving! And don’t let the proto-fascists intimidate you into uninviting your family.

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