It’s called the new-normal, but normal has nothing to do with it…
Rulings come left and right, changing repeatedly and inconsistently as columnist Byron York noted in a recent commentary, saying: “As the country struggles to vanquish coronavirus, Americans are witnessing a bizarre phenomenon in which some authorities tolerate and even praise highly politicized mass gatherings while, at the same time, suppress small activities—like taking children to a playground—that are important to quality of life.”
Such certainly was the case here in Pennsylvania when Governor Wolfe joined a mass protest on June 5, breaking his own “yellow” rules.
You see, at the starting gate, he went with color-coded COVID orders: red to yellow to green, and yellow, though it came with a bit of breathing room maintained ongoing stay put, masked requirements.
Now the commonwealth is anticipating going all-in “green” on the 26th, meaning a further loosening of the rules, but nothing normal about them:
Gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited.
Masks are required when entering businesses.
Restaurant and bar occupancy is limited to 50%.
Ditto for all entertainment, such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls.
Ditto for hair salons, barber shops, plus by appointment only.
Ditto for indoor recreation, health & fitness centers, and such personal care services as gyms and spas, with appointments strongly encouraged.
They all still come with X’s marking the spot to maintain 6-foot social distancing, along with arrows indicating where to wait in line. Also on Wolfe’s “green” list:
Teleworking is still strongly advised.
Reopening businesses must follow “updated business & building safety requirements.”
Already opened businesses can go from 50% to 75% occupancy.
Guidance compliance is required for childcare establishments.
Schools must continue following CDC and Commonwealth guidelines.
Meanwhile, YouGov finds that 43% of us believe the handshake is doomed going forward, and, according to a University of Chicago/NORC study, just 14% of Americans are “very happy.”