As COVID-19 continues its surge with growing intensity, some state health departments are wanting to haphazardly instigate the same rules and plans that failed the first time out. Despite what these state agencies thought, and still do, they’re pushing ahead with what hasn’t spared one person from gasping for air on a ventilator.
As but one example of pure idiocy, these agencies have issued a holiday suggestion, verging on the edge of a mandate, to limit gatherings to no more than ten people. Okay. This makes a bit of sense. Not so bad. But this is not where the idiocy comes into play.
At these gatherings, masks should be worn up until the time all ten guests are sitting shoulder to shoulder at the same dinner table passing ’round the mashed ‘taters, farting, laughing, and belching germs. Especially Aunt Louise. Once the turkey is reduced to a bare-boned carcass, put those things right back on. Okay. Now they’re being ignorant, or stupid if you prefer.
But one state, in particular, is rising up in unity against what they’re now being commanded to do. The residents of Ohio are saying “enough is enough,” and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is commanding the troops in their descent against the state trying to limit their individual rights to pursue life, liberty, happiness, and getting appropriately hitched.
The Ohio Department of Health has mandated that all gatherings, including weddings, wedding receptions, and any and all banquet hall events, must adhere to an excessively stringent list of new guidelines.
At weddings, there is to be no socializing in open community areas such as lobbies, mask, or no mask. Forget about the expense of a D.J. or a wedding band. There shall be no dancing of any type. Self-serve bars are not permitted and forget about having to stand in the buffet line for those little shrimp because you can’t do that either.
For eating and drinking purposes, masks may be removed so the limited number of no more than ten guests per table, provided they all happen to reside in the same household, can breathe in the same recycled air as everyone else in attendance.
Jordan wrote in a tweet, “Want to get married in Ohio? Here are the new rules: -You can drive your friends to the wedding, but don’t sit with them at the reception. -You can throw the bouquet but don’t leave your seat to catch it. -You can have a drink while sitting, but not standing. What a joke.”
Here is the kicker. The over-the-top mandate does not restrict religious observances, any activity by the media, speech protected by the First Amendment, or anyone pushing a petition in your face or handing out flyers. For these people and things, life has not, and will not change.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement, “Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals.”
DeWine recently added a series of restrictions and guidelines to his previous mask order and he’s deploying big brother to ensure obedience. Agents with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensations will inspect businesses to enforce compliance.
Ultimately, each business will bear the responsibility of making sure customers and employees wear face coverings. They will also bear the responsibility for any violation discovered, including unruly customers who refuse to comply.
Just to show he isn’t fooling around, DeWine tweeted this. “We are reissuing Ohio’s mask order w/ three new provisions. The first violation of this order will bring about a written warning and a second violation will bring about closure of the store for up to 24 hours.”
Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio., hit the ceiling over the new measures, especially the ones ruining weddings throughout the state, and he railed against an ”unchecked executive authority.” “This is crazy what’s going on in our state and in our country this year,” he said.
Gabbi Atwell who up until now had planned on her marrying her fiancee in Dayton later this year had the following to say. “What’s a wedding without a dance party? I think that it’s really hard to be a bride right now. We’re talking about the guilt of holding a wedding and putting the people that I genuinely care the most about and I hold closest to my heart in danger.”
“I think it’s really difficult to make a decision thinking about them and not wanting to have any reason to put them in harm’s way and at the same time, of course wanting them to celebrate one of the happiest days of our lives. I don’t know. I struggle with that question myself,” she added.
Jim Jordan will no doubt continue his fight to overturn these silly rules, but in the meantime, if you live in Ohio and you’re planning on getting married any time soon, you might want to postpone your big day for a while.