Dr. Rachel Levine and Governor Tom Wolf announced on Monday that bars and restaurants were suspended from selling alcohol for just one night only, Thanksgiving Eve, in the state of Pennsylvania. This order is supposed to mitigate the spread of potential cases of COVID-19 that occur with the gathering of large crowds. What it really does is cause a headache for restaurant owners and baffle the constituency.
I guess that Dr. Levine and Governor Wolf didn’t realize that people will always find a way around what they’re told by the government. What do I mean by this? Well, people will just drink at home and if they don’t have enough alcohol, they will go to the Wine and Spirits store to obtain it. More than likely, everyone else will have that same thought. If masses of people rush to the Wine and Spirits store between Thanksgiving Eve and the day before that, it will create crowds, thus eliminating the ability to remain socially distant and possibly causing outbreaks. Seems a little counterproductive, don’t you think?
I understand that bars and restaurants will not have as many patrons to begin with because of the threat of COVID-19 so they will lose business anyway. However, this silly order will cause them to lose more business unless they have a great way to figure out a take-out or outdoor dining special. Businesses are already suffering as it is and it only seems like it’s going to get worse.
It confuses me that the communication of this order did not include guidance on alternatives for bars and restaurants. Pennsylvania legalized the ability for bars and restaurants to do take-out cocktails back in May when the number of cases were great. We have had exponentially more cases this month since the start of the pandemic and the government can’t provide a suggestion or work-around for these businesses. If you are part of the party of the working man, Governor Wolf, can’t you have more regard for them?
Look, I want out of this pandemic and want this virus eradicated sooner than later as much as the next person. It is important that we do what we need to as a people to help stop the spread and make choices, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, to hopefully prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19. If the government is going to put an order in place, at least have it make sense.
I feel like this order feeds into the narrative that the right has been making about the Wolf Administration; the reason that Governor Wolf and Dr. Levine are putting this into place and continuing to put orders out there is because of a power grab. I understand it’s your second term and by law, you can’t be elected after this, but at least try to gain trust in our constituents, especially during a pandemic. If the communication strategy didn’t sound like “Because I said so” and instead explained the why, like so many of the governors of states that surround us (ahem…Governor Murphy…ahem), Pennsylvania could be in a much better spot with the number of cases and with their mitigation efforts.
Let me pour myself a glass of rose and explain something to you, Governor Wolf and Dr. Levine: communication is key. It’s as simple as a glass of wine.
(Picture Courtesy of Fitness by Patty)