The popular film “Groundhog Day” added to our common vocabulary, with the words describing an unpleasant, repetitive and monotonous set of circumstances. Groundhog Day is a perfect description for Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 press conferences.
Today’s presser focused on scolding Virginians yet again for not caring enough to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Gov. Northam sounded the alarm! COVID-19 cases are climbing to 4,000 new cases a day. Today alone, VA recorded 54 new deaths. But for a man who always brags about following the science, Northam said nothing about what caused those deaths or from how many co-morbidities the deceased may have suffered.
Southwest Virginia was cited several times in particular for having a large number of cases. Why, we weren’t told. But we were told that all Virginians must live under the following new COVID-19 restrictions, beginning at 12:01 AM next Monday morning:
- There will be a “modified stay at home order,” meaning that people should stay at home from midnight until 5 AM every day, except to go to work. Northam calls this “plain common sense, ” and he cited his parents’ warning that, “Nothing good happens after midnight.”
- Social gatherings will be limited to 10 people.
- When you are indoors (presumably this doesn’t mean in your home, but who knows?) and can’t keep distances from other people, wear a mask.
- If you watch your children play soccer outdoors, but can’t stay 6’ apart, wear a mask.
- Indoor sports will be limited to 25 people/field. Outdoor sports will permit 2 guests /player.
- All restaurant employees must wear masks at all times. If you dine in a restaurant, you must wear a mask except when eating or drinking. All tables must be placed 6’ apart.
- Northam promised, “enforcement will be stepped up.” Although he failed to describe what that means, he claimed that enforcement, “is not about getting people in trouble, but about getting them to do the right thing.”
When it comes to schools and places of worship, the Governor treaded lightly, only fueling a sense of confusion. He said that his new orders “do not change anything about schools, colleges or universities,” which are allowed to use their discretion because “one size doesn’t fit all.” [So why is he treating the rest of Virginians with a one size fits all mandate? And I thought the Governor was concerned about college students spreading the virus.]
With regard to the faith community, the Governor recognized that this is a Holy season and typically a time of joy. “But this year, we need to think about this differently,” he warned. “God is everywhere, not confined to a building.” Clergy can be creative. A reporter asked why the Governor didn’t prescribe capacity limits for churches; was it because he feels restrained by a recent Supreme Court ruling against such limitations in NY? Northam didn’t directly answer the question, but did remind us that COVID-19 spreads when people leave a worship service and then go to work, the grocery or convenience store.
There was no discussion today about the science of COVID-19, who is most in danger of transmitting or catching the virus, or being hospitalized or dying from vs. with the disease. We are in the flu season, but there was no mention at all of the flu.
Northam did his very best to stoke fear. He played a video of a nurse in Southwest VA, who talked about patients in body bags, how people have contracted the virus at ballgames and at family gatherings. She concluded by pleading, “If you can stop one case [not hospitalization or death, mind you] by wearing a mask or staying at home, we can stop this.” Northam agreed – if each person can just stop one case, we’ll come out of this.
What happened to “two weeks to flatten the curve?” That was March. This is now.
Stoking more fear, Northam then showed a Facebook post by Hillsville Mayor Greg Crowder who battled COVID-19 and has since recovered. Northam quoted the mayor saying COVID “was absolutely awful. It tortures you. Respect the virus. Don’t fear it.”
Next, a little smirk came upon the Governor’s face. He had some positive news! The FDA is meeting today about the Pfizer vaccine, which, if approved, might become available in VA within 48 hours. Northam and his wife plan to get the vaccine; he did not say if they were considered essential personnel.
Always with his hand out, Northam admonished Congress to “put politics aside” and get money to the States before the holidays. Being the shameless hypocrite that he is, Ralph Northam then declared, “Our President has just checked out. He doesn’t say anything about the pandemic. We need leadership.” Throughout the ordeal of this past year, Ralph Northam has never missed an opportunity to disparage the President and his efforts to combat the China virus after it came to our shores. Northam is a consummate grifter.
As we head into a new year, do you wonder how long this nightmare will continue? According to our Governor, his new orders are “temporary through January 31, 2021. They’re not forever. It depends on what YOU do right now. Selfish people are making it difficult for everyone.”