COVID-19 Opinion

Don’t Be Intimidated by Newsom’s COVID-19 Holiday Guidelines

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Elliott.

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Don’t feel pressured to follow California’s COVID-19 holiday guidelines — chances are your local leaders won’t be. With the holidays fast approaching and governors rolling out a laundry list of rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing just how far leaders are willing to stretch their power in times of widespread panic. 

In the latest set of rules Governor Gavin Newsom established in California, elderly family members are discouraged from attending holiday gatherings. Additionally, everyone must wear a mask, maintain social distancing and gathering more than three households at a time is strictly prohibited. While I don’t think these guidelines will actually be enforced, I think it is ridiculous that people find it acceptable to let the government decide how they’re allowed to gather in their own homes. If people want to put themselves at risk and gather in large groups in their private residence, then the government has no business telling them they can’t. 

There is a difference between educating people about the coronavirus and controlling people to submit their daily life to the will of authorities. No virus or pathogen should dictate the government’s say in our lives. Health is an individual responsibility. It is beyond human means to truly control an unseen, microscopic world. 

One of the most common arguments supporting “Lord” Newsom’s coronavirus dictatorship is that following guidelines will keep at-risk and elderly populations safe. The problem with this argument is that the coronavirus is not the only pathogen on the face of the planet, and it is far from the most deadly. The reality is elderly and at-risk individuals had compromised immune systems before the pandemic and they had to watch their exposure to germs long before COVID-19. I’m not saying this to sound harsh or critical of those taking extra precautions on behalf of loved ones with compromised immunity, but I am challenging the notion that other people’s health have somehow become my responsibility over the course of this pandemic. 

The other delusion throughout this pandemic is the notion that we can actually control the spread of a virus that’s invisible to the naked eye. Remember when it was just “14 days to slow the spread”? Look where that got us: an entire year of lockdowns and social restrictions resulting in increased domestic abuse, business closures and spikes in mental health issues, including ideation of suicide, according to the CDC

Each of these pandemics within the pandemic could be an article of its own, but it goes to show the length at which local leaders have gone to stop the spread of the coronavirus in vain, making the resolution to the problem greater than the problem itself. Had it been possible to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we could all be back to our normal lives after the first couple of months.

While scientists keep telling us how dangerous a virus with a 98% survival rate is (and we’re seeing lower mortality rates as time goes on, even among the elderly), they’ve failed to actually give us a fool-proof way of stopping COVID-19 for good. That’s not their fault, but it shows that whether people follow the rules or not, the virus still finds a way to spread. If you truly want to stop the spread, you’ll have to store months worth of food and hunker down in your room with no outside contact until the pandemic is over.

The final reason I think these coronavirus restrictions are a complete joke is the clear hypocrisy in leadership throughout the pandemic. Most recently, a photo of “Lord” Newsom was leaked of him at a dinner with others in Hawaii. Before the photo was leaked, “Lord” Newsom said they ate outside, but the pictures clearly show him maskless, not socially distanced and dining inside. This means he also violated his own travel guidelines, which strongly discourage flying to different states and countries. 

As long as “Lord” Newsom thinks his own rules aren’t worth following and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get her hair done and Senator Dianne Feinstein can walk around Capitol Hill maskless, it won’t take a genius to realize these restrictions are just a powerplay to incite fear and control the masses.

Written By: Jen Pfeiler