With COVID-19 still a threat and the second wave of it hitting the nation, pandemic restrictions that were once loosened have begun to tighten their grip again. However, not all states are very realistic in their rules, and guidelines meant to stop the spread.
Take Michigan, for example, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer has taken an authoritarian view of her role since nearly the beginning of the outbreak.
Like most states, mask mandates, size limits to gatherings, and social distancing measures were put in place. But, in addition, Whitmer required the closing of home improvement stores, outdoor gardening nurseries, and even the forbidding to travel to personal vacation properties within the state.
Naturally, as the virus became less of a threat and seemed to wan, Michigan’s citizens and courts demanded some of Whitmer’s draconian mandates be lifted. And after being taken to court on the matter several times, they finally were.
But with a second wave coming on, Whitmer has once again felt the need to become tyrannical, as if her citizens are too stupid to figure out to keep themselves safe.
Topping the list of the most ridiculous requirements is one that now states that restaurants and bars must take down the full name and numbers of each diner who darkens their doors.
According to the release from the Michigan Department of Health and Huma Services, “Like many other businesses in Michigan, bars and restaurants will also be required to take names and contact information to support effective contract tracing if necessary.”
Whitmer’s DHHS’s reasoning is quite simple.
“Michigan presently has 172 cases per million people and positivity of tests has increased from about 2% to 5.5% and both indicators have been increasing for over four weeks. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have doubled over the last three weeks while the state death rate has increased for five consecutive weeks.”
However, we aren’t quite sure this is the real reason.
As I mentioned above, this is not the first time Whitmer and her left-leaning staff have devised rules that nearly imprison the state’s citizens and rob them of their rights. If it had been, we might be more willing to give her a pass.
I mean, when even the state’s Supreme Court has to get involved in limiting her “emergency” powers, you know a line has been crossed. And in Whitmer’s case, several of them.
Of course, this invasion of personal privacy, which went into effect on Monday, isn’t the only order being put in place.
In addition, the release states that gathering sizes will be limited even further, as will party sizes in restaurants.
“As part of the newly extended orders, MDHHS today reduces from 500 persons to 50 persons the maximum gathering size for indoor gatherings such as weddings, parties, and banquets which occur in nonresidential settings without fixed seating. For bars, restaurants, and social events outside private homes, indoor party sizes at a single table are now restricted to six people.”
Naturally, the public is none too happy about these changes, and neither are those in the foodservice industry.
According to WXMI-TV, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis thinks the new orders are a bit frivolous, to say the least. He says, “Our front-line servers have already had trouble dealing with masks and mandates and mandating masks. We did de-escalation training and all kinds of other things to help with that and now we’re taking it to the next level. We have to gather someone’s personal information?”
But the state is making it clear that if the orders are not implemented, there will be consequences.
Per Whitmer’s release, “Violations are punishable by a civil fine up to $1,000 and may also be treated as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than $200, or both. In addition, failure to comply with orders may violate a business or professional’s licensure requirements or present a workplace safety violation.”
Talk about authoritarianism! Basically, if you refuse to give your name, phone number, or other contact information to any place you eat outside of the home, you could be fined and thrown in jail. On top of that, that restaurant or bar could lose its license.
It is precisely because of acts like this that people are prone to making up conspiracy theories about the government spying on us. It’s a complete overreach of power, and one no one should be allowed to use.