Diary

Covid Restrictions and New Jersey: A Lesson in Stupidity

Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool

Some of this is not exclusive to New Jersey, but being a resident of the state, I will use it as an example. As most are aware, New Jersey and New York was the epicenter of the original outbreak of the Wuhan flu back in the spring of 2020.  Actually, that is not the complete truth regarding New Jersey since the overwhelming majority of the cases were centered in the bedroom counties on the western side of the Hudson River in the Garden State.  Amid the original panic, many fled to other parts of the state while New Yorkers got out of Gotham and surrounding areas and headed to Jersey and Pennsylvania, thus spreading the disease.  Instead of locking the elderly in nursing homes to “stop the spread,” perhaps Cuomo should have closed the roads and bridges out of New York.

Along comes New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy, who looks suspiciously like he should be sitting in a tree eating a walnut.  He instituted some of the most draconian restrictions in the country while trying to thread the needle with daily press conferences where no one listened but was more distracted by that person communicating in sign language.  Things were looking up in the state as casinos reopened, some gyms, and even some theaters.  One saw people sitting in make-shift outdoor dining areas.  Then they allowed indoor dining, but with restrictions.

Through it all, businesses deemed “essential” like grocery stores and liquor stores (you see, the state collects tax revenue from them), remained opened, initially with occupancy limits, mask wearing, and such.  But as fall neared and it looked like things were getting back to sorta kinda normal, the dreaded spike in cases reared its ugly head and in stepped Murphy again.  I’ll give him credit in that he did not go as far as, say…Gretchen Whitmer, and he probably learned a lesson there.  After all, in the Garden State people were still allowed to purchase seeds for their gardens.  And there were no marches on Trenton or his residence in Princeton.

In response to these spikes, although indoor dining was still allowed, occupancy was limited to 25% indoors.  Patrons and employees had to wear face masks which makes it kind of hard to get a drink or food into your mouth, while they were to remain seated at tables six feet apart.  Even if everyone adhered to these rules, bars and restaurants had a 10:00 PM curfew to follow since it was discovered the Wuhan flu is particularly virulent after 10 PM.  It also is apparently contracted by a car’s exhaust system given the number drivers this writer sees wearing masks while driving alone.

Now the state is publicly shaming ten establishments and going further- seeking to suspend their liquor licenses.  Let’s take a peek at the establishments and reasons:

  1. Black Betty’s Saloon in Sayreville- allowing bar patrons to sit at the bar and some patrons were not wearing masks (70 days);
  2. B&B Saloon in Atlantic City- allowing patrons to sit at the bar, exceeding capacity, allowing outside drinking, and hindering inspection (115 days);
  3. Wicked Wolf in Hoboken- allowing patrons to sit at the bar (10 days);
  4. Reilly’s Bar and Liquor in Kearney- violation of curfew, patrons observed not seated when eating (30 days);
  5. Jalapenos Bar & Grille in Gloucester City- patrons observed without masks, drinking at the bar (20 days);
  6. Graystone Inn in Little Falls- sitting at the bar and exceeding capacity limits (40 days);
  7. George Street Ale House in New Brunswick- sitting at the bar, exceeding capacity limits, tables not six feet apart (25 days);
  8.  Eddy’s Bar in Bayonne- sitting at a bar and not wearing masks (15 days);
  9. 814 South Pub andKitchen in Somerdale- sitting at the bar, lack of mask-wearing, curfew violation and tables not six feet apart (25 days), and;
  10. 30 Strikes Bowling Alley and Pub in Stratford- curfew violation (10 days).

According to the Attorney General’s Office which oversees the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, they have conducted over 500 inspections with a 90% compliance rate indicating that there are jobs to be had as an Orwellian inspector.  Also, some of these establishments are upscale and some are dives.  Unmentioned is whether they first receive warnings.  Finally, there seems to be no consistency in the sought punishments which range from 10 to 115 days of liquor license suspension.

Then there are the reasons proffered by the public health experts in New Jersey who apparently went to the Anthony Fauci School of Pandemic Reasoning.  Although more people are visible in supermarkets and large stores, bars and restaurants are breeding grounds of the Wuhan flu due to a lack of proper air circulation and low ceilings.  People tend to linger longer in bars and restaurants.  Worse, they tend to talk which increases the probability of spreading the disease.  And God forbid one shouts when their hometown football team scores a touchdown when watching the game in a bar- shouting spreads the disease over an even further distance!  Seriously…they said this.

The thing that most strikes this writer is that these are all small businesses being singled out for public shaming and government sanctions that severely, in many cases, affect the bottom line.  What good is a bar with 25% capacity and without a liquor license, even for ten days?

Most recently, Murphy has decided that he will not ban indoor dining (at this time), unlike neighboring New York and Pennsylvania, and New Jersey’s counterpart on the West Coast, California.  That makes him no less a dictator through his edicts and uneven enforcement of his “protocols.”  If 500 inspections were conducted and there is 90% compliance, that means there were 50 violations.  Why are only these ten establishments being held out as examples?  Why not the other 40?  Did they simply say, “F*** it; we’re closing our doors?”

All four of these states are led by Democrat governors with Mussolini blood in their political DNA.  Methinks they literally get off on their newfound powers in an effort to “stop the spread.”  Cuomo and Newsom have gone further and turned their sights on houses of worship.  But Wolf in Pennsylvania and Murphy in New Jersey have chilled the air to such a degree that houses of worship have self-enforced the edicts in those other states.

Meanwhile, a generation of (sorry to say this) stupid school children grow more stupid by sitting in front of a laptop “learning.”  They say that states are the laboratories of democracy in action.  Murphy and his kindred Democrat governors in other states are turning it into Petri dishes of fascism one bar, restaurant and bowling alley at a time.