I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It seems like Democratic governors are in a competition to see which one can impose the most ridiculous and onerous coronavirus restrictions on their residents. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have been the main culprits coming under fire for enacting excessive COVID-19 measures. But now, it seems that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has entered the competition.
On Tuesday, Wolf’s administration announced a series of new coronavirus restrictions for Pennsylvania. One of these rules requires the state’s residents to wear masks at all times — even at home.
Dr. Rachel L. Levine, the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, stated that people would have to wear masks in their homes if people from outside their household are inside. People who visit the state, or are returning from another state, will be required to be tested for the virus within 72 hours before entering the state.
“It is our collective responsibility to protect our communities and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19 and to continue to work together to get through this pandemic. These targeted mitigation efforts, combined with existing ones, are paramount to saving lives and protecting our economy,” Gov. Wolf said in a press release. “The administration will continue to monitor the risks posed by COVID-19 across the commonwealth and will reinstate or institute new targeted mitigation tactics as necessary.”
The governor’s office outlined some of the restrictions that Pennsylvania residents must live under:
“Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.
When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.
This order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.”
The administration also gives guidance to colleges and universities. It mandates that these facilities “should have adequate capacity for isolation and quarantine and should be prepared to enforce violations of established policies such as mask wearing and physical distancing.”
“We must remain united in stopping COVID-19,” Levine insisted. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay apart and download the COVID Alert PA app. If you test positive, please answer the call of the case reviewer and provide information that can help protect others. It’s the selfless, right thing to do.”
The requirement to wear face masks even in one’s own home might just put Gov. Wolf in the lead. While Whitmer, Cuomo, and Newsom have done their darndest to figure out new and creative ways to restrict their residents, requiring people to wear masks in their own homes takes it to a whole other level.
But we can’t discount how silly these requirements are. How will the governor enforce these rules? Will they have to count on people who are willing to rat out their neighbors if they happen to see a guest without a mask in the house across the way? Does Wolf plan to turn every resident into Gladys Kravitz?
So what will be next? Forcing residents to wear the mask when they shower or bathe? Should they wear it while sleeping? Perhaps they will make people keep the mask on even when they’re driving alone in their cars? Most importantly, who will win this contest of stupidity?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!