Not the Babylon Bee: LA County Bans Televisions in Outdoor Dining Spaces in New COVID Safety Rules

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Governor Newsom’s about-face regarding the state’s draconian stay-at-home orders last week threw a lot of people for a loop. While business owners were excited to have the opportunity to resume some form of normalcy, they were also angry at the lack of reasoning or explanations coming from Sacramento. Why the sudden change? None of the available data has changed.

Of course, we know that this was a political move on Newsom’s part. Administration insiders are whispering to the press that Newsom has finally started taking the current recall petition against him seriously. Rumors were floating around earlier in the week that the Biden team was furious at Warden Governor Newsom for defying their official line on COVID closures, accusing him of making the move purely for political purposes.

Of course, Newsom’s backtrack didn’t mean that the entire state would open immediately. It simply means that counties are out from under state stay-at-home orders and can regulate their businesses according to the situation on the ground in their own municipalities. Los Angeles, however, is Sacramento on steroids. While they have been on the harshest lockdowns in the state, their COVID numbers have continued to grow exponentially, most notably among the senior population. Their county regulations have been every bit as insane as the state guidelines underpinning them.

So when Los Angeles County announced it would be allowing outdoor dining to resume this Friday, it came as no surprise that they’ve added yet another “scientific” caveat for struggling business owners as they prepare to reopen – no tvs allowed.

The order – which is based on no provable science or available contact tracing data – seems random at best, thoughtlessly malicious at worst. Tables must be 8 feet apart instead of 6 feet, a move designed to limit the ability to seat customers. Seating must be limited to six people at a time and they all must be from the same household.

Did I miss the part where LA Public Health also provides DNA tests and background checks for hosts to administer before they seat a table of six? My friend has seven children. If they choose to dine out I guess the toddlers just have to ask for their own tables. Protip: Toddlers are terrible tippers.

Is this real life?

As FoxLA’s Bill Melugin notes, this is an order probably aimed at keeping people from congregating over Superbowl weekend. Also as Melugin notes, much like outdoor dining simply drove people to congregate more in indoors and subsequently drove up COVID numbers, the moronic “no tv” order will likely just drive more people to host larger private viewing parties.

What the “smartest people in the room” don’t understand is that you can’t socially engineer human behavior, at least not in America. And that’s all this is. The outdoor dining bans were never about COVID numbers. They were about denying people the ability to socialize. Naturally, thinking, independent human beings want to socialize anyway, and so they gather in other places that often turned out to be more dangerous than outdoor dining. COVID numbers continue to explode in heavy lockdown districts like Los Angeles.

However, government officials in California have never been ones to let facts and reality get in the way of a power trip. They’ve been telling you when you’re supposed to be at home (between 10p.m. and 5a.m.) and telling you how far from home you’re allowed to travel (120 miles) and telling you how many people you’re allowed to break bread with. Now Mommy and Daddy are really serious…no tv until further notice!

States like Florida and South Dakota get it. Despite what the mainstream media tries to make us believe, they haven’t been open just willy-nilly like nothing is happening. They have issued guidelines for citizens, best health practices, and do have capacity restrictions and mask policies for certain industries. It’s not like they’re not doing anything. Their governors recognize that to force Americans to do a 180 on their lifestyle choices overnight was likely to cause more problems than alleviate them. They chose to put the power of health decisions in the hands of the people, while using the power of the state to address the things they can and educate the population on keeping themselves safe and healthy. The result has been a friendly cooperation between government and citizens, where the government does not look upon the citizens as enemies of a healthy state but as participants in it.

A novel thought in the People’s Republic of California.