Thanksgiving insanity: California announces severe restrictions on intimate holiday gatherings

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Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health put a face to the dangers of unchecked government authority.

In the run-up to Thanksgiving, Gavin’s administration detailed new guidelines for all non-public gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The far-reaching limitations include where gatherings are allowed to take place and for how long, and includes wearing a mask between bites. It also provides instruction on bathroom use.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced last week that the state will allow private outdoor gatherings if specific conditions are met, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ghaly said residents from three separate households will be allowed to gather — this being a step up from the state discouraging gatherings outside of a single household.

“(The guidance) is really not to say that it’s a good idea or appropriate to gather, but to say more than three households, you really are increasing your risk,” he said at a news briefing, according to the Chronicle.

In addition to the gatherings being required to be outdoors, Ghaly said they are to last for no more than two hours.

“Gatherings are defined as social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place. When people from different households mix, this increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” the CDPH said in a statement.

“The longer the duration [of the gathering], the risk of transmission increases,” the statement added.

The department deemed outdoor gatherings to be “significantly safer than indoor gatherings,” though attendees may go indoors to relieve themselves.

But there were stipulations here, as well.

“All gatherings must be held outside. Attendees may go inside to use restrooms as long as the restrooms are frequently sanitized,” the release said.

The guidelines said attendees “could take away their face coverings briefly to eat or drink so long as they keep not less than 6 ft away from everybody outdoors… and put their face overlaying again on as quickly as they’re finished with the exercise.”

Ghaly stressed that the state was not “endorsing” families getting together for the holidays.

“Guidance here does not mean go. It doesn’t mean that we’re endorsing or suggesting small gatherings happen,” he emphasized. “We just want to provide important ways to reduce your risk, so you protect yourselves, your families and your communities.”

In fact, Ghaly went the opposite direction, saying: “We believe and still really support the messaging that spending time with your household alone is the way we can reduce transmission the best.”

For the record, the Chronicle reported that “coronavirus indicators in California are near their record lows. Hospitalizations are at their lowest level since early April and those in intensive care at their second-lowest level since officials began keeping track in late March.”

Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly responded to California’s heavy-handed approach, calling it “insanity.”

That may be putting it mildly — here’s a sampling of responses to Kelly’s assessment from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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