Usually when we do a COVID source callout, we’re putting our sights on a dashboard that’s actually five separate dashboards or a state that likes to surprise us when they update their dataset. This is to say that, usually, we don’t call out an actual source of coronavirus.
But that’s what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently wants to be when he grows up, as he opened up limited indoor dining on February 12th for New York City, where Betsy and I both live. We talked last week about a frankly terrifying ProPublica article that warned about the dangers of reopening indoor dining and loosening guidelines in general, not only with variants on the rise, but with most people in the dark of just how on the rise they are. So why, dear god why, would you decide this is the time to LOOSEN restrictions?
Look, I can make a few guesses. As much as I think Cuomo is acting really really stupidly, I don’t think he’s an idiot. There’s definitely political and economic pressure, along with a court ruling in mid-January that said there was no “rational basis” for keeping things closed when hospitalizations and deaths are falling – this led to indoor dining resuming in most of the state.
But that court ruling did not affect New York City, or wedding capacity restrictions, which are also being loosened in March in the pursuit of “marital bliss.” This is just irresponsible; “marital bliss” isn’t worth it even when there isn’t a deadly pandemic, as Cuomo himself clearly knows. In the announcement, he suggested you could “propose on Valentine’s Day and then you can have the wedding ceremony March 15, up to 150 people. People will actually come to your wedding because you can tell them with the testing it will be safe.” Cuomo is not only about to open up the possibility for more serious supersreader events, he’s also about to rob every introvert of their best excuse for skipping Aunt Marsha’s wedding since she said she’d be serving roasted pangolin. Unforgivable.
So apparently the biggest city in the country can reopen indoor dining and have weddings on the horizon when, again, we don’t even know just how much these variants are going to screw us over. I knew Tom’s Restaurant was a dangerous game for my own health, but they’re about to seriously expand their blast radius.