On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all bars across Pennsylvania closed. Restaurants must reduce building capacity to 25%.
The slapdash decision puts businesses across the state in jeopardy of closing.
Here in Schuylkill County, these businesses finally were permitted to reopen and allow customers inside on June 19. That’s when Schuylkill County got shifted to the green phase of Wolf’s coronavirus reopening plan.
Less than a month later, those bars are closing again. That could be the end for many.
Wolf Closing Schuylkill County Bars Over 36 “New” Cases of Coronavirus in July
After a month, a business like a bar is finally getting back into the swing of Wolf’s dystopian “new normal” Pennsylvania. It’s very likely these businesses have purchase orders due to their establishments. They have inventory that now could go bad. That’s wasted money.
There’s no timeline for reopening. Like this entire pandemic, that decision belongs to Tom Wolf and Tom Wolf, alone.
Bars and restaurants, for now, are completely at his “mercy” and subject to his whims.
During Wednesday’s press conference to announce his latest draconian measure to “stop” the coronavirus, Wolf said he’s making the decision due to an “unsettling” rise in coronavirus cases statewide.
Outside of Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, that statement is almost entirely false.
In fact, in Schuylkill County, we’ve seen very low “new” case totals in July.
Through 15 days, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health reported just 36 “new” cases of COVID-19 in July. That’s an average of 2.4 per day. We don’t know if these cases are actually new, of course. The state DOH says they are, but they can’t give a straight answer on how they report data on their website. Information they say is there simply isn’t.
Even today, Health Secretary Rachel Levine admitted some test results take weeks to get back from certain labs. But when the results do come back, even if they’re 2 weeks old, they get reported as “new” cases.
The Canary busted the DOH fudging COVID data in relation to a Schuylkill County nursing home several weeks ago, too.
If you can’t be trusted with one set of data, why should anyone trust any of the other numbers?
“Unsettling” Case Total
So, even if we were to trust the state’s report of 36 new cases of coronavirus in Schuylkill County in July, is that “unsettling”?
The publisher of the Shenandoah Sentinel framed it up perfectly in her tweet Wednesday night:
Schuylkill County has NOT had a surge in cases at all in the past month and a half, and yet our businesses are being sent back to the brink because of the metropolitan areas.
What a wonderful reward for actually flattening the curve locally. pic.twitter.com/4licX0yvUk
— Kaylee Lindenmuth (@Kaylin5171) July 16, 2020
Wednesday’s decision likely will make the mask police leaders very happy. They’ll wave their “toldyaso” finger at you and say, “Toldya no one was following the rules.” And it’s true. There are people out there right now — check your social media feeds — celebrating today’s decision.
Those people are the ones most likely to have never left their house since March, too. So, their happiness means nothing.
What Wednesday’s decision definitely will do, however, is close some businesses for good. And think about it, these businesses are like second homes for many Schuylkill County residents, for better or worse. Bars and restaurants are where many couples have a magical moment or are the place where people meet for the first time in their lives and become best friends and more. These places, more than most other businesses, hold sentimental value for many for generations.
And now, they could close forever because one man in Harrisburg finds it “unsettling” that “new” case totals are going up after people finally start interacting with each other after months apart 100 miles away from Schuylkill County.
What science and data tells Gov. Wolf that this is a smart decision?
- Pennsylvania Restaurants Going to 25% Occupancy, Bars Closing at Midnight
- Governor’s Actions Wednesday “Could Be the Final Stake in the Heart” for Some Small Businesses in Schuylkill County
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Governor on HR836
- Wolf Now Requires Masks in ALL Public Places