The Grinch comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. And this year, at least for county government employees, he comes in the form of their bosses.
In an internal memo circulated around County government offices Wednesday, President Judge William Baldwin and County Administrator Gary Bender announced that office Christmas parties in the Courthouse and other Schuylkill County government offices are banned in 2021. They’re blaming COVID for the decision, of course.
Courthouse Christmas Parties Banned in 2021
The email reads:
“We are sorry to have to play Grinch, but the Commissioners and the Court have determined that it is still not safe for the Court and County offices to return to Christmas parties again this year. No parties will be permitted in Court and County facilities.
“Please continue to observe all the necessary precautions to keep you, your families, and your co-workers safe through the holiday season. We encourage everyone who has not yet been vaccinated and boosted to do so as soon as possible.”
The decision is surely a disappointment to the hundreds of County employees who were probably looking forward to their office Christmas parties, especially after missing out on them last year. Some of these parties were likely already planned. After all, Christmas is only 16 days away.
By now, it’s been pretty obvious that most of society has returned to some sense of normalcy, especially in small social situations. Office Christmas parties are hardly the perceived super-spreader threat they were last year. But COVID hysteria still seems to be grip the Schuylkill County Courthouse.
And the timing of this decision happens to line up with current media-driven hysteria over the so-called omicron variant of COVID.
A mask mandate has been in place in County offices since August.
And the County has spent an inordinate amount of money trying to prevent the spread of the virus among employees and visitors, including several big-ticket purchases, like a temperature scanner – later a technology health officials have described as nothing more than “COVID theater” – and touchless water fountains and toilet flushers.
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