By Monica Showalter
Amid a new outbreak of the coronavirus, California’s Gavin Newsom was adamant that no firework celebrations be done on the Fourth of July, because the public simply could not be trusted to socially distance.
Addressing the counties on California’s watchlist, he explained, “We have worked with those counties, the 19 counties that are mandatory closure lists and we have made it clear privately- now we’re making it more abundantly clear publicly- that we believe that they should consider canceling some of their fireworks shows and presentations. By the way, a number of cities have done just that, LA in San Francisco.”
In his address, Newsom said family gatherings have contributed to the state’s recent increase in transmission — and that it’s an understandable impulse to want to get together, especially over a long holiday weekend.
“Patriotism in a COVID-19 environment can be expressed in a little bit different way,” Newsom said, asking people to reconsider attending gatherings with those who are not in their immediate household.
Also, holidays mean celebration, and that often means alcohol. The governor said people may start off a gathering with good intentions, wearing face masks, but after a drink or two, might let their guard (as well as their masks) down — and begin to mix in ways that increase the transmission of COVID-19.
It’s likely that Newsom’s suggestion was more than a suggestion. Newsom has, after all, conditioned state aid on cities and counties following his orders, and set up ‘strike forces‘ to go after people not wearing masks as well as small businesses operating in contravention to his shutdown orders.