Californians have suffered greatly in our crazy war against the China virus. Our economy is a wreck. Restaurants are dying off by the hundreds. Schools are half-closed. Disneyland is a ghost town. And now things here have gotten worse.

Because cases of new positive infections and hospitalizations have jumped lately, Gov. Gavin Newsom has pulled the “emergency brake” on re-opening the state’s economy, imposed a new limited “stay-at-home order” through Dec. 21 and issued a bunch of idiotic rules to ruin Thanksgiving and Christmas for 40 million people. Newsom and his public health experts call their edicts “small gatherings guidance,” but we know it’s really “California’s Thanksgiving Mandate.”

Like the Thanksgiving rules issued in other Blue states, they are an insane blend of bureaucratic stupidity and unscientific tyranny. Here are some of them:

♦ Gatherings cannot have people from more than three households.

♦ Gatherings should only be two hours or less.

♦ All gatherings must be held outside. People can go inside to use the bathroom.

♦ Gatherings “may occur in outdoor spaces that are covered by umbrellas, canopies, awnings, roofs, and other shade structures provided that at least three sides of the space (or 75 percent) are open to the outdoors.”

♦ Seating must provide at least 6 feet of distance (in all directions – front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households.

♦ Keep physical distance from others and practice hand hygiene.

♦ “Singing, chanting, and shouting are strongly discouraged.”

♦ The host should collect names and contact information of attendees for contact tracing.

♦ Of course, it’s a given that everyone at your family gathering should be wearing a mask, indoors and outdoors, at all times, including between bites of turkey and sips of wine.

Please excuse me, but I don’t get the science behind these “guidelines.” To stop the spread of the coronavirus, I’m told by the public health experts that I can’t eat a turkey dinner in my own home with my family or friends unless I follow their nutty rules. But it’s OK to get on a plane at LAX with 200 other people I don’t know and fly five hours to New York City?

And it’s OK to protest or celebrate with thousands of people in the streets, or eat at a high-end restaurant in Napa Valley with a dozen maskless friends, but you shouldn’t have grandma over for Thanksgiving because you might kill her?

Another question: If masks are so effective, why are so many additional people becoming infected with the virus? Social distancing and hand-washing have become ingrained in the culture, and something like 85 percent of Americans are said to faithfully wear masks. So does that mean that the 15 percent who don’t wear masks are the ones who are catching the virus? Or do the cloth masks that most people wear really not do the job of protecting us, as a recent study found?

I don’t know the answers, but the bottom line is people are doing more today than ever to protect themselves from the virus, yet more people are catching it. What all this tells me is that mask or no mask, social distance or no social distance, plastic shielding or no plastic shielding, the virus is in the driver’s seat. It’s acting like a virus.

It does what it wants to do when it wants to do it, and the only sure way to stop it is with a COVID-19 vaccine, which, thanks to President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, while we suffer another statewide lockdown and wonder if Christmas and New Year’s will be outlawed altogether, I hope Newsom won’t do to us what his fellow emperor in Oregon threatens to do to her state’s Thanksgiving scofflaws. There, if they catch you with too many people in your home eating turkey and mashed potatoes next Thursday, they’ll arrest you. Then they’ll put you in jail – which is a real safe place to be, eh?

Have a happy Thanksgiving, America – if you dare.

Michael Reagan is a political consultant and the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.

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