As you likely know, the state of California, under the oppressive thumb of Governor Gavin Newsom, has been one of most strictly monitored when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. While things didn’t exactly shut down early here, Newsom made sure that everything was affected and not just for a short time when they did.
Take large theme parks like Disneyland in the state’s southern Orange County, for example.
Naturally, as a massive tourist attraction that is generally attended by thousands each day, it was one of the first things to close, as well as the fact that it can be classified as a “non-essential” type of business.
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However, as the pandemic has progressed, becoming less and less of a threat to the general population over time, thanks in part to social distancing measures, it was believed this closing, like all the rest, would be allowed to change at some point.
But Newsom has been mum on what it would take for such a reopening to occur for months now. While other states have allowed businesses to reopen fully, including Disney’s Florida theme park, Disney World, Newsom has failed to give even a hint of what his state’s companies and, therefore, how his state produces revenue, could do to ready themselves for the day when they too could unlock their doors.
On Tuesday, that day was thought to have come, as the liberal governor finally announced state guidelines for how and when theme parks could reopen. But residents soon realized that what the governor required was an impossible feat.
Newsom’s noon press conference stated that in order for theme parks to reopen, the county in which they were located in needed to be in what Newsom and his staff call the “yellow tier” of their Blueprint for a Healthy Economy. And to do that, the county would need to achieve a positivity rate that is lower than the virus test’s false positive rate, which is currently somewhere between 1 and 3 percent, according to the University of California Health.
According to Newsom’s new state guidelines, which he refers to as The Science, a county would have to have less than a 2% positivity rate to reach yellow tier status. Now, looking at a graphic of the reopening tiers, you can see that this would be nearly impossible to achieve for any county except the extremely rural ones, and especially so for one as densely populated as Orange County, California.
It is also noted that, according to this graphic, not a single US state could be considered as meeting yellow tier requirements. And yet, other states have allowed their theme parks to reopen with no cases being traced back to them.
It turns out, there may be little science involved in Newsom’s The Science, after all.
And naturally, citizens and theme park owners everywhere are irate about Newsom’s not so good news.
President of Disneyland resort, Ken Potrock, is one such individual. And he made sure to let the public know just how frustrated he was about the situation. He wrote in a statement, “We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world. nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead of mandating arbitrary guidelines that if knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities.”
Raffi Kaprelyan of Cedar Fair made a similar remark, noting that his company has “safely operated 7 of its 13 parks across the U.S. this year with zero cases” being traced back to them.
And the President of LEGOLAND California, Kurt Stocks, took things a bit farther by saying that the state’s “arbitrary and unacceptable” guidance would “destroy the industry in California and the economic impact to industries that rely heavily on theme parks will be catastrophic.”
Stocks, like Potrock, also noted that already “tens of thousands” have lost their jobs due to regulations imposed due to COVID and that this announcement would only add to that.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Karen Irwin also pointed out the inconsistencies of Newsom’s “guidance,” saying that it “makes no sense. It ignores science, reason and the economic devastation this will bring to the thousands of our employees, the indirect businesses that rely on us, and our industry overall.”
I wonder if Newsom knows that everyone hates him or if, like his guidance, he is completely ignoring what everyone else has to say…