Yes, this story is real but it is the furthest thing from spectacular. California residents have been subjected to some fairly insane rules in the past but this one takes the cake. If you live in California, you already know that restaurants are open in a limited capacity. Some are providing limited seating and most of them are offering take out orders.
Establishments are putting up tents outdoors or significantly slashing the amount of allowable indoor seating. Their parking lots are being converted so that people are able to eat more safely. For most of us, this is still a no go. We can only speak for ourselves but we have yet to dine in a sit-down restaurant since the lockdown orders first came down.
Even takeout orders seem a bit worrisome at the moment, mostly because we have no idea what the testing protocol is at any of these restaurants. Anyways, we digress. The few times that we have picked up takeout orders, the protocols have been the same. We had to wear masks before we were allowed to enter. The days of handing out menus have come and gone.
Near as we could tell, everyone at their table had been given a code to check out the menu on their phones. This is a smart idea and we could see this continuing even after the pandemic has had a chance to clear. Here’s where things get weird. The people are allowed to take their masks off while they wait for their meals.
It makes some level of sense, we guess. Most of the patrons are hanging out with people that they are already spending a lot of time with. Of course, it is hard to have a mask on while you are eating. Governor Newsom does not care about any of that, however. He is issuing a new order that is sure to have lots of Golden State residents scratching their heads.
You will now have to keep your mask on between each bite of food. This message was delivered from the governor’s office directly. “Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites. Do your part to keep those around you healthy,” read the tweet from the CA governor’s account.
Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don't forget to keep your mask on in between bites.
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) October 3, 2020
When we looked more closely at the actual meme, we found something interesting. The people in the pictures are already adhering to the rules that California has in place. Where are any of these folks wearing a mask in between bites? The rule is so silly, it can’t even be depicted in a cartoon without making everyone laugh.
“I’m very confused by this tweet. The image suggests you should only take your mask off once when you begin a meal but the text suggests you should put it back on between bites,” writes journalist Matthew Fuhrman. “Should we wash our hands after touching our mask each time we remove it between bites? What if I’m eating chips and salsa and I go for a double-dip? Is that technically two bites since it’s the same chip?” asked another resident.
We’re going to go ahead and cut to the chase. This rule makes absolutely no sense and we are unsure how it is going to be enforced. The WHO also recommends that we do not touch our masks with our hands. Governor Newsom’s order directly contradicts what is being said by the World Health Organization, which is sure to be confusing to anyone who is trying to comply.
This violates the @WHO "Dont's of Mask wearing"
#4 – "Do not remove the mask to talk to someone or do other things that require touching the mask"
And #1 and #12 of "Do's"
Creating a cross-contamination environment pic.twitter.com/5zbPBKWtTZ
— TerrapinStation (@TerrapinStatio7) October 6, 2020
The Governor’s Office should be willing to admit to their faux pas and delete the tweet. Since this is a liberal policy we are talking about, no one is going to want to do that. They are wrong and strong, all of the time. We just hope that no innocent diners (or restaurant workers) are harassed because of this policy.