Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is tapping into his state’s Quaker roots to deliver an economy-sized dose of Thanksgiving disappointment. In an effort to avert a coronavirus-inspired lockdown, the governor said Monday that he would ban alcohol sales in the state on the day before Thanksgiving via executive order.
Bars and restaurants should stop selling alcohol starting at 1700ET on Wednesday until 0800ET Thanksgiving morning. Since Thanksgiving is typically “the biggest day for drinking”, the governor hopes the mandate could help slow the spread of the virus.
So, for the millions of Americans who ignored the CDC’s warnings and traveled home for the holidays anyway, the traditional pre-Thanksgiving tradition of hooking up with an old high school classmate while out at the ol’ stomping ground bars on the night before Thanksgiving will be – like pretty much everything else in 2020 – ruined, in Pennsylvania and many other states.
*CDC Urges Americans Not to Travel for Thanksgiving
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Because while alcohol sales can legally continue in New York and New Jersey, those states have curfews in place or other restrictions to stop bars from opening to patrons this holiday season.
“This is an advisory,” Wolf said. “All Pennsylvanians, in order to stay safe, ought to stay home. It is vital that every single Pennsylvanian takes these mitigation steps seriously.”
The ban on alcohol sales follows orders to limit holiday gatherings to members of one’s immediate family or household. The governor warned that all of these restrictions would help the state avoid “greater strain” on its health-care system, which is more vulnerable in rural parts of the vast Keystone state.
“As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe,” Wolf said in a statement. “If our health care system is compromised, it isn’t only COVID-19 patients who will suffer. If we run out of hospital beds, or if hospital staff are over-worked to the breaking point, care will suffer for every patient – including those who need emergency care for illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.”
To be sure, many Pennsylvanians had probably grown weary of Wolf’s aggressive restrictions even before this latest executive order.
They’ll have their chance to get their revenge at the polls some day. But for now, at least the Steelers game is still on.