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Utopia Talk / Politics / WISCONSIN IS LIBERATED!
| Thu May 14 14:01:21|
Complain at the Chinese embassy if you disagree.
After Wisconsin court ruling, crowds liberated and thirsty descend on bars. ‘We’re the Wild West,’ Gov. Tony Evers says.
May 14, 2020 at 1:24 p.m. GMT+2
On Wednesday night in the heart of downtown Platteville, Wis., just hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the state’s stay-at-home order, Nick’s on 2nd was packed wall to wall, standing room only.
It was sometime after 10 p.m. when “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” by the Hollies came over the sound system and a bartender took out his camera. In a Twitter broadcast, he surveyed the room of maskless patrons crammed together, partying like it was 2019. A few were pounding on the bar to the beat. Some were clapping their hands in the air and some were fist-pumping, a scene so joyous they could have been celebrating the end of the worst pandemic in a century.
Instead, as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) knew, they were just celebrating the apparent end of his power over them — at least for now.
“We’re the Wild West,” Evers told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on Wednesday night, reacting to the state Supreme Court’s ruling and the scenes of people partying in bars all across Wisconsin. “There are no restrictions at all across the state of Wisconsin. … So at this point in time … there is nothing that’s compelling people to do anything other than having chaos here.”
Chaos it was.
Right after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority issued a 4-to-3 ruling, invalidating the extension of the stay-at-home order issued by Evers’s appointed state health chief, the Tavern League of Wisconsin instructed its members to feel free to “OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”
With Evers’s statewide orders kaput, local health authorities scrambled to issue or extend citywide or countywide stay-at-home orders, creating a hodgepodge of rules and regulations all across the state that are bound to cause confusion, not to mention some traffic across county lines. It’s a situation unlike any in the United States as the pandemic rages on. But most of all, Evers feared that the court’s order would cause the one thing he was trying to prevent: more death.
Wisconsin has seen more than 10,900 confirmed coronavirus cases and 421 deaths.
“When you have no requirements anymore, that’s a problem,” he said. “We’re just leaving it open. We’re going to have more cases. We’re going to have more deaths. And it’s a sad occasion for the state. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.”
The state’s high court sided Wednesday with Republican legislators who sued the Evers administration in April, finding that the Democratic governor “cannot rely on emergency powers indefinitely” as the pandemic drags on for months. In a concurring opinion, Justice Rebecca Bradley cited Korematsu v. United States, in which the Supreme Court allowed the internment of Japanese Americans as a way to “remind the state that urging courts to approve the exercise of extraordinary power during times of emergency may lead to extraordinary abuses of its citizens.”
One conservative justice, Brian Hagedorn, joined the other two liberals in dissenting. Justice Rebecca Dallet wrote in her dissent, “This decision will undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court’s history. And it will be Wisconsinites who pay the price.”
Republican lawmakers wanted the state legislature to have a say in the drastic public health measures that Evers’s administration, as in other states, has demanded that residents follow. The Supreme Court agreed, believing an unelected state health chief shouldn’t have such sweeping power over millions of people.
But in Wisconsin’s hyperpartisan political environment, it’s unclear how well the Democratic administration will work with the Republican-majority legislature to compromise on public health, a concern Evers shared on Wednesday night. He said as far as he could tell, the Republicans didn’t have a plan, but would be speaking with them Thursday.
“We have no authority right now,” he said on MSNBC. “It’s been taken away."
In the hodgepodge of county and city orders, Racine and the state’s largest city, Milwaukee, each issued or extended their own stay-at-home orders that still prohibit bars and restaurants from reopening, save for takeout. Dane County, where Madison is located, and Brown County, home to Green Bay and several meatpacking plants, also issued stay-at-home orders.
“Different counties are saying, ‘Bring it on.’ Other counties are saying, ‘No, we don’t want this to happen,’ ” Evers said. “So suddenly it’s a 72-county affair, which is going to be very confusing to people in the state.”
The bar scene was crowded in counties apparently without immediate health orders to replace Evers’s.
At the Iron Hog Saloon in the town of Port Washington, drinks flowed but masks and social distancing were lacking, WISN reported. The owner, Chad Arndt, said that he had put more cleaning protocols in place and that if people felt uncomfortable, they didn’t have to come and he would respect that. “I hope they respect my feelings [that] I would like to come out and I would like to start getting the economy going again,” he said.
To one customer, Gary Bertram, it’s a simple decision. “If people want to quarantine, quarantine. If you don’t want to quarantine, don’t quarantine. Go out and do what you normally do,” he told WISN.
It isn’t that simple, of course. Public health authorities have repeatedly warned that those who choose to ignore social distancing and go about their lives may end up spreading the disease — to people who aren’t drinking at bars but just visiting a grocery store.
Other bars that reopened tried to take more precautions. At Jake’s Supper Club in Menomonie, the high tables were spaced farther apart, staff was required to wear face masks, and hand sanitizer stations were set up, owner Peter Gruetzmacher told WQOW.
The biggest challenge, he said, will be keeping the regulars at the required distance, two bar stools away, when “they all kind of consider themselves family.”
The Tavern League of Wisconsin still encouraged bars to follow the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s reopening guidelines, which include making employees wear masks, strengthening sanitation policies and keeping groups of customers six feet away from each other. The league’s executive director, Pete Madland, told Fox 11 that he welcomed the ruling because it helped struggling bars.
“They’re seeing their livelihoods melt away … and they were helpless to do anything about it,” Madland said.
Nick’s on 2nd couldn’t immediately be reached for comment early Thursday morning about its policies.
| Thu May 14 15:27:03|
hooray, Trump supporters have prevailed against "the president's" guidelines for reopening!
| Fri May 15 10:21:22|
What we can learn from our ancestors:
The Anti-Mask League of San Francisco was an organization formed to protest the requirement for people in San Francisco, California, to wear masks during the 1918 influenza pandemic.
2 League formation
3 See also
Cases of the Spanish flu began to appear in San Francisco during the fall of 1918. The first documented case was in late September; by mid-October, the city had more than 2,000 cases. The city's Board of Health enacted various measures to try to curb the disease, such as banning gatherings, closing schools and theaters, and warning citizens to avoid crowds. Professions that served customers (including barbers, hotel and rooming house employees, bank tellers, druggists, store clerks) were required to wear masks. On October 25, the city passed an ordinance that "every resident and visitor of San Francisco would be required to wear a mask while in public or when in a group of two or more people, except at mealtime."
Initial compliance with the mask ordinance was high with an estimated 80% of people wearing masks in public. The Red Cross sold masks at the ferry terminal for incoming passengers. Anyone who failed to wear a mask or wore it improperly was charged with "disturbing the peace," warned and for subsequent violations, fined or jailed. The city health officer and the mayor both paid fines for not wearing masks at a boxing match.
The mask ordinance was annulled effective November 21, 1918; however, when cases of the flu began to increase again, a new ordinance mandating masks took effect January 17, 1919.
Although there were some complaints from citizens during the initial period of mask-wearing, the new ordinance in 1919 galvanized more serious opposition and the Anti-Mask League was formed. Members of the league included physicians, citizens, civil libertarians, and at least one member of the Board of Supervisors. An estimated 4,000–5,000 citizens attended the meeting on January 25. Some members of the league wanted to collect signatures on a petition to end the mask requirement, while others wanted to initiate recall procedures for the city health officer. The debate was heated. Some objections to the ordinance were based on questions of scientific data while others considered the requirement to infringe on civil liberties.
In addition to complaints from the Anti-Mask League, some health officers from other cities also contended that masks were not necessary. The San Francisco city health officer criticized the secretary of the state's Board of Health for questioning the efficacy of masks, saying "The attitude of the state board is encouraging the Anti-Mask League."
On January 27, the league presented a petition, signed by Mrs. E. C. Harrington as chair, to the city's Board of Supervisors, requesting repeal of the mask ordinance. Newspapers across the world took note of the protesting organization. San Francisco lifted the mask requirement effective February 1, 1919, on the recommendation of the Board of Health.
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