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Baker says just wear a mask outdoors all the time now, sets 10 p.m. voluntary curfew

COVID-19 Update: November 2, 2020

Acknowledging that recent increases in daily Covid-19 numbers are on the rise, Gov. Baker today called on residents to make renewed sacrifices.

To help them out, effective Nov. 6, mask wearing outdoors all the time by everybody will be recommended; people are being asked to stay inside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and restaurants will have to stop serving diners by 9:30 p.m., although they can keep offering takeout after that. Previously, the state had urged people to wear a mask outdoors only if they thought they'd be within six feet of other people.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, outdoor ones at 25, he said, adding that all indoor entertainment venues, such as arcades, have to shut at 9:30 p.m.

Otherwise, Baker said, current increases mean the state's hospitals will become overloaded and healthcare workers overworked again by the end of the year,.
"We can't afford to continue to do what we've been doing," which is to let down our guard, Baker said, pointing to a 300% increase in daily new Covid-19 cases, and a 105% increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations since Labor Day.

"Right now we're requesting that you make real sacrifices," to help avoid what happened before, he added.

"What we should not do is shut down our economy or close our schools to deal with this," he said. "Schools are not spreaders, here or anywhere else."

In addition to full-time outdoor mask wearing, the new regulations will limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor ones to 25. Baker said his administration will be working with individual cities and towns to figure out how to keep young people in particular from having large parties - but he said even older adults need to do things such as cutting out football watching parties and the like.

He said social media over Halloween weekend was full of "hundreds and hundreds of pictures of parties that went way into the night," without social distancing, and that evidence shows the primary source of new cases are "informal" parties.

He said that applies to Thanksgiving: Hours of eating and speaking inside, like at a Thanksgiving dinner, "is really a perfect recipe for Covid to spread."

If enough people follow the new regulations, the state can curb Covid-19 without having to shut down the economy again, he said.

"Do I expect everybody to follow these rules?" he asked. No, he responded, but added that Massachusetts residents have proven very good at following public-health regulations like these.

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Comments

I get why it is happening, the economy completely implodes with more lockdowns and no Federal help, but a pretty disappointing response.

Mask compliance is already pretty good in MA, masks arent magic. Those that arent complying now when in close contact with others still aren't going to comply. But now, if I want to go walk around with no one with a mile at night with no mask, I cant without violating public health orders. Also not sure what it does for school mask breaks.

Those would just be minor inconveniences if coupled with doing things that actually work, but they aren't. These are basically ineffective half measures unless the state is going to really crack down on indoor gatherings with fines and arrests for people gathering in groups of more than ten. I dont expect they will.

So all it is really doing is delaying the required shutdown of indoor dining, gatherings, and other activities for several more weeks so that we get more deaths and a longer time to get through to the other side once the inevitable lockdown/move to phase one ensues.

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It should be shorten to 9:30 pm instead of 10pm

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Mask compliance is already pretty good in MA

I live in Dorchester, spend time mostly in Dorchester and South Boston these days. Mask compliance is "pretty good" only inside stores or in commercial districts near stores. About half of the people jogging or walking down the street don't wear masks, especially dog walkers for some reason.

And then there's the ones who don't cover their nose, which is the same as not wearing a mask. There's also the ones that wear one covering their chin only. Yes, some of them adjust the coverage as someone approaches, but some don't.

I haven't used the T since early March, but others tell me that at least 50% of riders don't wear a mask or take them off to talk, eat, or drink.

I am in two high risk groups, and I pay attention to who is and is not wearing masks around me. Mask compliance from my perspective is absolutely not 'pretty good".

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the idea of being "science-based" in our guidance. There's no science that says I need to wear a mask when I'm by myself outside. That kind of thing completely undermines the credibility of rules and makes them seem arbitrary and punitive, which hurts compliance.

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full measures would incite unrest from the people who live in small towns. i guess i get it but it’s a really tough position.

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So we've all heard about the gatherings and parties that continue to go on. And presumably some are being reported using 911/311. Is there any enforcement going on for when they are reported? It seems like stepping up enforcement is a good idea - and maybe he addressed that, I did not watch the press conference.

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It's sad that things have come to this. People need to learn to control themselves and not get all worked up and resort to rioting and smashing things up. PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE for the redress of grievances is the operative phrase. Got that? PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE. I don't want to hear any excuses for the otherwise.

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nm

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Somewhere ...

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All the other reporting I read on this announcement said that masks were "required".

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A requirement without enforcement is more of a recommendation, isn't it?

Like how masks are required on the T.

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When one is by themselves?

Does one have to wear one if I go onto the deck and flip over the steak?

The one size fits all approach to masks gives the mandate less credibility and appears haphazard in its approach. It will be greatly ignored.

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People, in general, are not amazing with complying with health recommendations and we poorly judge our own adherence (it’s always the other people who suck!)

For instance, the nutritionist wants to keep you under 1200g of sodium per day, she restrict you to 1000g knowing full well you will cheat. A doctor may push you for 6 hours of exercise hoping you will put in 3-4. We were all told 6 feet of distance but we all know a good amount of the population had no concept of what 6 feet looked like and would not give you more than 3 feet.

Point being is that Baker could issue pitch perfect rules/advisories to fit MA’s Covid surge, but we’ll only get 60%/70%/80% compliance.

Does everyone walking their dogs at 6:00am in exurban neighborhoods need to wear a mask? Of course not. But I look at it like how you tell your chronically late siblings that the wedding is at 3:00pm when it’s really at 4:30pm to get everyone to the ceremony on time. We have to over-compensate in regulations to get better compliance.

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The best way to get people to disregard expert advice entirely is for the experts to lie and exaggerate.

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It’s just erring on the side of caution.

Many of us overpay our taxes. What the IRS takes out each week ends up being more than we actually owe; the government stays funded and we rest easy knowing that we will receive a refund in April rather than having to cut a big check.

The government has to nudge us to do the right thing; other than paying people to wear masks or being oppressive and start a punitive strategy of fining or arresting noncompliant folks, their are not many mechanisms to increase compliance.

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Very funny. Still waiting for that April refund, would really help and all.

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it's been proven that it's counterproductive when the dare program does it. if people can suss out that you're lying to them at all, they stop listening.

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based on the assumption that people are children and need to be treated as such.

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Required but only in public outdoor spaces (in addition to the requirement already in place for indoor spaces). So if you go flip your steak on the grill, you are fine, assuming your grill is on your private property.

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With Mango Hitler losing tomorrow and the nut jobs in search of nuts, this might set the Howie Carr crowd into a bigger unruly mob outside his house.

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They're not boarding up downtowns all over the country because they think Mush Head and Knee Pads are going to win.

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Unless you are stagnant and/or in a crowd there is no scientific reason to wear a mask outdoors. There's simply no evidence that the viral load from one person quickly passing another person is enough to give either one COVID in any non-lab setting. Likewise, COVID doesn't linger outdoors over long distances like smoke from a fire.

If you're going to say, "we can't take that risk" then they should close schools and business and go to a strict lock-down. The risk of getting the virus with a mask while indoors is 100x that of two maskless people running outside who cross paths. (If they stop to chat, yes, they should be masked.) So it makes no logical sense to allow indoor dining but require masks while outdoors while moving or isolated.

COVID is being spread by people who aren't wearing masks (or wearing them poorly) and going to gatherings. It's not being spread by people out for a walk.

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"No scientific reason to wear a mask outdoors".

Okay.

Evidence?

There have been many superspreader events that have taken place outside - like the 2% of a rural Oregon county infected by a single church holding outdoor services. Like the Rose Garden Reception of Unparalleled Superspread Extravaganza. Like the outdoor events at Sturgis and the Trump rallies tied to numerous outbreaks. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/31/us/politics/stanford-study-infections...

Anytime you are anywhere near anyone there is a scientific reason to wear a mask.

Nifty graphics help understand the sciencing: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/30/science/wear-mask-covid-p...

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had significant indoor components that were likely much more responsible for the viral transmission.

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Asian counties with low rates don't require masks when people are physically active while outdoors but their citizens are much, much better about wearing masks while indoors and stationary.

The Rose Garden super spreader event proves my point about needing to wear masks while stationary outdoors. If it was the Rose Garden Marathon no one would have gotten infected. (And Trump would probably have a heart attack if he tried doing physically strenuous.)

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They weren't moving They weren't standing 6 feet apart. They were clustered. They were shoulder to shoulder. They were breaking the advice the Commonwealth had for its residents this morning.

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One time, a dentist gave his patient AIDS.

One time, there was an COVID outbreak traced to outdoor exposure.

Yes, you can get AIDS from your dentist. Yes, you can get COVID outside.

You can. But you won't.

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Wear a mask or move to the 'burbs, science-denier. It's lazy people like yourself who are spreading misinformation and causing the spike in Massachusetts.

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Shut down the churches.

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We're all quite familiar with your posting history here, so small wonder you immediately suggest churches. I guess when you're an anti-religous hammer--with all of the intellectual rigor that label implies--every topic looks like a nail.

I'm always trying to explain to people that the sort of cartoonish bigotry you routinely indulge in is an idiotic conservative strawman designed to sucker churchgoers into feeling as though they're being "persecuted." And yet, there you are. Bravo.

For the record, how do you feel about mosques, synagogues, or Buddhist temples remaining open? What about Unitarian Universalists, or does Covid just have a particular bone to pick with the Nicean creed?

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God blesses the heretic.

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with you 100%.
Just wear the damn mask though.
It's a fuckin piece of cloth people.
Just wear it.
No arguments matter, valid or not.
Stop being stupid.
Just wear the mask.
If we're wrong about it we can all look back and laugh at how silly we looked with a piece of cloth over our faces.
If we're right about it we save lives and keep from getting sick and crashing the economy.
The question is: Do you feel lucky? Well....do ya?...punk?

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The existing order already required masks if you crossed paths with someone while running outside, so no change there. That part of the new order, in my opinion, is as much to send a message to take COVID seriously and to provide a bright line for enforcement officials where needed as it is to provide any direct reduction in COVID transmission.

Completely agree that wear your masks at all times, but the restaurants stay open, is incoherent. We should wear masks when in contact with others. It doesnt cost much and it could help, both with transmission rates and severity of disease, but Im skeptical that they actually are helping that much. The spiking case levels everywhere here and abroad provide pretty strong evidence that masks are, at best, necessary but not sufficient.

Increased mask mandates also really rile up the true believe Covidiots and, while admittedly can be admittedly entertaining, we will need their compliance to get through this. So unless we are going to strongly enforce a zero tolerance mask policy Im not sure id have issued one.

I'll admit that Baker is dealt a tough hand here though. Do nothing isnt an option, but people really havent come to grips with the economic catastrophe coming down the pipe if we full shutdown again without Federal dollars, both for governments and individuals. The FY '22 budgets are going to be a disaster. Maybe zoom school here to stay not because the pandemic is still running wild, but because we had to consolidate school districts due to mass layoffs and teaching 100 person classes is easier remotely and cheaper with no real estate costs.

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It has been widely observed that the understanding of the pandemic among experts is imperfect, and that there is a certain amount of disagreement among them. Nevertheless, your lack of understanding and your disagreement with the experts does not make you one of them.

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But if it is, Id say my skepticism on how far masks get us comes from listening to experts (and not the Great Barrington charlatans either).

Basically wear masks, they hopefully help, but really they are for situations where you have to have in-person encounters. The way to reduce transmission is to dramatically reduce in person encounters, particularly indoors. So we shouldnt view wearing masks as enabling us to have more in person encounters, particularly indoors.

Basically, I mostly agree with this.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/07/commentary-my-views-...

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Please tell me what the thousands of scientists screaming about these insane policies have to gain other than a clear conscience. Wake up..you have been had!

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I'd compare it to something like seatbelts. Do you always need to have your seatbelt every single time you're in the car, even if you're just moving the car for street cleaning? Probably not, but it's a lot easier to just tell everyone "put your seatbelt on while driving", and get people in the habit of putting on their seatbelt as soon as they get in the car, than it is to try and have a bunch of rules designed to cover every possible edge case.

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Just wear a mask when you're not at home, is that really such an incredible burden for you? It's just a mask, it is literally the least you can do. No, Charlie's secret Mask Gestapo isn't going to pop out from behind a tree and arrest you while you're walking in the woods alone unmasked. The idea is that saying "just wear a damn mask when you go out" is a lot easier for people to keep in mind than an instructional pamphlet that parses out which specific cases people should and should not be wearing masks.

"Hm, am I likely to encounter between 10 and 25 people within 6 feet and which direction will the wind be blowing and how long will I be near them and--"

vs.

"Am I at home? No? I'll put a mask on."

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The virus isn't more transmissible at 11:30 pm than it is at 7:30 pm. Closing restaurants earlier will just make them more crowded as the same number of people try to fit into fewer open hours. We actually should go the other direction and encourage people to shift activities into the late-night hours if their work schedules permit it.

If it isn't freezing or snowy out, I'll take advantage of the reduced car traffic to go for more 11 pm bike rides.

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Most restaurants open after 10pm these days are "restaurants" that offer a cheap food item in order to not be categorized as a "bar".

Not mentioned by Adam is all alcohol sales, including retail, must end at 9:30pm. You will still be able to get takeout and delivery of food and non-alcoholic beverages after 9:30, but eliminating "bar-type" atmospheres as much as possible right now is good for public safety, IMO.

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what about south street diner and most of chinatown?

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I'd guess it's because you and your friends were to meet up at 10pm for a meal, there's a much higher chance of that devolving into something more like hanging out a bar where masks stay down and safety protocols lapse.

One drink= kind of careful
two drinks= nice to be out with friends
three drinks= fuck it, we either have it or we don't, no more masks!

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Those same friends are getting take-out and meeting up in a private houses, in close quarters, and in spaces with poor ventilation.

Take-out is indirectly responsible for a lot of COVID transmission.

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Um. People being careless is not the containers of food’s fault.
You are giving a LOT of excuse ammo to naughty children and others.
It indirectly causes pregnancy, too I suppose?

WE ALL KNOW IT’S THE UTENSILS!

Also - we need more savory smoothies, like BBQ chicken.
Soylent may be a complete food, but tastes gross.

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Everyone wants to fudge the rules.

When the edict came down that establishments can’t serve alcohol if patrons don’t have food, all of a sudden restaurants started keeping their kitchens open until 12:00am/1:00am so that a table could, perhaps, order a basket of fires and just drink as if it was a normal bar.

The Commonwealth’s original guidance to opening up dining was that you eat your meal (with members of your household) and leave. You could have an alcoholic beverage with the meal, but you couldn’t occupy the space for the sole purpose of having a drink.

Patrons, businesses owners, and workers who rely on tips have all the motivation in the world to find loopholes or to outright just break the rules. I exploited that loophole a few times with some outdoor drinking, er, dining. Furthermore, I observed a local establishment not only break Covid rules but explicitly break liquor license laws by serving individuals a bucket of 6 unopened beers with no food.

So the curfew looks like it designed to shut down bars that are acting like traditional bars and not operating within the spirit of the Covid regulations.

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I also think this times out to the early snow and current/ recent cold weather which have seemingly been the finishing move on Baker's wishful talk from mid-September about outdoor dining season extending into December-January

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Back in June, or whenever reopening started in New Hampshire, the rule on dining in was that a party could not occupy a table beyond a period of time (2 hours?) The idea was that you were there to eat, not to get drunk. I hate to admit when New Hampshire does things right, but it was a good idea. Of course, now they are starting to mandate restaurants keep contact info for tracing purposes, so they kind of know what they are doing.

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(The title is just me being a smart ass, unnecessarily.)

Those are good ideas, with the caveat that population densities are different than the Greater Boston Area yada yada yada. And MA can learn from those strategies, but I am going to derail the thread to get on my soapbox (forgive me)...

These policies were introduced in the late spring as a bridge to get us to the fall/winter where “hopefully” we’d have a better handle on the pandemic and we’d all be working towards rebuilding and reclaiming lost revenue. The business owners who didn’t close shop bet the house on clinging for dear life for a few months with the prospect of getting back to normal late Q3 and all Q4.

So now, with snow in late October, we are not only seeing the limitations of the “just buy propane heaters and pay to maintain them, bro” policy, we are also restricting business hours. The restaurant business is not coming back during the winter. Business owners lost money by not cutting their losses and closing permanently in June/July/August; they’re stuck in a suck cost/bettor’s fallacy that they’re too indebted to give up now. It’s cruel.

From a purely public health standpoint I agree with the closing early. I agree with you, Waquiout, that MA should take a hard look at the NH model. BUT...

All of these good ideas become irrelevant if the revenue streams of these establishments don’t support long-term financial sustainability.

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More customers per table per day == more spending and more tips.

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When table service came back in the late spring/early summer, pent up demand was high and many popular Boston-area restaurants a.) required reservations and b.) limited seating to ~1.5 hours. (Little Donkey in Central Sq is one example.)

This was beneficial to limit Covid spreaders from exposing staff and other guests and for serving the high demand.

The problem is that the demand isn’t there every day for every restaurant and maybe not so much in November. If there are 0 reservations behind that 6:00pm reservation and no walk-ins, then there is no reason not to sell that table more alcohol if they order it.

Yes, in normal times you want to turn your tables a minimum of 2.5x. But if no one is coming in to fill the table... Or you only have 50% of your normal tables...
then the 2 hour limit becomes prohibitive rather than advantageous.

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From what I've gathered, they really get their money from alcoholic beverages. Let people stay another hour, they order another 2 or 3 rounds, and you've got decent profit.

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You see the Harvard video with all the young adults crowded around each other? Which I'm sure is happening in places like Southie too.

A little hard to determine exactly who to give fines to there. Someone could have attempted to follow the rules but found themselves surrounded by others with masks half on.

This new policy can help deal with that kind of situation, with little downside I think. As long as late night people can still get food and do other essential things.

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"Right now we're requesting that you make real sacrifices," to help avoid what happened before, he added.

Thanks, Governor, some people have already stayed at home as much as humanly possible, foregone any but the barest minimum of contact, abandoned their families through birthdays and holidays, and have been teetering on the brink of psychological meltdown for months due to lack of human contact, but I guess now is the time for REAL sacrifices, though apparently not to the point of closing a gym or a casino

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Yup. This is me and I'm really damn annoyed to see how many people are being unnecessarily careless right now. And even with this latest order there are still people who are like "wahhh wahhh I don't want to wear a mask outside all the time" as can be seen by the commenters here. Please just a wear a damn mask. It won't kill you, but COVID just might.

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There seems to be two sets of people: One group which thinks COVID is a lie and/or that it's harmless. These people aren't wearing masks or taking any other precautions. They are the super spreaders. They certainly aren't listening to Baker or any doctors.

The other group are people who think being maskless outdoors will infect everyone within a 5 block radius, most of whom will die within weeks.

Both sides are wrong.

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Actually, I think most people, myself included, are somewhere in the middle. But too many are closer to the "this is harmless" side.

For me, I think it's important that we all do as much as we can to prevent the spread. There are enough people that HAVE to interact with other people because of the nature of their jobs that even if we are all doing the best we can to avoid social contact, the virus will still spread. I know people are getting tired. I know they miss their families. I do too. But we have telephones and video chat and even socially distanced outdoor chats wearing masks.

My prediction is that Thanksgiving is going to be a disaster. The fact that indoor gatherings of any size are still being "allowed" is crazy to me. Households should not be mixing at this point. People are not going to be able to stay away from extended families. The temptation is too strong. Even my own parents have been practically begging me to come visit. And since schools are open now, if kids are with extended family over Thanksgiving, it's going to spread like crazy right after that.

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if i'm not within hundreds of feet of another person, why should i wear a mask?

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You could easily have seen families and friends these past few months, either by coordinating some testing beforehand or meeting outside in a distanced situation.

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What is the difference between a recommendation and an order? If the Governor cannot enforce a mask policy on the MBTA how can he enforce a mask policy statewide.

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We need a national lockdown there’s no way around it !

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Europe tried that and it didn't work. Their daily case and death numbers are now much worse than the US.

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it wasn't, thanks to Donald Trump's criminally irresponsible way of handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Had there been a nationally mandated lock-down for at least 3-4 months, the United States, as a country would be back to normal, or at least close to it.

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You wanted the bulk of Americans to be unemployed for 3 to 4 months.

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You're OK with 230K dead Americans.

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But to say that the option is between a total lockdown and nothing is ludicrous. Somehow places as diverse as Taiwan and Czechia were able to manage this for months without taking the measures China took. Meanwhile, the likes of Italy and Spain did something akin to what mplo is thinking, and the results, per capita, basically the same as what the US did with their admittedly muddled response.

(And yes, long term, Czechia didn't do too good, as they are the world's hotspot now, but we are more than 3 to 4 months out.)

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but he said even older adults need to do things such as cutting out football watching parties and the like.

I think the Pats put the kibosh on that already, Mr. Governor.

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You do know that the game play itself appeals to football fans and that brand loyalty is only part of the appeal.

Fandom is virtue signalling for jocks.

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The internal polls for Biden must be far worse than they are saying if Baker is resorting to this nonsense the night before the election. It's been widely reported that most Biden supporters voted early while President Trump's supporters wait to go in-person on Election Day. This, along with the boarded up storefronts and 1000 member National Guard callup are meant to scare (Trump) voters. Biden will likely win MA regardless, but these abrupt directives are timed to keep Trump's overall vote total down in order to foment anger and violence amongst those who don't fully grasp the Electoral College. Two questions, does the virus only come out between 9:30 pm and 5 am? Is that settled science?

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Did you notice that Baker didn't order any polling places closed, or encourage antifascists to go to them and intimidate Trump voters? Your theory that the COVID measures are meant to scare Trump voters and keep his vote total down is hilarious.

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"Anti" fascists. LOL
You must have believed all those Iron Curtain countries were really "Democratic Republics", because it was right there in the name.

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Let me welcome you to the 21st Century, where those terms don't have the meanings you learned back in the 1950s.

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this guy believes nazis were socialists

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You’re kidding right? This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.

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WTF are you even talking about?!

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.

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Personally, I don't think it's time to get cocky, regardless of the polls, but it's always amusing to see a feeble ol' Trumpie gibbering some harebrained conspiracy theory at the prospect that Trump might lose.

But seriously: projecting voter suppression tactics onto *Democrats*? Not only does that fly in the face of the kind of logic a dog could grasp, it's been the core of the GOP strategy to win elections in the face of their steadily declining numbers for years now. Even Trump said this out loud a month or two ago.

I hope you aren't allowed to drive a motor vehicle, Gramps. But don't sweat it: President Death Cult has far more effective ways in mind of attempting to thwart the will of the electorate. Without them, he knows he's headed for penury and prison. Even if he loses by landslide margins, he won't go quietly.

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I don’t even have to read what you post anymore... I just see your name and know it’s elderly trolling

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somewhat formulaic batshit-crazy ramblings. They are kind of like a crazy car wreck, you just want to look and try to figure out “how the hell did he end up THERE?” I can’t decide if he’s intentionally trying to be that ridiculous or if he truly believes the tin-foil nonsense he spouts.

FISH, what color is the sky in your world?

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Since one must take their mask off to eat, how does that work to keep restaurants open, since it is now required to wear a mask at all times even when social distancing is possible?

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n/t

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Will the MBTA be shut down at ten or will we be able to hang around in sanctuary stations?

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I guess Covid works 3rd shift.

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Curfews are, by definition, pretty much not voluntary.

A voluntary curfew is like a 55 mph speed limit in Massachusetts.

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Go 60 in a 55, and you can get fined.

When the City of Boston had it's 9 o'clock "curfew," I used to run by the local police station several times a week at around 9:30. Heck, I went inside and used their toilets a few times. I was not even told to go home.

From what I heard, it appears that the governor is hoping people do the right thing. Of course, if infections keep on rising, voluntary may become mandatory.

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