Vermont just banned all multi-household social gatherings — indoor and outdoor alike.

Announced this morning. The exact text of the executive order:

Multiple Household Social Gatherings Suspended. Attendance at all public and private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including large social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household. For the sake of clarity, nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same residence. Individuals who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family residing in a different household.

Even during our actual lockdown back in March and April, social gatherings were never outright banned, just restricted in size. And banning specifically outdoor gatherings was never even considered. It disturbs me deeply to think of being penalized for taking a fucking walk around the block with my neighbor.

I personally will be okay, I think. But I know this will destroy the mental health of many, many people who live alone. With the holidays coming up, there couldn’t be a worse time for this.

And on a broader level, I am appalled to see the politician’s fallacy in action (something must be done; this is something; therefore we must do this). There is no legal precedent or scientific reason to ban outdoor gatherings. It’s pure optics. I willingly gave an inch back in March because I genuinely thought it was evidence-based. Turns out they took a mile, because they always fucking do.

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