New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged residents to stay away from their loved ones this Thanksgiving with an eerie voice-tweet. He has had trouble convincing local authorities to enforce his 10-person gathering limit.
“I’m at home with my family. I’m in my safe zone” Cuomo intoned in the voice message, posted to Twitter on Thursday, before dropping his voice to a menacing whisper:
Your safe zone is not a safe zone. Your safe zone is dangerous this year.
Love is sometimes doing what’s hard.
The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with your immediate household only. pic.twitter.com/nBEviXnZ8P
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 19, 2020
“Love is sometimes doing what’s hard,” the governor continued, returning to his previous tone. “This year, if you love someone, it is smarter and better to stay away.”
Despite issuing an executive order earlier this month that limits indoor gatherings to 10 people as well as forcing bars, restaurants and gyms to close at 10pm, Cuomo has struggled to tamp down a rebellion among law enforcement in the western part of the state. A handful of sheriffs have announced they don’t plan to enforce the 10-person limit on private gatherings – especially on Thanksgiving.
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“We have limited resources and we have to set priorities, so obtaining a Search Warrant to enter your home to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority,” Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week.
Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy concurred, telling locals to “use your own best judgment” over the holiday because his officers would not be participating in the governor’s “Thanksgiving crackdown.” The sheriffs of Erie and Saratoga counties have also put their foot down.
Even New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea stated the NYPD would not be breaking up Thanksgiving dinners to enforce Cuomo’s rules. The backlash clearly took the governor by surprise – asked about it during a Wednesday press conference, he refused to believe Giardino was a law enforcement officer at all, because a real law enforcement officer would apparently treat executive orders the same way as laws.
But lonely New Yorkers who can’t be with Grandma this Thanksgiving – whether because she lives on the other side of the country or because she died in a nursing home packed with Covid-19 patients – have another option, though a questionable one. A Buffalo graphics company is taking user-uploaded photos and printing life-size cutouts of your missing loved ones to seat around the dinner table. Child size printouts are available too, in case the pathos wasn’t extreme enough.
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And for those planning on flouting the Coronavirus Commissar’s 10-person gathering limit, Zoom Buffalo is also selling window decals of Cuomo himself – because nothing says Thanksgiving like having the sensation of being watched by Big Brother. The real governor is likely to be too busy celebrating his own achievements to actually peek in his constituents’ windows, however, as he has reportedly been honored with an Emmy award “in recognition of his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.”
Cuomo is far from the only authority trying to discourage Americans from celebrating Thanksgiving with their extended families. The Centers for Disease Control on Thursday discouraged traveling for Thanksgiving and urged those who insist on having large holiday dinners anyway to have everyone bring their own food and drink and serve the food outdoors – a chilly proposition in late November.
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