Nothing says Thanksgiving spirit like having authorities interrogate your kids about how many people you shared a table with last Thursday.
That’s exactly what is happening in the state of Vermont, where Governor Phil Scott has asked schools to question children and parents about the number of people who attended their Thanksgiving gatherings when children go back to school after the holiday weekend.
If they determine that their Thanksgiving dinner was a multi-family affair, the children will be forced to go into quarantine.
As hard as it may be to believe, the governor sent a tweet describing the plan in no uncertain terms: “Unfortunately, we know some will still get together and schools have asked for help. @VTEducation will direct schools to ask students or parents if they were part of multi-family gatherings and if the answer is yes, they’ll need to go remote for 14 days or 7 days and a test.”
Those who are banned from school and test negative for the virus will be able to return after one week instead of two.
The message comes almost two weeks after Scott’s executive order banning gatherings of any kind, including indoor and outdoor social gatherings in private and public spaces alike. The order said that every type of gathering, ceremony and celebration could only be attended by members of a single household.
Meanwhile, Vermont’s Education Secretary, Dan French, said he is hoping that families will be honest about the number of people at their gatherings.
The governor has also encouraged businesses to use the same approach with their employees. Speaking ahead of the holiday, Scott said that those planning family gatherings who do not want their kids to have to use remote learning and undergo a quarantine should make other plans.
Vermont has not been hit by the disease as hard as other states, registering 3,827 cases and 64 deaths. Around 40 percent of their cases were reported in November, and the state was concerned that Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to a bigger spike. However, the state has also seen a significant increase in testing as on-demand testing sites come online and pop-up tests are being used when cases jump in an area. Nevertheless, the state seems content to use the rise in cases as an excuse to control people.
Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine reminded people who travel over the holidays, such as college students who are returning home, to follow the state’s quarantine procedures by staying away from all other people for 14 days.
Ahead of the holiday, an Ohio State University Medical Center survey revealed that 38 percent of Americans plan to go ahead with their usual Thanksgiving plans despite the pandemic.
Reporting COVID-19 restriction violations is encouraged in some areas
Although it’s easy to be angry at Vermont for this ridiculous approach, other state and local governments, like those in the city of Los Angeles as well as the states of Virginia and Ohio, have been encouraging people to snitch on one another if they believe that local coronavirus restrictions were violated. Canada has even set up “snitch lines” where citizens can report violators to the police.
Needless to say, teaching children to turn on their parents or pressuring them to talk about the private things that go on in their household is pretty scary territory. Some people who are concerned about the spread of the disease might even be comfortable with this interrogation, but it’s important to keep in mind that once people accept it, it won’t be long before children are also questioned about who their parents voted for, whether or not there are guns in the house, and any other matters that present an opportunity for more government control.
Sources for this article include: