It’s been quite a year since experts told us that they needed only 15 days to flatten the economy, er, I mean flatten the curve. Here are the top 15 dumbest and most bizarre recommendations made by government officials, health officials and the media over the last year.
15) No shopping on aisle 3: Remember when Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerGovernors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight Protesters crash former Detroit police chief's gubernatorial announcement event Former Detroit police chief launching gubernatorial campaign vs. Whitmer next week MORE (D) mandated that certain areas in stores like Target, Walmart and Costco be closed because she didn’t want shoppers to get nonessential items like plants, furniture and paint? That was awesome.
14) Gone fishing: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in Maryland closed all bait shops in his state because apparently fishing somehow spread COVID-19.
13) Swimming too: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserBiden to GOP governors planning vaccine mandate lawsuits: 'Have at it' Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program Biden nominates DC regulator to federal energy commission MORE (D) wasn’t the only one, but all public swimming pools in Washington were closed, despite the fact that being outdoors and getting exercise has proven to be the best way to build your immune system.
12) State-by-state quarantines: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisCalifornia dreaming did not become reality for Republicans Florida landlord requiring proof of vaccinations from tenants Anthrax was the COVID-19 of 2001 MORE (R) gets credit for opening his state early, but he also should get some blame for starting the state-by-state tit for tat, when he closed Florida’s borders to all travelers from New York. In Washington, D.C., you are still legally required to quarantine for 14 days if you travel to Pennsylvania (but not Virginia or Maryland).
11) Foul ball: In the Northern Virginia Travel baseball league, it was recommended that only players could retrieve foul balls, not spectators. And umpires couldn’t ump from behind the plate, only from behind the mound.
10) Fist-bump preferred: Saint Anthony FauciAnthony FauciIntercept reporters discuss gain-of-function research The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration United Airlines CEO says employees exempt from vaccine 'won't be in front of customers' MORE said that he believed that people should never shake hands again. And forget about hugging or kissing.
9) Don’t rake the sand: Golf courses around the country took away the rakes on sand traps at the recommendation of health officials and told golfers to not touch the pins because somehow a respiratory virus would spread if you touched the flag.
8) Tennis no one: Muriel Bowser took down nets across the city to make certain that people couldn’t enjoy getting outside and playing tennis. And health officials recommended that if you were to play tennis, you should only touch your own tennis balls with your hands, not your opponent’s. Nope, I am not making that up.
7) Playgrounds verboten: Despite all evidence that being outside was good for everybody and that kids don’t spread COVID-19, playgrounds across the country were closed for a good portion of pandemic. That will show the kids and parents to hate the government.
6) Don’t use the toilet: Health experts recommended that the public stop using public bathrooms because COVID-19 magically could get you while you were sitting on the pot.
5) Close the national parks: The federal government closed all national parks at the height of the pandemic, making outdoor recreation impossible, despite overwhelming evidence of the health benefits of being outside.
4) Surf City: Remember when police arrested a surfer for surfing in order to contain the spread? That was epic.
3) Masquerade: Both St. Fauci and Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsFormer surgeon general: 'Unconscionable' for states to ban mask mandates Former Trump surgeon general says politicians are 'taking tools' away from public health offices Pence urges young conservatives to get COVID-19 vaccine MORE, then the surgeon general, advised lustily that wearing masks wasn’t smart and wasn’t effective. They then changed their minds, with Fauci acknowledging that he lied initially about masks to stop everybody from using them. By the end of pandemic, he was telling everybody to wear two masks.
2) Black Lives Matter protests good; Trump rallies bad: Health “experts” all agreed that the mostly peaceful protests that destroyed businesses and lives were good and unlikely to spread the virus, while the Trump campaign events were super-spreading events.
1) Hybrid schools: The No. 1 stupid decision of government experts was promoting the idea of hybrid schools, where half the kids would go to school two days a week while the other learn virtually at home. This has led to all sorts of bizarre outcomes. Teachers teaching from home, while proctors keep an eye on the kids in school. Kids gaming the system to look like they are listening while they are actually playing video games. The silly idea of cohorts, as if the kids aren’t going to interact with one another after school is over.
Hybrid schooling is the worst possible solution. Kids only learn, at best, two days a week. Parents can’t focus on work for more than half the week. Studies now show that hybrid is the worst option when it comes to containing the virus in a community. The best option: Kids in school, five days a week.
Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertSettlement reached in hush money case involving ex-Speaker Feehery: Not this way Feehery: Seizing the radical middle MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).