California Governor Gavin Newsom today said again that an announcement about the state allowing theme parks such as Disneyland to reopen is coming "soon."
"We will be making announcements soon as it relates to theme parks and amusement parks — making announcements soon as it relates to some industries as well as sectors and putting out additional guidelines in those spaces," Newsom said during his noon press conference. "Very, very shortly — I am not here today to make that presentation, but we are actively working in a number of sectors and we will be making public the fruits of those negotiations and those efforts very, very shortly."
Over the past week or two, leaders in the tourism industry — including theme parks — and their communities have been pushing stories and demands that Newsom move quickly to reopen the parks. Here's what I posted on my social media accounts this afternoon after Newsom's latest remarks.
Order in which we care about people's opinions on theme parks reopening:
- Infectious disease specialists studying Covid-19
- Front-line, in-park employees
- Nearby tourism industry workers
- Theme park fans who wear masks
- Theme park management
- Media that don't cover theme parks daily
- People who don't ever visit theme parks
And here's how I responded to a discussion on our forum:
"Carry on, Gov. Newsom. People are more important than money. When it is time to reopen parks, do. But don't let any business bark its way to the front of the line."
Obviously, a lot of people care about when Disneyland and other theme parks reopen in Southern California. Like many, I want fans to be able to enjoy themselves safely and industry workers to be able to make a living safely, as well. But many of people who say they care about Disney's return don't care because they are theme park fans or work in the themed entertainment industry. They "care" because Disneyland is a cultural symbol and they want to use it to enflame an unnecessary and increasingly deadly political culture war.
For our readers in the United States, as soon as Disneyland announces its return, your social media feeds, email inbox, newspaper, and TV screens will be inundated by crap offered up by people who do not cover theme parks on a regular basis and have not been following what has happened in this industry around the world over the past six months. Some of those messages will attack theme parks' return and some will praise it.
But all those hot takes on bad coverage will be amplified online by an army of bots commissioned by people who want you to feel anger towards "other" Americans. When the California parks announce their reopenings, I will cover their return. But I will try my best to steer clear of the Orwellian "Two Minutes Hate" stuff, including viral videos of mask battles.
Until then, mask up whenever you leave the house. Wash your hands. Get a flu shot before that season starts. And always be friendly and respectful of those around you... while staying at least six feet away from them. Be good to each other.
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