New York

Douglas Murray and Jordan Peterson’s Night Out at the Theatre Ruined by Officious Enforcer of Mandatory Masking

Douglas Murray has provided a horrifying account in the New York Post of being harassed by an enforcer of New York’s mandatory masking policy on a night out at the theatre with Dr. Jordan Peterson. They were at a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for which tickets ranged in price between $149 and $329. Murray says he now wouldn’t go back if he was paid.

While thousands packed into the Super Bowl stadium last Sunday, schoolchildren in California, like New York, continue to do physical exercise outside with masks over their faces. A New York friend relates that last weekend he watched his double-vaxxed son play soccer outside in a mask. For the first time, parents were allowed to observe. Also in masks. Only to be policed by officials threatening to expel parents should their masks slip below the nose.

I had a taste of this fresh hell last Saturday. Some Canadian friends were in town and generously took a group of us to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway.

On the way into the theater, bouncer-like staff screamed at us to form the correct queues and have the right documentation ready. We appeared to be visiting Azkaban, not Hogwarts. It was just the first of the evening’s delights.

Inside the Lyric Theatre, they had tried to recreate the atmosphere of an English boarding school. As a survivor of such an establishment, I can tell you they did a grand job emulating the most sadistic aspects of such institutions.

The trouble started when one of our party bought water and a couple of beers for the group. With not much change for $100 for this pleasure, we took our seats. All through the auditorium prefects marched around with signs saying, “Masks Up.” We were in the welcoming arms of the Ambassadors Theatre Group.

Soon a member of staff came to warn me that I had failed to pull my mask up fast enough after my most recent swig of beer. As the show began, someone with a name badge saying “Libby” came over and told off another member of our group for failing to bring their mask up swiftly enough after sipping another of the overpriced drinks the Lyric Theatre had just sold us.

As the show began, it seemed that Libby (a k a Dolores Umbridge) had identified us as troublemakers. Flagrant sippers. After the lights had gone low, I noticed Libby standing at the end of our row staring down it, hands on hips. There she stayed, glaring through the dark.

To say this distracted from events on stage is an understatement. Impressive though the effects are, the 3¹/₂-hour plot was already pretty arse-numbing. What made it more so was knowing Libby was monitoring us throughout. Whenever she slipped out briefly, another monitor took her place. Eventually, Libby got what she wanted. About an hour into Act 1, she spied through the dark that a female member of our party had failed to replace her mask swiftly enough over her nose and mouth. Libby clambered behind our row in the stalls and startled my friend by spitting at her loudly to pull her mask up.

By the time the interval came, one of my Canadian friends – Jordan Peterson – and I decided it might be a good idea to do that regrettable thing and ask to speak with the manager. We asked. At which point we were reintroduced to Libby. Libby was the manager, and explained that we were under suspicion because our group had already received three warnings for insufficiently speedy remasking after sips. Jordan and I both asked for further guidance on what exactly constituted permissible sip length.

It sounds like an absolute nightmare. Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Jordan Peterson tweets: “Masks up! Between sips! Instantly! Not fast enough! Or else! Masks up! Between sips! Instantly! Or else! Such a fun evening out with @DouglasKMurray dealing with the compassion fascists.”

New York State Declares a Public Emergency Due to The Omicron Variant

The Governor of New York state, Kathy Hochul (pictured), has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency, which won’t be lifted until at least January 15th. Fears over the new Omicron variant have persuaded the Governor to act, with Hochul tweeting that: “While the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming.” The Independent has more.

The state of New York has declared a new public emergency over the emerging Omicron variant of Covid, warning New Yorkers: “It’s coming.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Friday lasting until at least January 15th that branded the state’s rates of Covid-transmission as a disaster requiring urgent aid to local governments.

The Omicron variant has alarmed health officials since its discovery in Botswana earlier this month, spreading rapidly through South Africa and into Europe and Asia.

Scientists fear it could become a so-called ‘escape variant’ that is resistant to current Covid vaccines, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a ‘variant of concern’.

President Joe Biden has imposed new travel restrictions on Botswana, South Africa and six other sub-Saharan African countries, also urging Americans to get their vaccines and booster shots. As of Friday, the variant has not been spotted in the U.S.

Hochul said: “We continue to see warning signs of spikes in Covid this winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming.

“Today I signed an executive order to help boost hospital capacity ahead of potential spikes. Through this action, we will also be able to acquire critical supplies more quickly to combat the pandemic.

“I urge New Yorkers to take advantage of our greatest weapon in the pandemic: the vaccine. Get vaccinated and get the booster as soon as you are able.”

Worth reading in full.

Judge Bans New York State from Sacking Health Care Workers Who Refuse to Get Jabbed on Religious Grounds

Following reports that aborted fetal tissue is being used to develop Covid vaccines, a U.S. judge has granted a preliminary injunction allowing health care workers in New York to avoid ‘no jab, no job’ rules on religious grounds. The state’s Govenor says she will “fight this decision” to “keep New Yorkers safe”. MailOnline has the story.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd made the ruling on Tuesday after 17 Catholic and Baptist health care workers sued the state last month, saying they objected to being forced to take a vaccine that used “fetal cell lines” from “procured abortions”.

The order prohibits the New York State Department of Health from interfering with religious exemptions or taking disciplinary action against workers who have sought or obtained them.

Govenor Kathy Hochul, responding to the order, said she backs the vaccine mandate, whose original deadline was September 27th, with the state’s 450,000 medical and care staff expected to have received at least one vaccine dose by that date.

“My responsibility as Governor is to protect the people of this state, and requiring health care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that. I stand behind this mandate, and I will fight this decision in court to keep New Yorkers safe,” she wrote in a statement.

According to the injunction, which was obtained by CNN, the state health department is “barred from interfering in any way with the granting of religious exemptions from Covid vaccination going forward, or with the operation of exemptions already granted”.

The organisation is also prohibited from taking any action on licenses, certifications, residency or other professional status for workers who seek or have obtained religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate.

Christopher Ferrara, the lead counsel for plaintiffs in the case applauded the judge’s ruling.

“With this decision the court rightly recognised that yesterday’s ‘front line heroes’ in dealing with Covid cannot suddenly be treated as disease-carrying villains and kicked to the curb by the command of a state health bureaucracy,” he said in a statement obtained by the news outlet.

Worth reading in full.

New York to Relax Rules on Mask-Wearing – with Many Conditions Attached

New York is set to conform with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and relax its mask mandate on Wednesday. This relaxation will only apply to vaccinated New Yorkers holding vaccine passports. In “settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown”, masks will still have to be worn, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. Mask-wearing will also still be required (including by those who are vaccinated) in a number of other settings. The Epoch Times has more.

The Democrat [Governor Cuomo] initially resisted altering his state’s guidance, saying officials needed to review the CDC’s updates.

Consistent with the CDC’s guidance, New York will still require masks for every public transportation rider and all people who enter nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, and health care buildings.

The state isn’t letting private businesses eliminate a requirement of six feet of social distancing between small groups or individuals unless all patrons within the business, or a separate designated part of the establishment, present proof of vaccination.

Patrons can use the state’s Excelsior Pass, a vaccine passport system, use a different digital application, or show a paper document.

New York has increasingly begun treating the vaccinated and unvaccinated differently. Major stadiums, for instance, are requiring unvaccinated fans to sit separately from those who have gotten a Covid shot. And a reopening of the Tribeca Festival will only allow vaccinated attendees, the governor announced on May 17th.

“We do want to say directly: 100% [capacity] at Radio City Music Hall. So if I’m not vaccinated, I can’t go,” he said. “If you’re vaccinated, yes, you come to Radio City Music Hall. And if you’re unvaccinated, that’s your choice. But you can’t go into the Radio City Music Hall with vaccinated people.”

Cuomo had previously announced that many capacity restrictions would end in New York and surrounding states.

Worth reading in full.

Only 10% of Manhattan’s Office Workers Return to Workplace

Reports earlier this week that “hybrid working” could become “the norm” following lockdowns have been confirmed in Manhattan, where only 10% of office workers have returned to the workplace. The Financial Times has the story.

Just 10% of Manhattan’s one million office workers had returned to the workplace by early March, according to a study indicating that most of them will still be working remotely by September.

The survey of large employers by the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy group, suggests that Manhattan offices are still as empty as they were last October.

Expectations for returning to the office have slipped since then, however: while employers polled last October expected to bring back 48% of their office staff by July, they now anticipate having just 45% back at their desks by September.

Over the longer term, employers expect 56% of their office staff to continue working remotely at least part of the time.

On Wednesday, workspace provider IWG (formerly Regus) said “[hybrid working] works for companies, because it’s a lot cheaper”. But is the amount of money saved from making staff work at home greater than the reported cost of reduced productivity that this causes?

Worth reading in full.