The missing phases of Massachusetts’s reopening plan

Governor Charlie Baker has released a four-phase plan outlining how the state will reopen. It’s not too shabby for something seemingly put together without enough data just to make all the complainers shut the fuck up. A quick review:

Phase 1, Start: Limited reopening of industries where physical distancing isn’t a huge issue. This most likely means construction.

Phase 2, Cautious: More stuff opens! I’d guess limited outdoor seating at restaurants, beauty services with strict occupancy limits, and elective medicine.

Phase 3, Vigilant: Even more stuff opens! Sounds like limited indoor seating at restaurants and maybe a reopening of playgrounds and the like.

Phase 4, The New Normal: Guess you can hug your mom now if she’s spry enough.

It’s kind of vague, and for good reason: we have no idea how this will play out. Baker included the caveat that this will not necessarily be a steady progression between phases. If things get shitty, we could move backward. Good luck getting the idiots to do that after you give them a taste of freedom, Charlie!

But don’t worry. I’m brilliant, so I’ve got your missing phases right here!

Phase 1.1, Some Asshole Coughs on All the Ice Cream: This one’s going to be sad, but you know it’s coming.

Phase 2.1, Where Did All the Scratch Tickets Go?: You know there’s a horde of lottery junkies waiting with bated breath to descend on your local Cumby’s and devour all the CashWords.

Phase 2.2, A Bus of Tourists from Texas Fucks Us Over: But we just wanted to see Harvard! claim a bunch of Karens that caused a COVID flareup in Cambridge that kicks at least part of the state back to Phase 1.

Phase 3.1, St. New Hall-o-Patrick’s Ween Day-Eve: Stock up on your rubbers now, Massachusetts. That first weekend where the bars at even half capacity is going to turn into a bigger shit show than Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and New Year’s Eve combined. Post up by the window in your local coffee shop and enjoy the walks of shame the next afternoon.

Phase 3.2, Someone Assaults a Mannequin: I’ve read multiple articles about how restaurants are looking to make their socially distanced dining rooms seem less weird by filling empty seats with plastic people. I guarantee you at least one of those poor faux fellows is getting his head dropkicked into the street, hopefully by someone who yells “Leeroy Jenkins!” and then charges across the room to deliver his killing blow. It is unclear whether this will necessitate a move back to a prior phase, but I’d advocate for it purely as a teaching moment.

Phase 5, Old People Can Hang Out in Dunkin Again: I won’t feel truly safe until I walk into my local Dunks and find an old coot in a MAGA hat telling a guy in a Navy shirt how much his grandkids suck.

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