SAINT PAUL — Governor Walz announced last evening that due to this unprecedented crisis, asking “How are you?” will be banned in the state of Minnesota for the foreseeable future, possibly forever. This ban also includes “how are you feeling?”, “how have you been?”, and “what’s new?”.
“This has been a challenging year for all of us and we have all made incredible sacrifices. But, let’s be honest, no one wants to hear about how hard of a time anyone else is having, and none of us have anything new to say. Yet, I myself talked for a full five minutes to my UberEats delivery driver yesterday and only stopped when I realized he’d slowly walked backwards all the way to his car while continuing to nod encouragingly,” Walz said. “As my story illustrates, asking ‘How are you’ lengthens our interactions with others, not only increasing risk of exposure to this deadly virus, but also to the emotional baggage of strangers.”
Once the policy goes into effect, anyone caught saying any of the banned questions will be subject to a $250 fine.
Droves of protesters, many of whom have been calling for the Governor to “reopen the state” for months, descended upon the Governor’s Mansion to demand that their voices, and their feelings, be heard. The crowd included a man who, in November 2016, tweeted out to his 47 followers “F*#& your feelings, snowflakes”.
One protester yelled into a megaphone: “I need people to ask me how I am doing because I am not great and other people need to know about it. First they forced us to wear masks and now this. The government will stop at nothing to silence us and I am not going to stand for this.”
Therapists throughout the state are seeking guidance on a potential exemption, but have yet to receive an answer from the Department of Health. For now, the Minnesota Counseling Association is recommending that its members refrain from asking any questions and hope that between the deadly pandemic, rampant unemployment, the violent insurrection, the botched vaccine roll out, the bitterness of winter, the lack of availability to purchase a pair of Bernie’s mittens online, and the final episode of season two of the Mandalorian that clients are primed to jump right in without being asked anything.