Holed up, hunkered down, and held hostage
As of this writing, most Americans have quarantined at home for at least six weeks. Generally speaking, the majority of people are law-abiding and compliant to their state governors' mandates due to the COVID-19 crisis. Sure, there's a lot of complaining and grumbling, but with a few exceptions, people across the U.S. have complied with the orders to stay at home, taking precautionary measures when out shopping for food and other essential items, as well as observing social distancing. Not surprisingly, the collective American patience is wearing thin; given the grossly overestimated number of deaths due to COVID-19, the additional draconian restrictions stipulated by several state governors, combined with some state leaders who have hinted at extending stay-at-home orders until July or August.
Severe restriction of all commercial travel from China officially began on January 30, when President Trump announced the ban. In the days that followed, almost all foreign air travel was banned from entering the United States. As the virus began its relentless march across the country, state governors began imposing stay-at-home mandates, in order to mitigate the virus spread based on recommendations from the White House coronavirus response team. Along with the mandates, White House team members Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx parroted British researcher Dr. Neil Ferguson's grim predictions, claiming that 2.2 million Americans would die — a number derived from computer modeling. Immediately and without hesitation, the New York Times followed up by publishing Ferguson's dire predictions. Other media outlets chimed in, and hysteria ensued. The predicted number of dead Americans due to COVID-19 has been downgraded multiple times and now sits at 60,000 possible deaths. And while the actual number of deaths in the U.S. now aligns about even with the actual number of annual seasonal flu deaths, some state governors have imposed additional restrictions with zealous, tyrannical conviction.
From stay-at-home orders to closing public schools, colleges, and universities, canceling events and locking down event venues, cancelling concerts, high school graduations, youth spring and summer sports, nixing college basketball March Madness to suspending major league baseball games, closing all restaurants and curtailing retail shopping, America is all but closed for business. Governors have been able to exert further authority by applying certain arbitrary restrictions or closures under the umbrella of "essential business," dependent on what each governor considers essential. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer declared garden seeds non-essential, while marijuana is deemed necessary for virus mitigation. So is prohibiting the use of motorized vehicles on lakes and banning fishing, hunting, and gathering in groups of two or more. New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy, declared driving through a tulip farm a dangerous virus-promoting activity and threatened to jail the tulip farmer if he allowed any cars onto his farm. Across the country, Easter weekend church services were canceled, with the exception of a defiant Mississippi pastor who offered his homily to congregants who remained in their cars. State police showed up and ticketed the religious rabble. Turning up the tyranny, Kentucky's governor forbade drive-up church services, too. He enlisted the state police to record the license plates of people who defied his Easter edict.
Finally, while most state governors are preparing to free the citizenry sometime soon using the three-pronged approach, there are several recalcitrant political leaders, including NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. Last week, de Blasio announced that his city won't reopen for business until July or August. By that time, restaurants and theaters will be boarded up, retailers will have filed for bankruptcy, and the exodus of humanity out of the city will be well underway. Similar to Venezuela, de Blasio's socialist paradise will have been achieved. What say you, Governor Andrew Cuomo?
This post has been updated.