Michigan residents take to the streets for a massive protest
The experts assured Americans that, unless they addressed aggressively, the pandemic wave about to sweep over the country would kill millions of people, while breaking the healthcare system and, by extension, destroying America itself. The only way to make a dent in this apocalyptic scenario was for America to come to a complete halt. People had to isolate themselves within their homes, venturing forth for only the most essential errands.
Michigan was one of the states that took these prescriptions more seriously than others, shutting down virtually every aspect of life in Michigan, including earning any type of living. On Wednesday, several thousand Michigan citizens, as well as citizens from surrounding states. got fed up and took to the streets.
First-term Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a rising star in the Democrat party who gave the rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union Address, made national headlines when she banned hydroxychloroquine in her state. She seemed motivated more by animus to President Trump, who had expressed his hope that the medicine would be a "game changer," than by any risks the medicine posed. Whitmer reversed that order only when more reports emerged that hydroxychloroquine, combined with azithromycin and zinc, seemed effective at short-circuiting the virus in its early stages.
Aside from her abortive attempt to ban hydroxychloroquine, Whitmer still has a long list of edicts she insists are necessary to protect her citizens. Some are the same ones we see in other lockdown states, such as proscribing in-person public meetings, requiring that medical and dental facilities postpone all “non-essential procedures” (if you’re not dying, giving birth, or in agony, it’s not essential); preventing evictions; and authorizing early criminal releases.
Others, however, have been more creative and so very specific. Car dealerships are closed, but repair shops are open. Bicycle repair shops are closed unless they’re repairing bicycles for those people Michigan deems “critical infrastructure workers” who need bikes to commute to work.
If you need someone to clean your car, even if you’re old and frail and your car has become dangerously dirty because of slush and mud, you’re out of luck. The only childcare workers who can still earn money are the ones caring for the children of people deemed critical infrastructure workers.
Pest control workers can work but only for a home’s “safety, sanitation, and essential operations.” It’s not clear whether termites in the early stages of destroying a house constitute a home crisis.
Funerals may go forward, but with no more than “10 people . . . in attendance.” If you ordered a bed because you’re sleeping on the floor, get used to it because there’s almost no furniture delivery in Michigan. Golf, a game played outdoors with people who have a whole golf course in which to maintain social distancing, is a no-no. Manufacturing is out but for workers who maintain inventory and equipment, care for animals, or support telecommuting.
Stores bigger than 50,000 square feet may advertise only groceries, medical supplies, and “items necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operations of residences.” Tobacco stores, vape shops, cigar bars, etc., are all closed. Hunting clubs and gun ranges – closed. Law firms – closed. Sporting goods and outdoor stores – closed. Motorboats, jet skis, and similar watercraft – shut down. All but emergency construction work – stopped.
Craft and hobby stores to keep the children from killing each other – closed. Outdoor maintenance (landscaping, gardening, etc.), even for someone who's 90 and has a dangerously overgrown garden – nope. Selling or buying a home is off the table because the real estate business is a no-no. And this is only a partial list of Whitmer’s ukases.
If you’re in the media, of course, you’re safe. Feel free to go to the office as needed. Democrats take care of their own.
What’s obvious when reviewing these executive orders is that Whitmer thinks earning a living, maintaining a business, and paying employees are all non-essential activities.
Fortunately, people in Michigan may still “engage in expressive activities protected by the First Amendment.” When doing so, however, they have to respect social distancing by remaining at least six feet away from people other than those with whom they live. That's why Wednesday's massive protest in Lansing, Michigan’s capital city, was conducted either by people driving by in cars and honking, or standing far away from each other.
Thousands of people descended on Lansing to make known their displeasure with a government that is systematically destroying their lives, in service to an illness that currently has all the impact of a bad flu season:
Thousands of people from all over Michigan are converging on our state Capitol today to protest the governor’s restrictive “Stay Home” order and get their voices, and car horns, heard. #OperationGridlock pic.twitter.com/bgjH4wKCUQ— MI House Republicans (@MI_Republicans) April 15, 2020
Although it was a smaller protest and garnered less publicity, Ohio citizens also took to the streets in Columbus outside the statehouse, demanding the end of the lockdown.
The reality is that people can acclimate to everything and that constant fear is not a sustainable way of life. Everything is a balancing act. As COVID-19 is proving to be manageable, people are willing to wear masks, wash their hands, disinfect things, and keep some distance from each other. What they’re not willing to see, though, is their lives and futures destroyed.