COVID-19 has revealed an abyss between friends and neighbors, right and left, freedom-lovers and authoritarians
"People do not change, they are merely revealed." —Anne Enright
As these state lockdowns are arbitrarily extended at the whims of certain Democrat governors, we are all discovering previously unknown personality traits of our friends, neighbors, and local politicians that we might never have learned of had it not been for this particular flu.
Most cities these days have online neighborhood sites where people post relevant facts or questions close to home: coyote sightings, lost pets, furniture for sale, etc. But now? Whew! Things have changed. Now we are seeing something else: the stark reality of how our local friends and neighbors think and operate.
Most of us don't bother to wonder to which political party the people who walk by our homes, or whom we see in our markets, libraries, or schools, belong. But based on what's seen in these neighborhood bulletin boards and discussion groups, many are revealing their inner police-state tendencies. Day after day, these neighborhood sites are chock-full of complaints about "people walking without masks" or exercising in a park too close to others. These online complainants rage against all the inconsiderate people who are not "following the rules." They get responses like "Call the police." One might think they were all brought up in Ceaușescu's Romania, where even children were taught to report their own parents' verbal deviations from the party line.
New Jersey is using drones with loudspeakers to harass people deemed too close to one another from the air above them. As Dennis Prager wrote the other day, this is a dress rehearsal for a police state. And millions of Americans are taking it lying down!
This is why seeing those SoCal beachgoers fighting Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders to close the beaches is such a relief. All Americans need to remember how and why this country came into being. It was not to be treated like subjects of minor dictators. We should all remember that these governor-ordered rules do not, cannot have the force of law. It seems that too few Americans have a clue about the constitutional rights they have long taken for granted: speech, assembly, religion. Suddenly, they are giving them up without a fight.
Probably in all states, we can see people alone in their cars wearing a mask! What are they thinking? That the virus can somehow breach their closed windows if they drive by an infected person? So cheers to all those Southern Californians who have ignored Newsom's ridiculous politically motivated beach closures. If Newsom had being paying attention, he would know by now that being outdoors in the sunlight is the best disinfectant.
President Trump is a genius for leaving these things to the governors. He clearly knew full well that the dumbest among them would overreach. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has become a national joke, but she is still doubling down. Her citizens can row in a canoe but not be in a motorboat! Other Democrat governors are imposing restrictions on their citizens' essential freedoms that have no basis in the science they all claim to be using to validate these impediments on our daily lives. New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of the outbreak there has been the worst by far. New York was tragically unprepared, and Cuomo's every step to address the crisis was disastrous. New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio has been a disaster as well. Both of them were encouraging New Yorkers to "go about their lives" until late in February. Everything that went right in New York was thanks to President Trump. But they both began blaming Trump for their own failures. Cuomo is largely responsible for the huge numbers of deaths in the nursing homes; it was on his watch that the state ordered these homes for the vulnerable to accept COVID-19-positive patients. He also cut the subway runs in half, making them twice as crowded. His judgment has been so poor that he will never be a viable presidential candidate. Never.
Heather Mac Donald wrote the must-read piece of the week, "The paranoid style in COVID-19 America," in which she tells of early-morning cyclists and runners in New York's Central Park who are whizzing by masked! How on Earth have so many freedom-loving Americans become so terrified of a politically charged virus that they are not even questioning the sudden repeal of their basic rights? Mac Donald references Japan, which did not shutter its economy but employed a guideline: avoid the three Cs — confined places, crowded places, and close contact. Japan, a nation of 126.5 million, with a very large proportion of elderly people, has had only 360 deaths.
It should be clear to all Americans by now that this lockdown, perhaps initially understandable, given the outrageous numbers of the first models used by Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, has been a colossal mistake. Once it became clear that those models were fallacious, everyone should have relaxed. Our hospitals have not been overrun except briefly in NY and even there all the beds and ventilators Cuomo claimed he needed were not necessary. No one has died for lack of a ventilator. Hydroxychloroquine works and now it seems Remdesivir can do the same, speeding up recovery from the disease. There are numerous vaccine trials already underway. It is a bad flu, but all things considered, the worst is over. The deaths have significantly been among the elderly with one or more co-morbidities, which does not make them any less tragic, but we are all on borrowed time from the moment we are born, far more dangerous are the pandemics and epidemics which target the young and healthy as some do.
"The average death rate from coronavirus in New York City is 128 per 100,000. In New York State, it is 71 per 100,000. To put those numbers in perspective, the national death rate for all causes was 723.6 per 100,000 in 2018; for heart disease it was 163.6 per 100,000. New York's coronavirus death rates bear no resemblance to the country at large, despite New York governor Andrew Cuomo's recent pronouncement that 'an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere'. California's coronavirus death rate is four deaths per 100,000; Pennsylvania's, 13 deaths per 100,000; Utah's, one death per 100,000; Washington State's, nine deaths per 100,000; Wisconsin's, four deaths per 100,000; Georgia's, which we are supposed to believe is about to unleash a mortal plague upon the country, eight deaths per 100,000; Texas's, two deaths per 100,000; and Florida's, four deaths per 100,000, despite its elderly population. An MSNBC pundit gleefully predicted several weeks ago that Missouri would succumb because it had not halted its economy soon enough. Its virus death rate stands at four deaths per 100,000."
The impact of the virus varies vastly throughout the country which is why Trump wisely left ending the lockdown to the governors. For three and a half years the left has called Trump a Hitler, a Mussolini, a dictator and of course he is nothing of the kind. Now they are apoplectic that he has refused to dictate an extended national shutdown when it is clear that is not necessary. He is reminding people what federalism actually is and why it is an integral part of our Constitution. He is abiding by it to the eternal frustration of the totalitarian left that believes that if one person suffers, everyone must suffer.
Our nation has been thoroughly enervated by this cult of "safetyism," the silly notion that we can and should all be safe at all times, both physically and mentally. This is what our kids are being taught in universities. Our ancestors are spinning in their graves. All those angry snitches raging against every person not sufficiently cowed by this flu are rather pathetic. They self-righteously report their neighbors, want to see them punished while they are only punishing themselves and exposing themselves as the authoritarian scaredy-cats they are. It is probably safe to assume that most of these watchdog informants, these cowards and snitches, are Democrats and most of those showing up at SoCal beaches are Republicans. It is also likely that many of those locked-down Democrats in Michigan, New Jersey, Maine California and elsewhere will be Republicans by November. Even nominal Democrats don't want to be under house arrest for any extended period of time for no reason.
"The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage." --Thucydides
Image credit: Public Domain Pictures, public domain.