In anticipation of Colorado’s “stay at home” order expiring Sunday, Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced his plan to move into the next phase of reopening his state—“safer at home”. This announcement came during a press conference yesterday. Polis’ decision was reached after reviewing his state’s infection rate modeling which showed that extending the stay at home mandate another two to four weeks would not decrease the severity of the “curve” of patients.
The “safer at home” protocol entrusts discretion and responsibility to Colorado’s residents. If an individual is feeling unwell, stay at home. If a resident wants to radically reduce their risk of exposure to the virus, stay at home. Residents will undoubtedly be safer at home, however businesses across the state will begin to reopen gradually and it will be up to each citizen to take responsibility for their own health and act accordingly.
Colorado isn’t the only state that has flattened its “curve” of coronavirus patients in need of critical ICU care. The healthcare systems of several states have been effectively alleviated over the past month, and concern for COVID-19 patients overwhelming hospital workers’ ability to save lives has greatly diminished.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced on April 14 that he will donate excess ventilators to hospitals in Michigan and Maryland, two states that are still struggling to accommodate COVID-19 patients who are in need of critical care. It would seem that both the federal and state-level responses to the virus have succeeded in the initial goal—no patient has died of the novel coronavirus due to a lack of ICU ventilators.
But some government officials have begun to double down on lockdown orders despite the progress.
An Idaho mother was arrested in front of her children on Tuesday for refusing to vacate a closed playground, Kleiner Park in Ada County. The Meridian Police Department responded to several calls alerting them to the health order violation and arrested Sarah Brady, 40, whose children were left behind unattended while cops hauled her away.
Earlier this month, a Philadelphia man was physically dragged off of a public city bus by police officers for not wearing a facemask, which violated the Southeastern Philadelphia Transportation Authority’s mandate at the time. Video of the man being forcibly removed was taken and went viral gaining tens of thousands of likes and retweets. However, the man was not arrested or issued a citation, and the city’s severe measure to physically force violators to obey has since been lifted.
Los Angeles County in California has taken a less violent approach, though it’s no less severe to anyone who doesn’t happen to have an extra grand at their disposal. An ordinance went into place recently mandating that residents must wear a face covering when in public or else they will be fined $1,000 per day.
The founder of Turning Point USA—a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom—Charlie Kirk has been vocal about the government’s attack against American civil liberties in its response to COVID-19.
Kirk isn’t wrong. These extreme measures resemble a totalitarian dictatorship at work and it’s chilling. Implementing curfews, prohibiting the sale of seeds, and closing down so many outdoor spaces that parents have nowhere to take their kids without being arrested are the kind of draconian laws you might expect in a communist nation, not a free one.
If our hospital system is functioning without overwhelm and all admitted patients are receiving care without facing a shortage of life-saving medical supplies, then why are state governors, city mayors, and local law enforcement doubling down on strict lockdown measures that were designed to safeguard against the possibility of 2.2 million deaths occurring and not 60,000?
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of NYC, is among those officials who are doubling down in what can only be described as a deranged power grab. Not only does he want the disobedient residents of his city fined and thrown in jail if they refuse to wear facemasks in public—bear in mind, de Blasio has made plenty of room in Rikers by releasing all of those inmates—but he has also set up a “tip line” for citizens to report neighbors who aren’t following his orders. In true New York fashion, residents responded by flooding the tip line with penis photos, Hitler memes, and even photos of de Blasio himself violating social distancing rules.
Weaponizing dick-pics aside, NYC’s response is an indication that America has lost its patience with politely accommodating ordinances and mandates that infringe on their civil liberties without good reason. If extending and enforcing the lockdown orders is truly necessary in order to guarantee that every hospital patient who needs a ventilator will receive one, then citizens might be willing to hold their breath a little longer. But Americans are wising up. It’s glaringly obvious that a mother playing with her kids in a park is not going to prevent your grandmother from being admitted into an ICU with a ventilator, and because of this, citizens are no longer willing to go blindly along with whatever new “rule” crops up.
The people have begun to protest…
…and the media has immediately accused them of being selfish, right-wing, hypocritical racists who only care about their haircuts. They definitely aren’t people who are sick of sitting in their idling cars, crawling towards the county food bank because without it they won’t be able to feed their kids. They are evil, vile, horrible people who do not value human life and will recklessly get everyone killed if they aren’t stopped—this according to the New York Times, CNN, BBC, Business Insider, The Guardian, and several other former news organizations that have forgotten what journalism is.
That’s right. You read that correctly. The Raleigh, North Carolina Police Department is functioning under the impression that protesting is a non-essential activity. While protesting is embedded in our first amendment rights as American citizens, the Constitution is null-and-void in this instance because as it turns out—and it really begs the question why our founding fathers didn’t think of this—Constitutional rights, as listed, are not essential in the effort to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Thanks a lot, George Washington! You really fucked us over when you left a gaping loophole in our Bill of Rights wide enough for the Raleigh PD to drive their police cruisers through!
In fact, not only are protesters the problem, but anyone who dares to “move outside freely” when they are not an “essential worker” must be stopped, too.
It’s chilling that 75% of Americans who participated in this survey agreed that 1) the government should have the authority to dictate whether a human being is an “essential worker” or not, and 2) the government should restrict a citizen’s ability to “move freely outside”. What kind of Orwellian nightmare have I woken up in?
Not only are a shocking amount of American citizens not comparing these ordinances and mandates to their basic rights—and in turn questioning them—but neither are the government officials who have been creating these draconian executive orders in the first place. Take New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) for example. When interviewed by Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Murphy chuckled and said that considering the Constitution when signing executive orders was “above his pay grade”.
If I take a bird’s eye view of the situation, I don’t like what I see. Mayors and governors don’t care whether or not their orders violate civil liberties, and worse, neither do 75% of citizens? Who was responsible for educating those citizens? Oh, dear. The government is in charge of public-school education. Is it possible that the government might not have done the best job of educating students about their constitutional rights in the first place? Could that be why 75% of Americans who took that horrifying survey genuinely support restricting the “outside movement” of certain people?
Political pundit Matt Walsh commented in the Daily Wire, “Governments across the country have exploited a virus, and the fear it generates, to seize unprecedented power. We are in the midst of the most severe assault on the Constitution that any of us currently living has ever witnessed. It’s time to choose a side—for freedom or against—and make our stand.”
I wholeheartedly agree.
But to take a stand for freedom comes with risk. Our country was founded on the epithet “live free or die” and men fought and died for that freedom. I think the novel coronavirus is exposing a much deeper problem in America. There are a lot of people in this country who believe that there is nothing more important than human life; that we must do everything within our power to “save lives” even if that means imprisoning ourselves in our homes and severely punishing anyone who disagrees.
Fearing death and believing that nothing is more important than life, not even the preservation of our civil liberties, is a symptom of nihilism, in my opinion.
Human life is not above all else. There are a lot of things worth dying for, like moral principles and ensuring that our children will inherit a future that comes with freedom, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness.