The Pandemic Clock Strikes 2:  “Let My People Go”

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Commentary

 

by Bob MacGuffie

 

As our metaphorical pandemic clock strikes two it seems the oxygen-breathing people of the country have caught a whiff of overkill in the air.  Boat owners in Michigan are told sailboats are approved on the lake, while motorboats are not.  Vermonters are told books and seeds are “non-essential” items and may not be purchased, even while sitting right there on the shelves.  Walmart is told to close certain aisles within open stores.  Fencing off an outdoor skateboard park in California is insufficient to compel compliance – bulldozers were hired to plow sand over the skateboard runs.  Kids daring to skateboard are a menace to society’s health. And in Raleigh, NC, protestors to the lockdown were met by police advising them “protesting is a non-essential activity”, and arrested and fined for assembling at a safe distance.

 

Some of the most concerning totalitarian theatre came on Easter Sunday.  Christians in Mississippi assembling in their cars for a service in the church parking lot were met with $500 fines for endangering the community – as they say, you can’t make it up.  Give a collectivist governor some discretion and he’ll have you in cuffs for saying your prayers.  And just so everything’s perfectly clear, churches and synagogues are “non-essential”, while liquor stores, lottery sellers and abortion clinics remain open.  Yep, every closet tin-pot dictator who made governor has been in full stride the past couple weeks.

 

Half the country would buy most anything these little dictators are pedaling as long as it’s packaged in a “health and safety” wrapper.  The other half of the country, the critical thinking types, aren’t surprised a bit.  We know, respect, and value our Constitutional form of a government of laws, not men.  The diffusion of power is the greatest guarantor of liberty, and the entire nation is currently enduring a dangerous illustration of the timelessness and proof of that maxim.  Let’s hope we don’t have to arm-wrestle our way back to our normal, and not some new normal we’re utterly sick of hearing about.

 

Connecticut finally joined at least a dozen other states and got into gear on the protest front.  I took my place in the caravan of some 100 plus horn-honking cars circling the Capitol and Governor’s residence in Hartford.  We gridlocked the area for over an hour, along with many lining the streets with creative signs – it seemed like a tea party redux!  Naturally, the press reported the event as a couple of dozen cars and was sure to put on the screen some admirable, bedraggled healthcare worker bearing witness to the fact the Wuhan Virus is real.  We know it’s real and we know it’s serious.  But the justification provided for the state lockdowns was to suppress the curve of the contagion and avoid overwhelming the nation’s healthcare system.  It was not to lock us up until there was a cure or until no new people became infected or died.

 

The protests are occurring because both the federal and state governments deployed their inherent and predictable blunt instrument solutions, i.e. locking down some 40 states and idling most all small businesses in the process.  It clearly was overdone, needlessly shutting businesses that could have stayed open with modifications to mitigate the impact of the Virus.  That reality has become abundantly clear to the segment of society most impacted by the government’s draconian response.  In no way did the economic carnage have to be this severe.  People are going to continue to die from this pandemic, but that fact must be balanced with the need for people to maintain their livelihoods.

 

That balance was surely on the President’s mind in February when he was trying to evaluate the information presented by the CDC and NIH.  After a month of being lied to by the Chinese, Fauci and Birx suddenly became alarmed as more accurate data began surfacing.  Since the mishandled SARS outbreak in 2003 they had been highly concerned that the Chinese would lose control of a virus outbreak – it was their nightmare scenario.  They believed it was being realized before their eyes, and presented Trump with some version of Hobson’s Choice between risking the lives of 330 million Americans or virtually shutting down the country.  He was captured by the “data”, and sure to face withering political criticism if he dares adopt a middle road solution – he relented to the draconian measures.

 

The very quickly apparent and unsurprising result is that small businesses and the families that run them were being virtually incinerated before our eyes.  Most Americans would be surprised to know that 99% of U.S. employers are small businesses.  There are 30 million small businesses employing some 57 million Americans or more.  Current polling indicates 54% of all small businesses are closing temporarily, 11% say they will close permanently within one month, and 24% say they will close permanently within two months. Now THAT is a bleak reality that should send a chill down the spine of anyone who actually contemplates those numbers, and the magnitude and ripple effects of it all, with open eyes.

 

The first $350 billion federal tranches of small business loans and grants were vacuumed up within days, and too much of it went to investment and legal firms who are aces at quickly completing forms and applications, while auto mechanics struggled with the apps in their repair shops.  And of course, again it is the bankers who are the gatekeepers of the money…deja vu all over again.  But there just isn’t enough relief money to save these millions of businesses if this overkill of a lockdown goes on much longer.

 

A national breakpoint is approaching fast.  Nationally, the Administration has targeted April 30th as the decision point when it will advise whether to begin reopening the economy.  The governors appear to have the discretion to initiate action.  Let’s hope we get underway.  Here in Connecticut, as well as NY and the adjoining states, that decision point is May 15th.  Anyone in touch with social media can sense there’s a growing feeling among average people that we have been “played” by our rulers with this draconian shutdown – our free republic seeks to be free again.  If wiser heads do not prevail at month-end, I wouldn’t be surprised if the American people decide themselves that it’s time to get on with life again as we know and cherish it and proceed to reopen our country without further instruction.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Are there any parts of the Bill Of Rights left? The first and fourth are certainly in jeopardy.
    States had better use the 10th while they still can.
    Once the second amendment is gone it won’t matter about the rest.
    Plan accordingly and a big Thank You to all the Paul and Pauline Reveres out there who warned us.

    • The warnings were summarily “preempted” by the Main Sewer Stream Fake Media ( a.k.a. MSM) and never really filtered down to the 50%+/- of the population that rely on them for their daily dose of “mis/malinformation”……

  2. We were told from the beginning the outcome would be Devastating. Even early on the figures didn’t correspond to the media hysteria. It’s looking less severe in general, but it is at the individual level. We have our own “hot zone” with two counties and even those aren’t as drastic as portrayed. Statewide, with 120 deaths, the mortality rate is 0.2%. For the largest county it stands at 0.07%. The other county has a population about one-third of the largest and has a rate of 0.13%. This county is predominantly black and they are hit the most. Since there isn’t random testing the figures aren’t as normalized as expected and the extrapolation to population may show lower numbers. I’ve downloaded all the Covid Excel data for the States along with population figures and will apply the figures accordingly.

    The State certainly hasn’t compiled any numbers in this way to determine whether or not the policies are justified. The original Executive Order by the Governor was extended by two weeks and she indicated it could be extended beyond that date. Since a Federal Judge ruled against her she has capitulated on the order and is considering some minor restrictions on “re-opening”.

    The protest on Thursday may have had some impact since it drew people from across the state. It was the very first time I participated in any type of rally / protest. Not everyone remained in their cars as the organizer had preferred. Quite a few of us wandered around the Capital grounds and talked with each other in small groups. There was one local news organization that brushed off questions I tried to ask and walked away. They were content to be the one who controlled the conversation but were quite hesitant to be the one answering questions. The press is really irritating when making statements as “We’re all in this together”. No, they are NOT in the same position. They can do their jobs while sitting at home, while many have to resort to food banks for supplies. Even the weatherman can do his reports from the comfort of his home.

    All this doesn’t even take into account all those who lost jobs or are furloughed, and are unable to receive unemployment because the antiquated computer systems are unequipped to handle the claims. I never imagined the state was still using 1970’s mainframes. But in the Governors news briefings she describes how she is burdened from previous administrations and is doing such an excellent job in “fixing” everything. Of course the press at the briefings are Trump-bad, Governor-good.

  3. It’s not in an American’s DNA to sit back and do nothing while his/her’s life’s work is being taken away by some despotic governor. The patriots are getting restless, for very good reason, and will not remain locked down much longer.

  4. Another fantastic article – this is 100% SPOT ON.

    It’s time to WEAPONIZE Federalism against these wannabe local tyrants.

    First, NO MORE bailout money for Governors unnecessarily refusing to re-open their states. Let THEM own what they break! You’ll see how fast they change their tune.

    Second, AG Barr needs to start levying lawsuits against states venturing into unconstitutional territory. A pandemic does not give carte blanche to suspend whichever parts of the Constitution you want. Use the 14th Amendment and the privileges and immunities clause as a pretense!

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