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Archive for May 4th, 2020

Today is the day that the ill-conceived shutdown of public society was supposed to have been lifted in Washington state.  Of course, it wasn’t, because these shutdowns are based less in science than in politics, with the entire West following China’s authoritarian notions of how to deal with an epidemic.  Governors are afraid that if some worst-case scenario were to occur after they lifted their bans on conducting business, they would be blamed and their political careers would be destroyed.  So naturally, they’ve made the same kind of sheep-and-goats division they did when declaring that many people’s means of survival were “non-essential” and could be replaced by a single handout of $1200 for two months or more of destroyed income:  they deemed their political careers “essential” and most small businesses (especially those disproportionately owned by minorities) “non-essential”.  But some people have started to see through it, and a few are starting to rely on their own judgment rather than blindly obeying diktats from self-appointed commissars.  About half of my friends have started getting business again; some restaurants and bars in various cities are starting to operate secretly, speakeasy-style; and a number of physicians who disagree with the political response have started publishing op-eds and otherwise challenging the orthodoxy.  And the longer polticians drag their feet in establishing practical measures businesses can take to be deemed “safe” to re-open, the more people will simply move on and do what they need to do to survive without political permission.  Silly protests by MAGA-hat-wearers and other crackpots will not end the “lockdowns”; in the absence of some omen that will sway skittish state governors, only what Vaclav Havel called “living in truth” can do that.  And if the few small signs I’m aware of are any indication, it has already started. 

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