Lockdown 2.0

The assaults on personal freedom are spreading faster than coronavirus. The governors of Washington, Oregon and California are asking people to end non-essential travel. And some are hinting that pretty soon, requests could become requirements.

Like a lot of the lockdown nonsense, these arbitrary rules make no medical sense at all. For example in Oregon:

Persons arriving in Oregon from other states or countries, including returning Oregon residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.

Essential travel includes all kinds of work, study, commerce or health care. Given the amount of essential travel between Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA, limiting any other kind of travel will have negligible impact on the spread of the virus. But let’s say Joe is a good sheep and quarantines himself at home in Vancouver after a trip to the Oregon Coast. Joe stays put, but his wife, son and daughter all have essential reasons to travel to Oregon for work and school. If Joe got the ‘rona on his fishing trip, his family will catch it and … you get the idea. Unless Joe spends 2 weeks in the basement like Joe Biden.

Washington and California have issued a similar travel advisories, with a 14-day quarantine on anybody entering the state. I expect a lot of Oregonians, who have never been happy with the influx of Cali transplants, would like to slap a travel ban to Californians from leaving the state.

In Washington, all indoor visits with anybody not in your household are banned. This will make life miserable for lonely shut-ins for whom an occasional visit from a neighbor or family member is the only human contact they have. Governor Jay Inslee didn’t say whether visiting people outside Washington was OK, but I expect not.

In New Mexicopersons who have arrived in New Mexico from states with a 5% positivity rate or greater over a 7-day rolling average, or a positive test rate greater than 80 per 1 million residents, must physically separate from others in a residence or place of lodging for at least 14 days from the date of their entry into New Mexico or for the duration of their presence in the state, whichever is shorter.

WTH? The prospect of calculating rolling averages and fluctuating positivity rates could be enough to scare New Mexicans into venturing no further than the end of the driveway.

The City of Chicago has a stay-at-home “advisory”, and Wisconsin and Nevada are asking people to stay home. New York requires a 14-day quarantine for citizens returning from out of state.

I expect the trend to grow, despite any compelling scientific or medical justification. To discourage travel, even locally, we’ll be subjected to the tyranny of mass closures and shutdowns. Why go anywhere when there isn’t anywhere to go?

Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown warned “I am not asking you, I am ordering you.” The question is, will the sheep comply? Will we have mass civil disobedience? The Chair of Clackamas County, the Portland suburb that gave us Tonya Harding, told Oregon’s Governor she plans to have family come visit for Thanksgiving, and Kate Brown can go stuff it. Mississippi’s governor says he’ll defy any national lockdown. Illinois bars and restaurants openly defied state lockdown orders. A bar in Portland will violate state liquor law by selling takeout cocktails. Sheriffs in New York refuse to enforce the governors’ orders.

This is just a trickle of dissent. When will we see the flood?

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