When all this is over–whatever that even means–I hope no one tells me that things like this never happened. I know how tedious it is to see another post on this much-belabored issue. But hard experience with the 9/11 celebration rumors taught me that if you don’t rigorously document something in real time, people will deny its existence after the fact. Actually, some will deny its existence as it’s happening, and others will deny its existence no matter how rigorously it’s documented. Unfortunately, not every disease has a cure.
Should people be permitted to stage Pink Floyd cover shows during a pandemic? Do they have an inalieanable right to asymptomatic viral spread, along with all the predictable consequences? If they’re as truculent as the people in the news story linked above, what’s the remedy? An angry letter?
These are literal–not rhetorical–questions for all of those people complaining about the police state we’re in, complaints they make while conspicuously evading how we got pushed into it. We got pushed into it by assholes like the people in Rumson.
Just to remind you: though people talk about a “lockdown,” and some local law enforcement agencies are indeed interpreting Executive Order 107 as the functional equivalent of a lockdown, we are not under a literal lockdown in New Jersey, whether de jure or de facto.
De jure: the text of Executive Order 107 does not call for a lockdown. Just read it. While you’re at it, read the text of Executive Order 108, which reinforces the previous fact. (Both links are PDFs embedded in the preceding link.)
De facto: I went for a drive yesterday for the first time in maybe a week or so. Specifically, I drove from Readington, where I live, to West Orange, where my parents live. We had a conversation across the length of their back deck. They then gave me some medical supplies, which I drove up to Ridgewood, where my brother lives. I left the supplies on his front porch, and had a conversation with him across the breadth of his front lawn. Then I drove home. That’s a round trip of 80-90 miles. Traffic was light, but non-negligible. Round trip, I saw as many police cars as I see on any ordinary drive of that length. I didn’t get stopped. I saw one vehicle stopped on I-287–hardly out of the ordinary.
As I’ve said before, this is just one person’s experience. Someone else’s experiences somewhere else in the state may differ. Even under the Israeli occupation, it was sometimes possible to live your life and forget that you were under occupation. Life is complicated. But people should stop writing and speaking as though we were living under a totalitarian dictatorship that has arbitrarily imposed a “lockdown” on us for no reason at all.
I’m not shy about blaming cops when they deserve it. But they don’t deserve it this time. The cops are fighting for us, risking their lives, and falling to COVID19, which is a hell of a lot more than their critics are doing. Blame the attitudes and actions of so many of the coddled, entitled people of this state. Stop making excuses for them. And don’t even try to tell me that Rumson, New Jersey is full of poor people who have no other choice—in other words, no other choice but to set up their expensive audio equipment and stage concerts on their festival-sized lawns.
Funny that the practitioners of the genteel suburban form of biological warfare should be bringing up Nazi Germany, of all things. It’s called projection. But then, biological warfare is an all-American occupation. It’s how we conquered this continent and brought it the blessings of European culture. Call this a return to our roots.
I don’t like living in a police state either, but does anyone have any better ideas on how to prevent non-compliant individuals from spreading a disease through asymptomatic transmission? If so, let’s hear them. But if not, let’s stop hearing complaints that flout the facts, blame the victims, and do nothing to improve our situation.