“I joined a ‘LIBERATE THE LOCKDOWN!’ rally with my AR-15, and ended up in the ICU with CV-19”
Yes, that above is the kind of headline you’re eventually going to see, right here on this site, Medium.com. It’s a needless tragedy that we are all called upon to exert ourselves to the utmost to prevent. Any unauthorized gathering of more than 2 people is already, or soon will be, and certainly should be, a felony in all 50 states. That’s the only way to save lives.
Recently there have been several articles here about people spotted e.g. eating on the lawn in New York’s Central Park, in flagrant violation of social distancing law. These articles call out this anti-social behavior very trenchantly, but “more in sorrow than in anger”. The authors seem to be trying to emphathize with the criminal impulses that underlie this violent behavior. I applaud their kindly attitude but it is entirely misplaced.
Make no mistake: any such public lawn picnic is attempted murder — plain and simple. I hope the authorities will make every effort at forensic analysis of the photographs that have accompanied such Medium articles, and if/when individual suspects are identified with any confidence, the offenders will be hunted down and charged with felony attempted murder. When convicted, they can be housed in cells vacated by the recent humanitarian mass prisoner releases necessitated bythis emergency pandemic crisis. In cases where a given individual is identified in photographs across multiple dates or occasions, it would not be remiss to press for the death penalty (depending on the statutory applicability of capital punishment, on a state-by-state basis).
I don’t wish to appear inhumane. I hope I’m not coming across as a martinet. But public health is neither a joke nor a game nor an option. The public must remain quarantined in place until/unless a provably 100% effective vaccine is universally available. Given that such vaccines don’t even exist for many strains of flu, and/or are not 100% effective even when they do exist, and given that new strains of any flu, (or any other communicable disease such as Ebola) can emerge at any moment and begin to circulate among us unseen before being noticed by medical professionals, it’s highly likely that the current quaratine restrictions will have to be coded into permanent law. And it’s about time rationality of this sort prevailed.
I feel sorry for anybody unwittingly caught up in the net of the stricter enforcement regimen advised in this piece. But listen: if somebody was picnicking out on the Central Park lawn, in deliberate, flagrant, arrogant violation of the lifesaving strictures currently mandated by Governor Cuomo, that person is probably a filthy, sub-literate Trump voter to begin with. Incarcerating such individuals will thus be a net gain to society whether they are infected with COVID-19 or not.