May 4, 2020

Well, it’s another new non-work week here at Goodboys Nation weblog. I finally decided to file for unemployment; I don’t think much is going to come from it, but hey, ya never know. Got my first response from a slew of online job applications from a local pool retail supply store, so we’ll see where that goes. I have my first webinar with the outplacement services company my employer signed me up for, but I gotta say (at least at this time) I’m gonna draw a line in the sand at any job where I would have to commute into a real bona fide business office more than once a week. Just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sure, the money would be better than any part-time retail store gig but that’s just not where my priorities lie right now. Of course, things could change but right now I’m really trying to stay and live in the moment.

But that’s not the purpose of this post. It’s not a rant by any stretch of the imagination: I’m just asking questions here.

This Tyler O’Neil column at PJ Media is a must-read. For me, here are the money parts:

Early estimates of the COVID-19 death rate, cited to justify the lockdowns, have proven far too pessimistic. In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a 3.4 percent fatality rate and Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that the fatality rate of the coronavirus was about 2 percent. As PJ Media’s Matt Margolis reported, at least five studies have placed the death rate below 1 percent, confirming President Donald Trump’s hunch.

…Both social learning and mini-cascades shine a light on how news of the coronavirus’ danger spread. As states with coronavirus hot spots reacted, other states followed suit, preparing for outbreaks of their own.

Yet the political slant is also extremely significant, especially considering the different ways state and local officials have carried out their lockdowns. Greenville, Miss. Mayor Errick Simmons notoriously defended his ban on drive-in church services that led to parishioners facing $500 fines. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to “permanently” close churches and synagogues unless they comply with his orders — and he issued a disgusting threat to the Jewish community in particular. Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., banned drive-in church services even though Tennessee’s governor permitted them. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear dispatched the State Police against a church hosting a drive-in service. Police in Virginia threatened a pastor with a year in jail for hosting a socially-distanced church service, enacting Gov. Ralph Northam’s order.

All these political leaders belong to the same party: the Democratic Party. Not all of the onerous coronavirus restrictions that violate religious freedom have been issued by Democrats, but there is a disturbing correlation between the left-wing party and crisis orders that single out churches, synagogues, and mosques. It seems one party is more likely than the other to think of religion as less than “essential,” and much of that animus traces back to the mistaken idea that religion (Christianity in particular) and science are in conflict.

…Liberals often use “science” as a talking-point to advocate their agendas, even if those agendas arguably conflict with the best science (see abortion, climate predictions, and transgender activism). It appears the tide of science is turning on coronavirus lockdowns, and Democrats are not adjusting with it. As Republicans suggest plans to slowly reopen America while preserving tight social-distancing measures, Democrats insist that the full lockdowns must continue.

While the lockdowns began as a public health measure, their continued extension appears to have more to do with power than safety.

I was thinking about the absurdity of these “one size fits all” state lock-downs that are going on around the country right now, and I’m both appalled and frustrated at the lack of common business sense and human ingenuity that surely someone ought to have at our state and local governance levels. Let me offer my example, I’m sure any of y’all could think of your own:

I was thinking about this on Saturday when I went by the PGA TOUR Supertore down the street (closed) on my way over to Lowe’s (open) for a plant stake to bolster up a recalcitrant miniature date palm and my local Fry’s (open) for groceries. Inside Lowe’s there had to have been at least a hundred, perhaps two hundred folks working and shopping. Inside the Fry’s there were hundreds of folks food shopping. I’d guess the ratio of masked to unmasked folks in both places being, oh, 40/60. So why is the Lowe’s and the Fry’s open and the PGA TOUR Superstore closed? Let’s forget for a moment what kind of business is deemed to be “essential” vs. “non-essential” – in my view, that’s nothing more than a straw man argument, entirely subjective, and based on some criteria devised by some bow-tied, bum-kissing state employee who doesn’t have to worry about his or her next paycheck anytime soon.

…I mean, even on its most busy day and time (let’s say Saturday or Sunday morning): why, I’ll bet if there are hundred souls total inside at any given point in time you’d be surprised. And it’s not as if your average PGA TOUR Superstore is some cramped, dimly-lit hole in the wall – these are as much a big “box store” as any Lowe’s or Home Depot. You’ve got half a dozen or more hitting bays (all “safely” distanced, BTW). You’ve got wide aisles with all kinds of golf equipment spaced out and a putting area easy to monitor for “safe distance”. So why are PGA TOUR Superstores closed?

Surely, there must be some genius in (in this particular case) the Arizona state or Chandler city governments who could easily assess the “safety” of any given business (PGA TOUR Superstore or otherwise) by an onsite inspection and/or by whipping up a metric as to how many people you could safely allow inside that would enable it to stay open “safely” and, y’know, generate income for its employees and tax revenue for the city and state, isn’t there? Like, I dunno, take the square footage of any particular establishment and divide it into six-foot quadrants or something like that to determine how “safe” it is for x number of folks to shop?

I don’t think what I am saying here is anything controversial. It makes zero sense – at least to me – why this “one size fits all” criteria is being used, in Arizona or anywhere else. Since I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, I have to figure it all comes down to the following: (1) gross incompetence, (2) intellectual laziness, and/or (3) herd mentality – why, that state over there is doing x, we should therefore do x. Certainly, as taxpayers and citizens we should expect – and deserve – better from our state’s governance.

Once all of this is over and wreckage of our economy and people’s lives and livelihoods is analyzed and assessed to what could have been done better at all levels of government we’re going to find out just how ill-served we have all been served by not just the federal government (most particularly, the CDC and the FDA) but a vast majority of our state governors and our public health officials. Look, I don’t expect a governor – Republican or Democrat – to know how to implement an effective response strategy in the face of a public health emergency where the data needed to make meaningful decisions isn’t available or is hard to correlate, but I would expect every state’s public health department to have at least the general contours of what an effective strategy would look like without having to implement a knee-jerk, “one size fits all” lock-down.

Think about what a draconian measure this is, and how needless it is. After all, every business that opens in any state has to provide various kinds of information in order to be certified for opening; there are any number of regulations any business has to follow or provide in order to open (signage, for instance). Certainly included in these regulations are (or should be) information relating to type of business, physical plant size, and the number of employees. And it’s this same kind of information that could (and should) be used to make intelligent decisions about how that business could continue to operate in the face of a public health emergency of any size or kind instead of having it wrecked by a knee-jerk action taken out of fear and zero common sense.

Certainly as citizens of whatever state we all happen to reside in we should expect this kind of measured response and level of competence from our elected leaders. But what do I know? I’m just a dumb, newly-filed member of the unemployed.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 13:30 | Comments (0)
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