My educated guess is about 75-100 people now, with about half in their cars. Every 15 minutes or do demonstrators let loose with their horns. @ABC11_WTVD @ABC #abc1– @ABCPolitics #coronavirusNC #ReopenNC #StayAtHome pic.twitter.com/prKWSeSn3G— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) April 14, 2020
Alex Jones SKULL MASK mode pic.twitter.com/56OpquyXD7— american nationalist (@NationalistTV) April 14, 2020
I knew this was coming.
It was inevitable that American conservatives and libertarians were going to start protesting the tyranny of NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) such as lockdowns, quarantines, contact tracing through surveillance of data, segregating the healthy from the sick in the name of individual liberty.
Libertarians had an axe to grind against the vaccines which eliminated polio, measles and smallpox before the coronavirus pandemic happened. These are people who reject science while embracing paranoid conspiracy theories and who hate the idea of universal health care. “Government” is the enemy of classical liberals (conservatives) and fundamentalist liberals (libertarians), not the virus.
Liberalism is what is killing people though, not the coronavirus. Only 9 people have died from the coronavirus in New Zealand and 6 people have died in Taiwan compared to 25,195 deaths in the United States and 12,107 in the United Kingdom. Unlike the USA and UK, Taiwan and New Zealand chose to carefully regulate who could enter their countries in order to contain the virus. The same is true of Mongolia and Vietnam and other countries which recognized the threat, took it seriously and dealt with it. Third World countries which still have common sense have done a better job. The practical and obvious thing to do was to close their borders, quarantine the sick and tightly regulate international travel. New Zealand has done a national lockdown to eradicate the virus.
Here in the United States, Donald Trump and the conservatives and libertarians in his administration saw what was happening in China, then in South Korea, Iran and Italy and after consulting with their oligarch donors made the decision to “ride it out” and treat it as “just the flu” in order to avoid spooking the stock market. Anyone who died from the virus was ruled expendable. We let hundreds of thousands of people fly to the United States from hot zones and pass through customs without testing them for the virus. When the testing started to show that tens of thousands of people were already infected with coronavirus, there was no national leadership from the federal government and each state was left on its own.
25,195 Americans have died so far from coronavirus. The logical next step for conservatives and libertarians is to blame it all on a vast conspiracy and to wipe out all the gains from the half assed lockdowns which have limited the infections and deaths from the virus. These protests against the tyranny of the state will be followed by different regions going their own way in the second phase of the virus. The Northeast and West Coast will prioritize the health of their citizens and go their own way. The South and Interior West will prioritize the economy and go their own way. The Midwest will split between the two regions. The epicenter of the virus will shift through the summer to rural parts of Middle America.
At least temporarily (if Biden wins the 2020 election, this will rapidly change), we are going to divide the Union along the lines of the right to contract and spread the coronavirus. We will probably “Reopen America” before the virus is suppressed and end up in a second lockdown.
Note: I don’t believe “the state” or “government” is the enemy. I just want a competent government that governs in the public interest and has the capacity to deal with threats like the coronavirus. This whole crisis has reinforced my belief that xenophobia is our strength.