Stop It With the Coronavirus Curfews Already

Self-imprisonment orders from panicky politicians are not a prudent way to flatten the curve.


Now that sports have been effectively canceled, there is apparently a new competition afoot in this coronavirus-cursed country: Politicians vying to see who can impose the most freedom-infringing clampdown in the name of flattening the curve.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday evening "strongly suggested" a statewide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions made only for emergencies and "essential travel," whatever that means. For now, this designation falls short of an official order, resting instead in the vaguely threatening legal zone of strong discouragement, though the governor has literally promised "more draconian steps" in the future.

The move came concurrently as a "shelter in place" order for the 7 million residents of six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, who are now permitted to leave their own homes only "to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential business or government services." Violating the order is a misdeameanor that—according to the order!—"constitutes an imminent threat and creates an immediate menace to public health." Don't worry, though; San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that cops will be taking a "compassionate, commonsense approach" to enforcement.

"We're absolutely considering that," New York City's clownpants mayor Bill de Blasio added this morning.

It is worth thinking this stuff through a bit more than your average politician. I sit squarely on the worst-case-scenario side of the spectrum and have been practicing the kinds of social distancing de Blasio is only belatedly preaching, but there are at least four main commonsense objections to curfews that arise even before you start considering the constitutionality and massive economic impact of it all.

1) Shutting most everything down creates real shortages, not just the no-toilet-paper-at-Whole-Foods kind. The more people and industries you order locked down, the more supply chains get broken, the more stores shutter, the fewer goods are available. We all still need stuff, even if we're sitting indoors all day. And in cramped, big cities like New York, where living space is at a premium, there is frequently neither storage space nor predilection for stocking up on weeks' worth of food at a time.

2) Compressing the commercial day will mean more people shopping together in close quarters. The smart play until now among germaphobes has been hitting up the local Rite Aid in the wee small hours. Mayors, county executives, and governors are increasingly foreclosing that option.

3) Law enforcement has more urgent priorities than policing the free movement of citizens. At a moment when National Guard reservists are being called up to build emergency ICU capacity, do we really want available man/womanpower scaring peaceable residents straight?

4) Human beings do not have a limitless capacity for self-imprisonment. We are about to see a lot of resentment from the healthy Youngs about how they no longer have jobs or the ability to make student loan payments because of draconian governmental measures to combat a disease disproportionately affecting the Olds. But even setting that aside, in the absence of V-1 bombs flying overhead, people are eventually going to bust out of their containment. Setting up legal regimes in contravention of human nature is a recipe for all kinds of trouble.

How do these curfews and mandatory quarantines end? No really, how do they? What does success look like? When is the "emergency" over? We see very little acknowledgment that these questions are even relevant, let alone attempts to answer them amid the cascade of competitive shutdowns.

I, too, urgently hope that people mostly stay the hell away from each other over the coming weeks. But not at gunpoint, and not in such a way that creates new and perhaps even worse pathways for unhealthy behavior. Let's be careful out there both personally and governmentally.

NEXT: Trump's Tariffs Weakened America's Hospitals. Then Coronavirus Hit.

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  1. Violating the order is a misdeameanor that—according to the order!—"constitutes an imminent threat and creates an immediate menace to public health."

    As opposed to- say... shitting on the sidewalk?

    1. Coronavirus is cutting into their cholera and typhoid numbers.

      1. Don't forget the Hep alphabet.

        1. Hi Vince.

          1. Who the fuck is Vince?

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    2. "As opposed to- say… shitting on the sidewalk?"

      I see you've visited the fair city of San Francisco.

      1. New spelling: San Franshitsco.

        1. The Shitty.

    3. And "cops will be taking a "compassionate, commonsense approach" to enforcement."

      It's the end of due process and equal protection -- the cops can do whatever they want to, whenever they want to as everyone is a criminal now.

      1. Not as long as some of the Veterans remember their oath of enlistment. It's part of our job to stand up for those who can't. Even against the law enforcement crowd if rights in the Constitution are involved. "... To defend the Constitution against all threats, foriegn and DOMESTIC...". I'd stop those involved if I saw abuses. The oath of enlistment never expires.

        1. The logic in your comment is unassailable.
          Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic...
          The problem is that we actually elect some of our domestic enemies. Dammit.

    4. Uh, excuse me, but you only get a ticket if it's a non-essential activity, and shitting is very essential.

      1. In SF, there is a long list of essential activities for certain demographics, esp the corprophile and BDSM groups

    5. I need new shoes. I've got a hole in my current pair. But in my county it's now ILLEGAL TO BUY SHOES! So I have to wear my very uncomfortable wedding and funeral shoes.

      Of course, what do I need shoes for? I'm not ALLOWED TO LEAVE MY HOUSE!

      Well, I can leave my house. Because I one of the few "essential" people. Everyone else is second rate scum according to the panicking politicians. But I still need shoes. And I can't legally buy shoes.

      1. Brandy, is Zappos not a thing where you are? That sucks though. You aren't sick; why not let you buy shoes?

        Ironically, I just bought some shoes about an hour ago from Nordstrom online. Decent sales.

        1. As somebody in healthcare: If I don't know the shoe and it's brand very well I am not buying blind without a spare pair so I can send 'em back if they don't fit. I am on my feet all day, and sizes can vary between brands in accuracy/what size feet they fit...

          But. Wal-Mart is my go-to for emergency shoes. I actually haunt the clearance shoes and currently have a spare pair of work shoes in my car...helping hide the can of disinfectant wipes.

    6. Shared this article in FB, and it was removed because it “violates community standards”????

      1. Same here, but it was with the Keith Whittington piece on bar closures, which was itself neutral and just reported on the con-law, by my read. I did have a further comment that shared my disagreement with the San Fran shelter-in-place order, in which I used the term "Corona-Despotism." Others getting your attempts to share Reason opinion on the crisis getting blocked by fb, do share.

      2. Try reposting. There was a glitch in the system.

        1. Hey! That glitch has a name! It's Bob. Or Karen may be funnier.

          1. Ha! ???? Ha! ???? Ha! ???? Ha! ???? Ha! ???? Ha! ????

    7. That sort of order, for those who do not possess a home gym or the equivalent, is to demand sustained physical idleness, recovery from the harm of which is pretty easy for young persons, but very difficult for those of us with a lot more time behind us than ahead. Forcing old folks to be couch potatoes is forcing us to die sooner. I'm seventy-six, and I intend to continue to go camping and hiking, this spring, and screw the stupid politicians!

    8. It's San Francisco. Shitting on the sidewalk counts as one of those 'certain essential activities' that exempt you from the order.

    9. HaHaHa...normally I feel sorry for those who exhibit this level of self absorbed stupidity...but in this case it's simultaneously hilarious and pitiful.
      We can only hope you are as good at cleaning up your logical "sidewalk" feces as you are at spreading it. How appropriate.

  2. Finally someone here is saying it

    1. Came here to say the same i hope no one obides by these rules. our town is even closing parks. outdoors in the fresh air is the best place to be not closed up in doors. Are they fools or purposely trying to make it worse

      1. If you are a Darwin advocate, stupid decisions like re-circing air of the sick is a great way to get rid of the stupid genes.

      2. yup. Howcome it took so long to figure that out?
        Not slamming at all, but the ones blathering and pontificating ATR worse that fools.

        Like that mayor back in Indiana I think it is, has issued an ORDER prohibiting all firearms sales, transfers, gifts, loans, etc, "for SAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaafetee".

  3. You kill the economy, you kill some people; that's the way it works.
    BTW, the US death toll now stands at 85 people. We are shutting down major portions of the economy over what amounts to a Chicago gang-fight.

    1. I have tried arguing this -- the opportunity cost of all this economic destruction, even from the point of tax collections which might have been used for medical research -- the opportunity cost of spending billions for a few deaths and cause thousands more -- the railroad block system which would cost billions and save a few dozen deaths compared to many more saved by investing in better railroad crossings -- the sheer destruction of quality of life -- why is it necessary now when it wasn't necessary for Ebola (predicted to cause a million deaths) or SARS or MERS --

      It all falls on deaf ears.

      I think the media and Progressives have latched on to this because global warming has been looking deader and deader. Just as nuclear winter being trashed by the end of the Cold War made them latch on to AGW.

      One huge difference is that this panic is going to be over a lot sooner than AGW. I suppose they'd try to revive that, but Greta will be an adult by then.

      1. I want to believe that those worst case projections are real. That 1-3 million deaths in 6 months could actually occur if left unchecked. It such a circumstance, it seems the opportunity costs might be worth it. And even that is a real tough call, given all of the pending misery/deaths from the job losses and coming major recession.

        It's really really hard to trust the doomsayers. Because they are wrong with incredible frequency. And to date, there's very little evidence of a complete population wipe-out.

        1. That will not stop them from taking credit for preventing the death of "literally millions of people."

          It's an old trick.

          Predict a completely unrealistic, absolutely catastrophic "worst case" scenario, drill it into the collective consciousness by way of mechanical repetition and media messaging, adopt the most restrictive measures you can get away with and, lastly, claim without any evidence that you prevented the apocalyptic scenario that would never have occurred in any event.

          1. this the tip of the iceberg? Every time someone in the world sneezes the gov't takes over the economy. It happened with climate, inequality now its the common cold.

            1. It is certainly a bad precedent. Expect the next ten to twenty years to be rife with a plethora of newly emergent viral strains necessitating an increasingly intrusive exercise of police powers. This is a new foundation for an epidemiological Patriot Act to be invoked into perpetuity.

              The terrorist shit wore thin after twenty years. It's viruses now. In forty years it will be god knows what shit.

              1. In forty years it will be god knows what shit.

                "Skynet"? Space aliens?

                1. "What do we have left?"
                  "Well, Mr. President, you'll recall a rather pointed panic took hold of the millennial generation about thirty years ago concerning the specimens at Area51 ...
                  "Yes ..."
                  "These millennials are now middle aged and nostalgic."
                  "Blast out a press release. Let's get moving on this."

            2. Well, this is actually an uncommon cold. So far there are only about 185k folks on the whole planet who've gotten it. The common cold, by contrast, has probably affected all 7.5 billion of us at some point. Still, I agree, it sure sounds like it's just a cold.

              1. It's like getting the flu or bronchitis for a lot of people..... I am freaking out over how our politicians and bureacrats are acting. I consider myself to be a pretty stable person, but this is really throwing me off balance. I am so glad to be reading these posts to lighten my mood a little.....There's a big part of me that suddenly wants to go off and live in an isolated rural house somewhere. I feel really vulnerable in suburbia where I am feeling too watched and monitored all the time with this new government attitude and overreach and all the dummies in my city who go along with all the nonsense.

          2. Thing is, isolation is figured to do the equivalent harm of an 18 pack/day smoking habit or something up there in the levels of absurd amounts of cigs you would have to smoke. So this is harmful to the health and long-term unsustainable--even if economic reasons weren't involved, at some point it likely would end up being better for everybody to just go ahead and get coronavirus anyway. Isn't like we hadn't known we were well overdue for a plague anyway... (It doesn't mean we expected this one. I was mostly seeing predictions of Ebola getting just enough less deadly to manage to spread better. But plagues are Nature's way of dealing with populations that crowd together way too much...)

        2. "Because they are wrong with incredible frequency."

          They are wrong with such regularity that you can set your watch to it.

        3. People need to stop measuring the costs by the fatalities.

          Assume you get infected.
          88% probability you have a case that is mild/asymptomatic. So you go about your business and infect others at the RO of the virus. And there's almost certainty, based on Korea and Singapore, that the milder and younger cases infect more people than the serious cases. The math - cost - of those subsequent infections is relatively easy but I'll let you do it. PLUS - there is an as-yet-completely-unknown chance of long-term lung damage (ARDS or pre-ARDS) even in mild cases that will incur costs next year or the year after if not this year.

          12% chance of something serious that incurs hospitalization PAID FOR BY OTHERS. That is what happens in every medical system on Earth whether it is insurance or taxes or whatever. Someone else is paying for that particular expense. This may vary somewhat by age but nowhere near as much as fatality rates.
          Roughly 7% of that 12% will merely have highly monitored quarantine costs - say $2000/day for 14 days - so $28,000
          Roughly 5% will have to go to ICU. People who die there tend to die quickly - say $15,000. People who survive stay there quite a bit longer - say $35,000. Both those scenarios are added costs to the costs of that 7%.

          I would like to know what school of libertarianism it is that rationalizes forcing others to pay the costs of your decisions simply because 'I'm free and FYTW'?

          1. JFree
            March.17.2020 at 3:23 pm
            "People need to stop measuring the costs by the fatalities..."
            Shove the goal posts, JFree. Keep changing your predictions until one of them turns out right, and keep waving that WE ALL SHOULD PANIC!!!!!!!!! flag.

            "I would like to know what school of libertarianism it is that rationalizes forcing others to pay the costs of your decisions simply because ‘I’m free and FYTW’?"
            No you want nothing of the sort. You drug that strawman in here; kill it yourself.
            And please go die of a heart attack.

          2. I already know what you call government panic at the slightest wobble -- statism. Expand government regardless. Curtail freedom regardless.

            Every fucking thing you do affects others somehow. Get in your car and drive -- a chance a tire could blow, the engine could catch fire, you coul dbe distracted and plow into somebody else.

            Go out your front door and walk down the sidewalk -- a chance some car would not be able to swerve and avoid a distracted driver because you occupy the sidewalk he would have needed.

            Buy something from a store, and maybe they run out of stock for a day and someone else more deserving has to go without and their feeble grandmother dies.

            Every fucking thing.

            So piss off with your panic scary scenarios more deserving of MSNBC.

            1. So apparently rather than know costs that you don't like - you'd prefer to yap about butterflies burping and causing hurricanes - and oh yeah - must be a statist.

              1. Are you not the one yapping about what you don't know?

                There are lots of things I like and dislike and don't care about. What matters is what I know about. I know you don't have the foggiest idea what you are talking about, and you default to letting the government run my life.

            2. NEWS FLASH:

              Life is terminal

              They ain't non of us gettin outta here alive.

              So suck it up cupcake......

              There IS one area of life in which we CAN be confident in our government: They are experts at taking ONE aspect or life and creating a manufactured "crisis" of the sort ONLY government have any hope of dealing with it.

              1. Never let a good crisis go to waste!

          3. "12% chance of something serious that incurs hospitalization PAID FOR BY OTHERS."

            Yes, yes, we see this argument constantly. The government has interfered in the market so much that the government now must regulate your behavior in order to save money. It's bullshit.

            Viruses are a fact of life. They are a fact of nature. Like hurricanes, earthquakes and rattlesnakes, they exist in the world, and the default condition is that they kill you. You do not have a right to force me to protect you from forces of nature. You must protect yourself. If you want to enter into a voluntary contract with me to help protect you, then we both benefit.

            The appropriate response is for people who are at risk to take extra precautions to protect themselves- avoid public spaces, shelter in place, spend lots of time disinfecting. And to the extent that the government must interfere, providing these people extra resources to cope with this emergency might be acceptable.

            1. The mentality that says government must protect us (meaning me) from the naive, ignorant, stupid masses (meaning you) is about as anti-individualist as possible, and assumes that people are ignorant, stupid, naive, and too damned selfish to ever give a crap about anyone else.

              The closest libertarians get to not giving a shit about others is to cut back organized charity donations because the government already takes so much. All people I know, who are responsible in their personal mindsets, actually do help others in need, all the time. It's their default condition. They'd get tremendous tax writeoffs if taxes were fair.

            2. You do not have a right to force me to protect you from forces of nature. You must protect yourself.

              Which I will gladly do, including bearing the risk of adverse consequences, if YOU LEAVE ME ALONE< which gummit find it impossible to do.

          4. "Assume you get infected.
            88% probability you have a case that is mild/asymptomatic. So you go about your business and infect others at the RO of the virus..."

            And then, BAM!, 3 billion people are dead

            1. Wouldn't that be nice?

              A drop in human population, particularly those of a certain kind, would provide the proggies with all they seek. Less pollution. A significant slow down in global warming. Less human pain, suffering and starvation. More to go around for the remaining 4 billion. Equality uber alles!

        4. Righteeoh..... 18,000 dead so far, the season is not yet over, from the annual "seasonal flu". Not a whimper of that, outside of those immediately connected to those departed.
          Ten plus million dead from H1N1 Swine Flu, how many airports or coffee shops did gummit order closed? I think it was in 2016, Ebola was gonna come and put us all in the grave, our Fearless Tweaker the kinyun managed to arrange to bring half a dozen known infected victims to the US for treatment, against all sound medical advice.... I seem to revall two died from it, the others recovered, and I do not remember hearing about how many more caught it.... very few, I'm certain, cause they wanted Ebola to swim its way down the four inch black vertical memory hole and be forever forgotten. SARS was also gonna come put is down faster than "they" could build the pine boxes for us.... a few tens of thousands did die from it, but no lockdowns, no closed Starbux, no mandated quaratines.... and guess what? For the past four years not one blood test for SARS has come back positive......... it appears to be GONE from the planet.

          anyone who trusts the blatherings of any medical proffessional organisation, OR anyone from the Gummit, on these sorts of things needs psychiatric help but sorry to say you'll have to wait for COVID 19 to fade into the sunset. Meanwhile, your condition can just wait........

      2. "why is it necessary now when it wasn’t necessary for Ebola (predicted to cause a million deaths) or SARS or MERS —"

        The seasonal flu kills 30k-40k Americans every year.

        1. I mentioned that -- was told Coronavirus is much worse, based entirely on media panics. Actual current statistics don't matter. 4K in China since the beginning? Immaterial. Italy has more doctors than the US and is still floundering (I frankly doubt it, but I know we'd have many more and better doctors without licensing laws).

          I would normally enjoying reminding this friend of how silly he is once it all blows over, but he will simply claim is is *because* of all the panic shutdowns. Can't win.

          1. Aside from claims that it is more deadly (true to an extent), they are trying to claim it's more contagious than seasonal flu. Yet if you look at the CDC numbers for seasonal flu, there are tens of millions of flu cases a year. If you do the math, for a 6 month flu season, the infection rate is over one hundred thousand per day.

            How many new corona cases is the US seeing per day?

            1. Matthew, stay tuned.

              The results you see from seasonal flu are the ones you get after a large fraction of the population has been vaccinated. That is, when there is substantial herd immunity.

              Nothing like that applies to coronavirus. And nobody in China or Italy thinks coronavirus is merely comparably dangerous to seasonal flu.

              The explanation for the insane commentary in this thread is what? Libertarianism? That's what causes this? Libertarianism makes your brain conclude that epidemiologists are behind some kind of government conspiracy?

              Please, libertarians, follow your own advice. Go out of your way to get maximal exposure to coronavirus. Sign up to help out at your local hospital. You learned a nice style of swagger touting guns. Now use it to stand tall, without protective gear, in the hospital corridors. There aren't enough of you to materially affect the overall casualty picture, but a notable percentage would be cured of libertarianism. Big win for society.

      3. "...but Greta will be an adult by then."

        I wouldn't be too sure. She looks like one of those monsters who is forever X-going-on-15.
        Like commie kid and his mortgage.

        1. That might be true, but she'll eventually be an autistic adult (often just referred to as "an asshole") rather than an autistic teenager, so the novelty of getting lectured by her will have worn off.

      4. I have written congresspeople, governors, city councilors. Harangued friends and family with endless articles and reasoned talk. It all falls on deaf ears. All the lemmings bound and determined to run straight off the cliff, blowing right by us as if we were those few people inoculated against the zombie apocalypse in World War Z.

        1. If they all went off a cliff, I'd be fine.

          Instead, they look to rule us all.

          What's next? Call out the national guard and shoot any violators on sight?

          Yeah, that's the ticket

      5. Actually Progressives, including myself DO NOT LIKE THESE DRACONIAN FLATTEN THE CURVE CRAP than you do..

    2. None of these decisions to put everyone in lockdown are cost free, even in human lives. It just may be that such deaths are more unseen than coronavirus cases are seen.

    3. So let me get this straight. Instead of having the people most at risk of dying from this self-quarantine themselves, who are also the people who contribute the least to the economy and are in the best economic position to stay inside, we're having the vast majority of people, who actually keep the economy going, "hunker-down" while the world collapses around them? Makes sense.

      1. Hey:

        Keep your hands off my SS!


      1. +10000

      2. Would love to but I can't figure out a way to bust into a closed restaurant and sit down and make them cook and sell me dinner.

        1. Would love to but I can’t figure out a way to bust into a closed restaurant and sit down and make them cook and sell me dinner.

          Exactly this. Businesses shuttering everywhere. The few restaurants open will only deliver. My husband is on a project out of state and is fearful he soon won't be able to find a place to buy a decent meal or stay overnight. He'll likely tell his client that it will be impossible for him to continue, and drive home instead. That is, if we don't start rationing gas and/or close state borders.

          Here at home, my vet is not allowing clients into their building. Have to call from the car, they come to get my dog, take him inside, then return him back to me. I'll get a bill in the mail. I'm supposed to have an ultrasound on Thursday, it's 50/50 whether that will be canceled, and my dentist is closing down for 14 days so there goes my cleaning next week. A massage therapist friend on the other hand is staying open until they force her to close at gunpoint.

          If only I could eat, wear, or run my car on massages.

          1. "...That is, if we don’t start rationing gas and/or close state borders."

            I started laughing at that. And then stopped...

          2. Damn!

            You must live where I do (the SF Bay Area). Because we are having the exact same experience.

        2. Insist on a gay cheesebuger batchelor party for one. SCOTUS will have yer back.

      3. How much farther can it be pushed and still be seemingly on-topic? Police checking your hand washing? Mandatory face shields?

      4. I never get the stupid "flu vaccines', but I DO take care to eat right, work hard OUTSIDE when possible, I don't wash my hands seventy four times a day (or even four times....) NEVER use the paper towell for the door, take my vita-yums, and I don't get sick. One cold in the past ten years,had me "under the weather" for a full day, otherwise functional. Oh, and I am in that "demographic most susceptible" to COVID 19..... and I don't plan on changing a thing now that the Crown of Death us surely coiming to get us all. Thanks all the same, I'll leave that monster to bore himself to death playing out in the shed.

      5. No. I have no intention of using hand sanitizer or washing my hands or using paper towels to open door handles to the potty. I will sneeze on your sandwich if I want to.

        I am free and I will do whatever I want.

        1. You forgot the part about 'your right to swing your arm freely through the air ends where my nose begins". An important point for libertarnism.

          You sneeze on my sandwich and, you'll be buying me a new one. One way or another.

        2. You have the right to sneeze on YOUR sandwich, but not mine.

          If you still think that you can, then I maintain the right to feed you a knuckle sandwich. Or ten.

          Loser's choice, and you're a loser.

    5. Bingo!

      The cure will be far worse than the disease.

  4. Won't someone think of the shekels!?

    1. You realize that shekels buy food and medicine, right?

  5. Great post thanks for sharing.

  6. It is about fucking time!

    Hallelujah. If the world starts to accept this as the new normal, we no longer need to worry about the marginal liberty infringements of a tariff or immigration restriction. A government that has general support from the public to confine people to their homes and shut down businesses to reduce a tiny, tiny risk is a government that can get away with a whole host of shit, just as long as they can get people reasonably afraid.

    I get that there may be cases where limited quarantines may be justified. But in this case, we are protecting some vulnerable people by locking down the entire country- unseen costs be damned.

    Imagine if instead of blanket imprisonment of the public, what if the Government instead spent resources identifying the most at risk, and providing them the support and resources they need to self isolate?

    1. Then what would all the petty authoritarians do with their raging curfew-boners.
      But seriously, that is absolutely the scariest thing about this whole mess. Let's destroy personal freedom and the economy with reactive measures that are probably too late so we can control something that doesn't seem to be particularly worse than a typical flu strain.

    2. But how else are politicians going to demonstrate how much they care and how eager they are to Do Something? And the fact that it so wonderfully advances the interests of the Total Surveillance State is just the icing on the cake. Somewhere, Erich Honecker is weeping over what might have been if only he had been smart enough to invent the coronavirus.

    3. And...they have the information. If you're over sixty and have lung issues, immune issues, diabetes, or, any age and smoke or have asthma you are at higher risk.

      Throwing cash and the futures of the younger generations of taxpayers at failed lefty cities.


      1. I'm having a St Patty's day party tonight!

        Alcohol as a sanitizer in every drink!

    5. Overt, you aren't original. Google, "Lincoln emetics"

      But as for your last question? You would get mass casualties among the less-at-risk, because a great many of them would not end up in intensive care, because it would be full.

      Perhaps you don't have a good information source available. About 40% of those hospitalized in intensive care have been from less-threatened age groups. Some die anyway. Young medical personnel have been dying. More will die if the beds are full and they can't be treated.

  7. Don't worry, though; San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that cops will be taking a "compassionate, commonsense approach" to enforcement.

    Meaning that they'll "compassionately" tase and pepper spray you and then after you're writhing in pain on the ground they'll stomp your groin because it's just "commonsense" to always "re-stomp that groin."

    1. And then pack everyone into jails like sardines.

    2. If I lived there, I would be taking an armed and hostile approach to law enforcement violating my constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

      1. Armchair warrior. Go for it! If you were a true hero, you'd fly out there and show 'em how it's done. Oh wait, travel bans, you're going to honor that probably, how convenient.

        1. Poor alphabet sock troll.

          1. You're slipping. You actually replied to me instead of the parent comment. But you still said nothing, so you're not entirely out of it.

        2. Big Chief Bull Shitting doesn’t take no shit from no one. He’s packing his duffle bags right now to go make war on the white man up in New York.

          1. Exactly $caredY is the Worst.

          2. You sound upset

    3. Is that before or after they shoot your dog?

      1. Yes.

        The dog twitched, they had to shoot it again.

  8. The measures will end when people generally ignore them and publicly scoff at them. This circumstance provides a great opportunity for testing the limits of enforceable edicts.

    1. The perceived enforcability is going to be high because a lot of this legislation is not necessary. People were choosing to do these things in many cases out of good will/self interest/peer-pressure, so the law is often following behavior.

      1. People are doing it voluntarily. Attitudes change when it's forced for an extended length of time.

        As much as Phil Murphy wants to lock everyone in their homes, eventually people start saying "Fuck you, I'm from Jersey".

        1. Agreed, I think however this will provide many in government a false data point in how much they can impose though, which could be dangerous at a later point.

        2. "People are doing it voluntarily."

          They are doing it voluntarily because the government and media have abdicated their responsibility to inform people and keep them from panicking. Seriously, if you are young and healthy, you are more likely to die in a car accident after drinking a couple beers (still within legal limit) than you are to die from Covid. If they appropriately considered risk, either people would stop sheltering in place, or stop going to bars.

          1. Overt, a few days ago, the NYT published an epidemiology model of common causes of death compared to the epidemiology of coronavirus. In every decade of life, from 10 years up to 80+, a "moderate" coronavirus projection (40% infection, 1.5% fatalities) shows more virus deaths than car crash deaths. You are correct that the difference is smallest in the decades 10–29, but still the virus is deadlier. After age 29, the virus far outstrips car crashes.

            Compared to the model, no doubt you will still prefer your conjecture, however uninformed it may be by comparison. For all we know, treacherous epidemiologists have for decades been secretly conspiring with government to enslave libertarians.

        3. Jersey strong!

          Ukraine not weak!

      2. Store closures are enforced and enforceable, and they prevent me from shopping when it is safest.

    2. I dont live in one of the tyrannical Lefty states but if I did, I would driving one of my APCs around after curfew.

      Martial Law ain't happening with this cough due to cold. if these Lefties want Martial Law, then we'll refresh the Tree of Liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

      1. That's the only way it gets done! Our politicians have ignored the chain of command too much for too long. We are THEIR COMMANDERS; NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. THEIR SORRY BUTTS ANSWER TO US! PERIOD! A THING CALLED "CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED". WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO REVOKE THAT CONSENT AT ANY TIME!

      2. What fucking APC pool do you keep in operational condition at your house? That has to be a bullshitter's hallmark.

        Like you maintain an armored personnel carrier at your mobile home trailer park for retirees. Please

    3. The measures will end when people generally ignore them and publicly scoff at them. This circumstance provides a great opportunity for testing the limits of enforceable edicts.

      They were already scoffing at them. The local bar/craft brewery threw a pre-prohibition party last night. It wouldn't surprise me to discover they're still open tonight, if only to the cool kids who know the password.

      1. Saw a couple of people at the liquor store last night completely filling the bed of a Ram 3500 with booze, beer, and snacks. That's gonna be a hell of a party tonight, unless it was last night.

        1. Ah, the Irish.

          We only got a holiday for one of the 365 days wee drink.

        2. On St. Patrick's day Pennsylvania is going to order all liquor stores be closed, supposedly. Per Walsh at the Daily Wire.

    4. In my day, people openly smoked MJ in deference to police presence. It took years, but the message has finally gotten through.

  9. Finally, someone is asking the right questions. My state is shut down due to 48 deaths, over half related to a single location containing a highly vulnerable population. At this point, more people have tested negative (93%) than positive for even having the virus.

    Right now, people are operating off of a combination of fear for themselves and good will towards their community. I give it two weeks before people start asking if the risk of not paying their mortgage is greater than the risk of someone in their household becoming critically ill from this. At that point, all bets are off.

    1. And some of us happily live socially distanced lives as is. Though my perception of that might be warped by being in Engineering.

      1. There was a hilarious meme about how this situation was basically a 'Gamer's Nirvana.'

        "You mean I have to stay inside all day and avoid human contact? And the problem is what, again?"

        1. Looks like I'll have to spend the afternoon playing Deep Rock Galactic. Again.

          Oh no!

      2. As an introvert, I am amused that people are now treating other humans like I have for my entire adult life: unless we've got a real good reason to be in the same room, it ain't happenin'.

        1. Introverts unite! But online and anonymously.

    2. Self interest will always prevail.

      There is no honor amongst thieves.

    3. mamabug, NY state saw you coming. They just handed out a mortgage holiday. Plenty of ways to keep the lid on. Nihilists like you are a tiny minority. Most folks get the point of acting together after they discover individual action is hopeless.

  10. Well I'll give Welch this one. People were hating Trump for being Orange Hitler for 3 years. Now they are claiming he's not being authoritarian enough. They literally hamstrung him for months with impeachment, and now complain he's calling it a Chinese virus.

    Fuck the media and Democrats and all their supporters.

    1. Then there is NPR's favorite survey result of the day. Apparently Democrats think we're all going to die unless the government saves us and Republicans and independents think it's no big deal (my unserious summary).

      Which sounds to me like democrats are pussies who won't think for themselves.

      1. Funny thing; it sounds to me like the democrats are using the (manufactured) crisis to impose the stuff by executive orders they can't get through legislative channels, and the republicans are the pussies for not pushing back hard.

        1. That too. Which is not too surprising.

          Though I think you are thinking more of officials and I of ordinary voters.

      2. I wonder if that accounts for region and urbanization?

        The danger is much more serious in the urban cores, and more densely populated (and typically bluer) areas than in less densely populated.

        1. Anyone who thought high density, sharing lifestyles was the cool new thing deserves either the virus or a lock down without TP. They can choose.

          1. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


            Jefferson's 5 acres.

            40 acres and a mule is the much better choice.

      3. Given the skewness of politics by sex, most democrats HAVE pussies (or want to, or should).

        Letting women vote was a bad idea.

        1. My father always said, "The two worst mistakes the U.S. made was giving women the right to vote and, giving them driver's licenses".

  11. 1. Governor Murphy looks like he shaves with a belt sander. Seriously, he's one of the ugliest things you'll ever see.

    2. Next up - more gun restrictions! If everyone's quarantined, then you don't need a gun for self-defense or hunting! You know, the only 2 reasons you need a gun for!

    1. A mayor in Illionois already said gun stores need to be shut down. guns don't cause viruses

    2. Gun stores around here have been doing a titanic business. Not much ammo to be found anywhere. People are nervous.

      1. After watching society collective shit itself over what amounts to barely a blip on the radar, I can’t blame people for stocking up on ammo.

        I’m just fortunate that I build my own ammo and have enough material to last for quite some time.

  12. >>But not at gunpoint

    gracias. free assembly.

    1. That alone should invalidate all these orders, but hey, it's New Jersey.

      1. it hurts that I loved New Jersey so much.

  13. Avoid crowded spaces, avoid gatherings, don’t got to the club where you normally go to, reduce travel, try to avoid unnecessary travel, don’t [do] your usual things in terms of going to the shops unless you absolutely have to...

    1. No shit? I hadn’t heard any of that! Thanks for sharing!

    2. Jeez, even the bots are more reasonable than politicians and 90% of the public on this.

  14. this would be a wonderful opportunity for libertarians to build the channels to COMPETE with this sort of top-down governance.

    Of course it's also a wonderful opportunity just to sit back and whine

    1. What would that entail you fucking moronic cunt?


      1. By the by, what are you doing besides bootlicking every authoritarian you can find and shitting your pants 30 times a day about how you're going to die from an illness with a .5% mortality rate?

      2. Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Elp elp I'm being oppressed

        1. OH, OH, LOOK!
          Fucking lefty ignoramus JFree cites a MP episode as if it proves anything!
          On top of being a fucking lefty, you must remember JFree is also an ignoramus.

      3. Sorry dude, LoveConstitution beat you to it:

        If I lived there, I would be taking an armed and hostile approach to law enforcement violating my constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

    2. JFree
      March.17.2020 at 1:37 pm
      "Of course it’s also a wonderful opportunity just to sit back and whine"

      And a really wonderful opportunity for fucking lefty ignoramuses to drag in strawmen and hope others are stupid enough to accept them, fucking lefty ignoramus.

    3. That's a rare case of a contribution that actually contributes something. Global evidence, especially that from China, is crystal clear that social-distancing is the way to get Covfefe-45 under control. Yet rather than seeing the Reason crowd explain how libertarianism can better engineer social distancing, or why they have a better solution, their "thought" on the matter is limited to calling people "lefties", saying the "statist left" is exploiting the problem to push an agenda or denying the problem even exists. (Or saying they're going to socialise and thus kill their conservative elders anyway.) In other words, it's climate-denial all over again. So like climate change, we are guaranteed to see this problem accelerate off towards the worst-case horizon and the deniers only realise it's a problem that's going to kill them, too, when it's too late.

      A slightly-honourable minority are attempting to argue that the demerits of a shutdown also lead to loss of life ... but without a single attempt to compare the numbers. So much for "Reason", as usual.

      Fellow readers, this virus actively selects out the older demographic which can actually be frightened off an idea by calling it "socialist", while leaving AOC's generation unscathed. How are "libertarians" planning to Make America White Again when your generation's Darwin Award is already being parcelled up for the next postal collection?

      1. ^entertaining NPC code

        1. We aim to please, as the NRA are fond of saying.

      2. Don't worry. This will work out well...........for the younger generation.

        The more of us (the vulnerable population) that COVID 19 takes out, the less SS payments that will need to be made. Thus, the "fund" will be sustained a bit longer, to the betterment of the know-it-all younger generation.

        Ditto for Medicare. Maybe then you will be able to build your Medicare-for-all system.

      3. But then, Steven Lathrop, who claims to be highly knowleagable about all the stats, posted here that 40% of those going to hospitals are not old. And not only that, lots of young hospital staff have been dying too. So which one is it? Is this virus "singling out the older demographic" or doing what Lathrop says? Everywhere I read about this, someone is announcing different statistics and making different claims about this virus. Honestly, I think most people are claiming statistics that fit with their agenda.

  15. Coerce people now or death will coerce you. Just pretend your local state and city governments are Big Businesses and lick those boots, unless Libertarianism is a suicide pact.

    1. Oh My God We're All Going To Die!

    2. Be careful fuckwad, the bottoms of those boots are filthy dirty. If you keep licking them like that you're liable to increase your risk of dying from coronavirus from 1 in a hundred million to 1 in 10 million.

    3. Are the walls closing in, you pathetic piece of shit?

    4. You should definitely coerce yourself into a sealed box.

  16. My wife and I are old. We got all the stuff we needed three weeks ago and live out in the open country, where we will stay at home. Let all the younger people get the virus, get sick, and then develop herd immunity so that we can get out and about later safely.
    Vaccine is better, but having immunity by having had the thing is a second best.

    1. this guy gets it

  17. I'm not an infectious-disease specialist, and don't play one on TV.

    I can see politically how a disease which threatens old people is going to get the attention of powerful government and business figures - guess what age range many of them are?

    1. COVID19 is the final solution to the Boomer problem.

      1. OK, that took my remark a bit too far.

        There are plenty of people who aren't (yet) old but know people who are, so my snark might be considered a bit over the top, but compared to your joke my comment looks innocuous, to thanks I guess.

        1. Gotta admit, I laughed when I saw that the hashtag #BoomerRemover was trending. I’m not a boomer but I’d like to think that I’d see humor in that if I was.

          Sometimes the kids are retards, sometimes they’re pretty damn funny!

      2. the final solution to the Boomer problem

        I say use them or decommission them.

      3. 'Senior Deleter'.

        Night Of The Pillow, brought to you by Mother Nature.

  18. Seems reasonable; I guess the virus is union and refuses to work around the clock?

  19. Now that sports have been effectively canceled, there is apparently a new competition afoot in this coronavirus-cursed country: Lefty Politicians vying to see who can impose the most freedom-infringing clampdown in the name of flattening the curve.

    1. NC- Gov. Cooper (D)
      PA- Gov. Wolf (D)
      OH- Gov. DeWine (R)
      IL- Gov. Pritzker (D)
      NY- Gov. Cuomo (D)
      CA- Gov. Newsome (D)
      WA- Gov. Inslee (D)
      MI- Gov. Whitmer (D)
      MA- Gov. Baker (R)
      CO- Gov. Polis (D)
      NJ- Gov. Murphy (D)

      C'mon now LC, there are two R's in that list so, obviously, both sides are equally capable of and predisposed to such abuses of power.

      1. MA- Gov. Baker (R)

        HAHAHAHA. A Republican...HAHAHA

        Thanks for the laugh.

        1. Last St. Patrick's Day, Baker joked that he was 7/1000ths Republican or something like that.

          1. Same Baker who ended vape sales by executive fiat.

            1. +100000000000

        2. HAHAHAHA. A Republican…HAHAHA

          Thanks for the laugh.

          I presumed Massachusetts/New England/Not A Republican was generally understood. He's a Republican the same way Bill Weld is a... whatever label he can use to help him refuse the fact that he's a loud and proud democrat to himself and the idiots who believe him.

          1. The GOP doesn't kick people out of the Party, so it has a real problem with Lefties trying to sabotage. It's relatively easy to tell who is a Libertarian and who is Repulican based on how they talk and act about political issues.

            I dont think that happens with the Democrat Party.

          2. Massachusetts invented America and although largely (D) in title, has much more of a mix of attitudes than people outside of here think we do. I love seeing people from 50-year old states pontificate about the BS image of Massachusetts (a 200+ year-old state) all you wanna-be Marlboro men believe is true because Red State told you so.

          3. In CA, our D's tend to be former R's.

            Power comes to those who bend with the wind. Whatever direction it might be blowing.

        3. true, he does seem to know how to read and doesn't believe zombie Jesus is the answer to everything, so...not a true (R) I guess

          1. and if you find that comment offensive, all I gotta say is..welcome to the party, that's how it feels every time you literally describe anyone who disagrees with you on any point whatsoever to be a "lefty bent on destroying America that should be put up against a wall and shot" which seems to be the only thing you think of anyone who disagrees with you on anything

            Also funny to see the people that bought 10000 guns cause "any day now Obama will take them" now picking on everyone else's reaction to this...8 years of no actual gun takings and yet that didn't stop the constant "Obama's gonna take all our guns and make everyone Muslim gay" hype train, and now you wanna criticize everyone else's reaction to something the government IS actually doing.

      2. OH- Gov. DeWine (R)

        Spill DeWine, take that girl....

        /noble-faired, long-haired, leaping gnome

        1. I believe it’s “overfed, long haired leaping gnome”. haha

      3. I wonder if Newsome quaratined himself from his chief of staff's wife?

        1. Only if his wife were around...

        2. Damn!

          Do you know how few people are aware!

          Everytime I see governor slick back preaching his brand of "all for the good" I just want to scream: "I can't believe you show your face in public!".

          I don't really care that it happened. I care that he preaches a get on board with what is right mantra.

          We all do things that aren't in the best judgement. But most of us don't go around preaching moral high ground after such a humbling take down.

          You know, his chief of staff's wife was his BFF? And Slick Willy (Harris' man whore) was his mentor? But, most people I know, who support him, are completely oblivious. And, those who know and won't admit it, are other politicians of his party.

    2. So you finally admit Trump is a lefty politician, vying with all the others.

      About fucking time, Trumpista.

      1. Weird that he hasn't imposed any edicts then...

      2. Your mask is slipping Old Mex.

      3. "So you finally admit Trump is a lefty politician, vying with all the others."

        He's not the second coming but he's pretty damn good.
        Let's see your specifics supporting your claim. Put up, or STFU.

    3. the mayor of New Orleans is gunning for the guns

      1. Of course he is. Lest someone take him out!

  20. We can all participate in the 15-day bend the curve theater, but after that? Are we really going to destroy the economy for 3 or 4 (or 18) months? The old and sick are the ones at risk. Build a wall around them and let everyone else get back to work.

    1. If we destroy the economy how many more people will become homeless and die from exposure.

      1. The economy has already taken a massive hit that will ripple for years.

        The 68 year old who’s been working since his early 20s and was set to retire probably can’t now that his portfolio has been trashed by 1/3 or more. That guy wanting to send his kid to college and has been preparing to pay for it with a 529 account will probably either have to forego college for his daughter for a couple of years, or go in debt to make it happen. That public sector retirement fund will now have to be floated with (even more) tax money because they won’t be able to adequately fund payouts because their portfolio has been ravaged.

        All those restaurants and bars that have to close by law for who the fuck knows how long? It will probably go under, or will put the owner, and all of his employees, in serious financial distress until some type of recovery can happen.

        That single mom waitress (and her kid(s)) is fucked.

        The list goes on.

        The “cure” is far worse than the disease.

        1. That's great! Lefty arguments for a libertarian cause. I love it!

          They are always for the poor, the children, the elderly or the environment......until their not.

          Methinks all of the emperors are wearing no clothes right now.

    2. If it saves one (eighty-year-old) child...

    3. I agree. The more I think about it, I am guessing two weeks will be the limit to when this all stops being exciting, and everyone needs to get real again, and get back to work. People have places they need to go and travel to. The world will have to get moving again and all of this shutdown stuff will have to stop.... I just wonder though, how bad the fallout will be.

  21. Been thinking about item 2 for a bit - we need longer store hours, not shorter, more trains, not fewer. Yes, they will be more expensive, but people will get what they need or where they need to go with less interaction with others.

    How does a curfew help?

    But it's interesting look at numbers. Italy, with the highest rate of infection is still less than 1 case per 2000 people and most of Europe is running less than 1 per 5000. It sucks if it's you, and sucks even worse if it's your father or mother dying, but the odds are really pretty good, so far. Not that it's like the odds of dying in a terrorist attack (essentially zero), but even 1 in 17,000 (China) are pretty strong that you're should be worrying about something else.

    1. Not that it’s like the odds of dying in a terrorist attack (essentially zero)

      9/11 killed 35 times more Americans in one day than this virus has so far in 3 fucking months.

      1. "9/11 killed 35 times more Americans in one day than this virus has so far in 3 fucking months.

        Citing an outlier really doesn't help whatever argument you hoped to make.
        Try again.

  22. Wow. An actual solid analysis in Reason. Nice job, Welch.

  23. Ninety Americans die every day in car crashes. Why no calls for everyone to stay off the roads? Why not shut everything down to avoid those deaths? You can’t wash your hands and practice basic hygiene and avoid a wreck. Accidents kill all age groups. Cars are far riskier than coronavirus, but god fucking forbid anyone exercise a little perspective about life’s risks. It might make them question how safe it is to hand all this power over to the government.

    1. Accidents kill all age groups.

      A bit the opposite, car accidents kill the young disproportionately. The fatality rate between 16-17 yr. olds and 80+ yr. olds is roughly equivalent but that's because there are so few 80+ yr. olds and they drive so few miles.

  24. Don't underestimate the number of people who think there will never be another opportunity to get the sort of clamped down, rigidly controlled society they crave - assuming they'll be the clamping down controllers. Unfortunately, even so-called anti-government politicians still have some of this mind set. It may take decades, if ever, to take off some the shackles that are being gleefully put in place. Won't belong before we're all wearing ankle bracelets of Newsom and his ilk have their way.

    1. assuming they’ll be the clamping down controllers

      Where's AOC been during this "crisis"? Seems like she'd be jumping in front of any camera she sees during something like this.

      1. "Self-isolating", one supposes.

      2. Plotting the next move for the Green New Deal.

        Can't you see the arguments that will come as soon as the virus panic fades? Just keep the controls on and move towards environmental nirvana. Walla! The Green New Deal redux!

  25. One nice thing about the mass hysteria surrounding coronavirus: The impeachment debacle is so far in the rearview mirror that it might as well have never happened. No one is talking about it. It will probably play no role whatsoever in the forthcoming election. If the economy comes out of the summer on anything resembling a rebound, Trump might well come out of this year with one of the greatest mandates of any president in recent memory.

    Everything -- literally everything -- came together for the Democrats to retake the White House in 2020, and they have utterly squandered the opportunity. Their complete inability to capitalize on what should have been an unbeatable confluence of good fortune demonstrates yet again how devoid they are of the fundamentals of tactics and strategic thinking. It's no wonder Democratic Party influence has been devastated at the state and local levels over the past couple of decades. Their leadership is laughably inept, bereft of long-range vision and constantly tripping over its own two feet.

    1. And the fact that an ostensible buffoon like Trump is consistently able to beat them at their own game -- in fact, make them his bitch at their own game -- is proof of that fact.

      1. Overtly turning over control to more local governments doesn't appear to have been a dumb political move either.

        1. It's ironic in how many ways this crisis has actually helped Trump to implement his own agenda, rendering the Democrats more impotent than ever.

      2. Part of "n"th D Chess is to let your opponent make their horrible moves.

    2. And, thank God they didn't.

      I have no love of Trump. By any standard.

      But Bernie, Warren and even Biden, scare the sit out of me.

  26. Maybe its better that these tyrants go overboard now sooner so that the sheep will wake up and say no thanks.

  27. Totally off topic, it's nice to see that the purple close button has reappeared on that accursed AnyClip float-over. I was getting ready to say "fuck it" and never return to this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    1. I was considering to figure out who those people were so I could organize an angry mob against them. There is no possible forgiveness for autoplay videos. Especially if they hide the button to close them. Tarring, feathering and riding out on a rail is too pleasant a retribution.

    2. unreason is desperate to gain revenue. You can see how desperate based on the autoplay videos and other worthless advertising.

      Any advertiser worth their salt will see that unreason website visitors dont look at the advertising. Waste of money.

    3. I still can’t close them.

      I don’t get auto play, but neither can I close the fucking box.

  28. Time to pull out or stream the William Shatner song of year "You're gonna die".

  29. America's sheep are buying guns and ammo like never before thanks to the fears of the virus. Libertarians should be kvelling rather than kvetching.

    1. I stocked up on Ammo last year so no need for any new at this time.

      I did stock up on essentials like liquor and tobacco a week before everything really popped off, so I'm good.

    2. Bad news for the wolves.

    3. "America’s sheep are buying guns and ammo like never before thanks to the fears of the virus..."

      And here's trueman to shovel some more of his bullshit.

      1. He's not wrong. Our local stores have been doing tremendous business. Good for them. Maybe more people will see then that gun restrictions are garbage?

        1. Gray_Jay
          March.17.2020 at 4:29 pm
          "He’s not wrong."

          Yes he is; ask him for a cite to show he knew what he was posting about.
          He is a bullshitter who occasionally (twice a day?) gets something right.

      2. It's accurate, actually, the store right down the street is literally out of 9mm cause all the people that think this isn't a real virus are also the same people that think it's time to go to zombie apocalypse rules of society.

  30. disease disproportionately affecting the Olds.

    This is why we need to get rid of the Four Olds.

    1. It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.

  31. It's crises like this which prove the failures of libertarianism.

    Leaving everything up to individual choice and free will in these kinds of crises will only make things worse. And when things are worse, libertarians will just shrug and say that is the best that can be done.

    No, it's not.

    1. Get up off of your knees, collectivist.

      1. I'm not a collectivist

        I believe in a rational balance of individualism and collectivism, as does nearly everyone.

        1. And trashing the best economy any of us have ever known, while destroying personal autonomy to even leave your house, is the balance you think is balanced?

        2. Wow. I can't believe you think what's been going on is a rational balance. Over one respitory virus that has not proven to be any worse than other viruses that have come along, politicians are tanking the economy and the stockmarket, trying to shut everything and society down, ruining people's retirement accounts, ruining small businesses, putting people out of work, and I'm sure I've forgotten some things. I personally know some people who've been harmed by these actions. Two people I know, thought they would be able to retire, but are now looking at working for many more years to build up their retirement accounts again. They are getting old, too old to have to be thinking like that.....I know several people who are out of work and out of money..... When you see the damage done up close and personal like I do, it's shocking to hear someone say that this has been a "rational balance".

    2. "No, it’s not."

      Yes, it is.
      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Oh yes, this is slavery lol.

        You're a moron.

        1. "Oh yes, this is slavery lol..."

          Fucking adolescent lefty ignoramuses come out of the woodwork.

    3. "Leaving everything up to individual choice and free will in these kinds of crises will only make things worse."

      By what measure? In my neighborhood, free will and individual choice was working great. The elderly neighbors were staying inside, and the younger families were fetching them supplies as necessary. This worked well right up until school closures and curfews and declarations to shelter in place made it much harder for us to be flexible.

      I love how people think that individuals are incapable of doing things in their or their community's best interest.

      1. See, you prove my point.

        Schools must be closed to help prevent the spread of the disease.

        You act like individuals always make the right choices. Sorry no, they don't, and sometimes their collective choices are wrong too. Take the run on TP, very stupid.

        1. "See, you prove my point..."

          So you can't read, either.

    4. And when things are worse, libertarians will just shrug and say that is the best that can be done.

      Still better than socialists saying "it's the best that can be done" while digging mass graves for the people around them who are starving to death.

      1. I never said pure socialism is better.

        It's just the other extreme ideology.

        1. GenoS
          March.17.2020 at 6:05 pm
          "I never said pure socialism is better."

          We understand, shitstain.
          We get scumbags here on a regular basis who claim they really don't support socialism or statism, it's just that, in *this case* (see Bad Lib, below), it's really justified!

        2. I never said pure socialism is better.

          I didn't either. I'd say, "Don't feel obligated to defend socialism on my account." but you've already taken that task on yourself willingly.

    5. Libertarians want to maximize personal freedom as long as it doesn't directly hurt other people. A government does have the power to shut things down in a genuine emergency.

      They have to make that case. If I had a flu, the government cannot tell me put me in quarantine for 2 weeks to prevent me from infecting anyone else. That would be like the government taking away my freedom to drive because theoretically I could kill a family of 5 on the road.

      We're not in some end of the world crisis. The disease is non lethal for 99% of the population and there's no reason why most of the economy can't continue to go one while taking reasonable precaution.

      1. +100000

      2. What if a person had Ebola, would you object to the government forcing all those he/she came in contact with into quarantine?

        1. You mean like when there was an Ebola scare less than a decade ago?

        2. "What if a person had Ebola,.."

          We'd hope you caught it.

          1. Hoping he'd catch ebola is the best that can be done. *libertarian ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ shrug*

  32. Let's be honest here, the politicians are freaking out because they're all old enough to be in danger from it. One can only dream.

    1. Seems to be the situation from where I sit.

    2. +10000

      The Boomers think that they should live forever to implement horrible horrible government policies.

      It's funny that Trump, as a Boomer himself, is tearing down the "Great Boomer Society". It drives Lefties crazy.

      1. Now, don[t go blaming boomers. Or assuming that the pols are freaking out because they perceive themselves to be in danger as part of the more vulnerable demographic to the potential mortality of this virus.

        The pols are motivated by power, and power alone. They either want to 1) appear to be 'doing something' to retain their constituency and those their power. Or, 2) because they are power mongers and want to stretch their control over all of us.

        I live in one of the two counties in the SF Bay Area that hadn't declared an emergency and ordered us to "shelter in place". Just this afternoon, I received an email from my county supervisor warning that an emergency order would be coming for us too. For both Solano and Napa counties.


        Because as one supervisor who said; "having Napa and Solano left out of the action taken by the other counties left the impression that Solano County was not addressing the Covid-19 concerns as thoroughly as the other counties". "That is not the case," Hannigan said.

        Monkey see. Monkey do.

        And here you thought just the population was a bunch of sheep.

  33. How to Solution to Prevent Corona Virus Lambor88

  34. This reads like a progressive statist wet dream: masses of people begging for more government restrictions and handouts, including ridiculous curtailment of basic freedoms--and of course, the end of the free market economy. And politicians tripping over each other to give the sheeple what they want--and more!

  35. Maybe the worst proposal in the history of curfews. Absolutely nothing good can be accomplished.

  36. We are about to see a lot of resentment from the healthy Youngs about how they no longer have jobs or the ability to make student loan payments because of draconian governmental measures

    Good. The earlier and more they learn to hate their government, the better for them and all the rest of us.

    1. They'll hate their government soon enough. Like once they get real jobs and have to start paying taxes to support other people's kids.

      1. ^^^^^^^

        Man, you must have been thinking of my lefty nephews. They both graduated from college constantly harking about the need to help attain "equality" for all of their favorite victim classes.

        Then, they received their first post college paychecks. They actually wanted to know what those "bullshit deductions" were from their pay.

        I never said, "I told you so". It took everything I had not to.

        But, they no longer express such concerns for the "underrepresented" groups. Especially because they are both white males and have tasted the fruit of their former efforts on behalf of the downtrodden.

        One is in law school and has really had eye opening experiences. He hasn't called me a redneck in the last three or four years.

  37. And of course all the little fearful pussies we call citizens these days will just bleat for more freedoms to be taken so they can be "safe".

    Honestly; people need to suck it up and start giving the Man the finger a lot more often.

    1. That decision has already been made, and freedom lost. Some people will grumble but comply. Others will actively beg for more nanny care, and voluntarily suggest how the state can control them. And of course the state is eager to meet that demand.

      For evidence, see the UK.

  38. Universal home testing, and we are all back to normal tomorrow:

    This is the ONLY thing government should be spending money on right now, along with vaccine development.

    1. This is the ONLY thing government should be spending money on right now,

      It's a jobs program:

      Rothberg announced his interest in a coronavirus test kit in a Twitter thread on 7 March. Initially describing it as a “thought experiment,” it quickly became a real project and a driving mission.
      However, as he noted in his Twitter comments, his test would be less accurate, occasionally giving both false positive and false negative results.

      So, his company would provide a knowingly less accurate test and assume responsibility for telling people who were contagious that they weren't? From a libertarian perspective, getting a disease and not knowing is one thing, taking people's money and telling them they're uninfected when they are (or vice versa) is quite another.

  39. I agree! Screw a national, unified effort to combat this virus! Instead, let's see how we can achieve the maximum number of infections to thus become "Typhoid America" so the libertarian fruitcakes can all say, "Look! It's NaTuRaL!"

    In other words, yeah, it's a hassle. Unified efforts at anything are hassles. This is why we consider the connection between libertarianism and four-year-old children to be a vector that needs to be hosed down as soon as possible.

    1. It's more than a hassle the world economy is on the brink of collapse. Oh wait that's a good thing.

      1. Bingo.

        There are many actions that can be taken to avoid or mitigate certain outcomes. Some of them are reasonable, others are not.

        Destroying the best economy any of us have ever experienced is in the latter category for this particular circumstance.

    2. "I agree! Screw a national, unified effort to combat this virus!..."

      What's it look like down there on your knees, slaver?

  40. Libertarian Moment!

    Philly police will stop arrests for a range of crimes, including theft, prostitution:

    Beginning Tuesday, Philadelphia police will be no longer be processing suspects for crimes ranging from drugs to theft to prostitution, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw notified commanders Tuesday.

    Instead, suspects will be temporarily detained at the scene while officers can verify their identification and decide if they are a threat to public safety, she said in an internal memo obtained by The Inquirer. If they are not deemed a threat, they will be released and a warrant will be prepared for a future arrest.

    The crimes will include all narcotics offenses, thefts, burglary, vandalism, prostitution, stolen cars, economic crimes, like bad checks and fraud, and any existing bench warrants, she said. Instead of bringing suspects to a detective division, officers are now instructed to confirm the suspect identity and prepare arrest paper work at the scene and then release the offender.

    A detective will them submit an arrest affidavit to the district attorney’s office for approval. “The warrant will be served at a later time, as condition dictate.”

    The memo states: “If an officer believes that releasing the offender would pose a threat to public safety, the officer will notify a supervisor, who will review the totality of the circumstances and utilize discretion, in the interest of public safety, in determining the appropriate course of action."

    1. Yeah. All the emergency orders in CA DON'T apply to the "homeless'. One of the most vulnerable populations out there!

      If I go out to walk the dog or a drive, and a cop stops me to question my need, I'll just plead "homeless" and figure s/he'll let me go.

  41. If we have any NYC lefties on Reason... Say, maybe it's about time for 'you' to change your belief system before you find yourself in the Nazi Camp you've been supporting your whole crooked life.

  42. I hate the cop jargon “shelter in place.” The first time I noticed it was as cops in Boston were going house to house looking for the marathon bombers and It was immediately adopted by local tv reporters who love to sound like they are in the know. Now it’s everywhere. Also everywhere are local politicians trying to outdo one another in “saving us all.” I first thought this was going to be another Y2K, with much ado about not much. Now I’m not so sure because I can’t trust anything I’m told by those in authority.

    1. Bostoners should have been ashamed of themselves letting those cops kick their doors in to do warrantless searches. Fucking pussies.

      Blast a few cops coming through the door without warrants and that unconstitutional shit stops. At least until they try it somewhere else.

      1. "Blast a few cops coming through the door without warrants and that unconstitutional shit stops"

        Unfortunately, so will you. I agree with you; I was disgusted watching their completely worthless lockdown. They found the guy as soon as someone left their house, noticed their boat cover was ajar, and saw that worthless sack of shit. Then got his boat turned into a colander for his trouble.

        That Boston had the stones to proclaim, "Boston Strong!" after that worthless, craven display, was the cherry on the irony sundae.

        1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

          I thought I was the only one.

          I was outraged at the complete acceptance of Marshall law and military style raids of SWAT teams after the bombing in Boston.

          But I found that saying anything brought out a ridiculous amount of backlash from friends and family. I was just astonished at the reactions.

      2. The first imperative for every sworn officer is "Go home safe at the end of your shift".
        After the first publicized incidence of what you describe each successive incident has a likelihood of occurring that drops by an order of magnitude.

    2. Shelter in place is for tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards.

      1. We used to say "stay put"!

    3. Though I long been skeptical of anything government says, the vaping debacle sealed the deal. Government at all levels from your local mayor to the CDC purposefully lied to serve an agenda, and endangered the long term health of millions of people.

      They should be ass fucked with a rusty chainsaw, and believed uncritically by no one.

  43. Look at it this way. Maybe the "authorities" will go far enough that people will really be pissed off enough to remove them, and remove the "authority" for them to try it again.

    1. We currently have small monarchies, where one person, a governor, can make the decision to shut down whole segments of free enterprise, and possibly even restrict movement.

  44. How large of a role does population density play in the spread of a virus like this? China has a population of 1.4 billion people—four times that of the US (330 million), but all packed into a landmass almost identical in size to ours. South Korea has a population of 51 million, all packed into an area the size of Indiana. Here are the population densities:

    US.............94 people/square mile
    China........375 people/square mile
    S. Korea...1302 people per square mile

    I'm no epidemiologist, but common sense tells me that when people are packed in like sardines, that would drive up the reproductive rate of a virus like this.

    Something else I found that suggests this thing isn't quite as contagious as many believe—the Diamond Princess, which was the cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan. You had 3,700 people crammed into a veritable petri dish, yet when all was said and done, less than 20 percent even contracted the virus (6 of the 700 who did contract it eventually died; none of these 6 were under the age of 70).

    I know we're supposed to "trust the experts," but shit like this is why any reasonably intelligent layperson who applies a little bit of critical thought is quickly going to start having doubts about what we're being told.

    1. The air was recirculated on that cruise ship. If that didnt lead to everyone getting infected then this is not some super virus that requires hysteria to contain it.

      Humans are fairly good at managing Flu infections and other dangerous diseases year after year. Hysteria makes things worse.

      1. The air was recirculated on that cruise ship. If that didnt lead to everyone getting infected then this is not some super virus that requires hysteria to contain it.

        That's why outbreaks on board ships are taken so seriously: an enclosed metal box packed with souls is an absolutely ideal environment for a viral outbreak to spread like wildfire. That so relatively few people on the Diamond Princess even caught the bug makes me question how contagious it could be possibly be outside such an environment.

      2. Droplet transmission, not true airborne transmission. Decent filters in the HVAC system, and I can see droplets not being able to be communicated from room to room.

        Confining the old farts, and letting everyone under 50 or 60 catch it, and try to establish hard immunity, doesn't sound like a terrible idea. Balanced against the social disorder that will result if people are quarantined for 1-2 months.

        1. Fuck this autocorrect. Herd immunity, for Chrissake.

        2. True, but how long were these people mingling among one another before being sequestered to their staterooms? My guess would be quite some time. In a small, enclosed, densely populated environment like a cruise ship, a virus as contagious as C19 supposedly is should've spread to a lot more than 17 percent of the population, even if quarantines were eventually enacted.

          1. You make a great point. There are a lot of things about this bug that don't add up. It does sound like more people should have been infected, with R0 being as high as suspected.

            Then, there was the case of the two Germans catching this from one Chinese person they had a short business meeting with.

            Lot of inconsistencies.

            1. That cruise started with one infection from a previous leg. Probably transferred to one crew (unless their housecleaning is atrocious). And was put under quarantine with 10 positives a couple days after the previous-leg infected guy went to doc. 700 ultimately tested positive. That's 3 generations of infection if its R3. Six generations if its R2. Closer to R3 than R2 seems about right with those timeframes

          2. "True, but how long were these people mingling among one another before being sequestered to their staterooms? My guess would be quite some time. In a small, enclosed, densely populated environment like a cruise ship, a virus as contagious as C19 supposedly is should’ve spread to a lot more than 17 percent of the population, even if quarantines were eventually enacted."

            You could hardly design a better transmission environment than a cruise ship for something to spread like this; population density, direct physical contact, indirect via handles/rails etc, aerosol contact in confined spaces like elevators, a population pretty much selected for vulnerability, and so on, and so on...
            And we have an infection rate of 17%?
            I didn't see; what was the fatality number?

            1. "I didn’t see; what was the fatality number?"

              705 infected, 6 died, for 0.85% mortality rate. None of the fatalities were under 70.

        3. Let the younguns die to save the old ones?

          Sounds like war. And remember - the young only have low fatality with treatment. Only teens and kids seem to have low serious/hospitalization/ICU.

          I'm coming around more to the idea of just let this thing explode by letting local areas decide what works for them. We're not gonna lower the curve below hospital full anyway - and we're not gonna quarantine for long. Which is why we're gonna get the second wave. Why mess with two waves when you get similar damage in one and get it over with.

          Just as important. Sometimes you need a big death toll to teach people lessons they'll remember for a couple generations until it gets forgotten. That probably does lead to better governance long-term than technocratic anticipatory stuff that needs to explain concepts like exponential.

    2. "China……..375 people/square mile"
      I'm gonna ask for a cite on that number.
      There's a good portion of what China considers 'western China' where the density is close to 0/sq mi.

      1. I’m gonna ask for a cite on that number.
        There’s a good portion of what China considers ‘western China’ where the density is close to 0/sq mi.

        Here's a chart from Wikipedia that breaks down the population density by region or province:

        This shows the population density on the Hubei province, where it all began, to be 820/square mile:

  45. Some years 50,000 Americans die from the common flu and no one gives a fuck. 60 die from COIVD, half in one nursing home, and you can't find toilet paper. Yes I'm worried about my 83 year old mother but everyone else should just go on with their normal lives.

  46. As a nurse, I see more life lost to the usual seasonal players: flu, RSV, bacterial and viral pneumonia... all in the elderly, particularly with COPD, etc, and usually always over life expectancy (still 76). I see nothing here that is alarming in comparison to those much higher numbers annually.
    I am very hardline about this. No one has the right to remove your civil liberties at the expense of another individual’s risk. Liberty means risk.
    If you want to quarantine very sickly people, fine. But this idea that you will quarantine healthy people because they may have been exposed and call them “infected,” is mischaracterization of how disease works, how it is spread and if it’s real “threat” to the public. So no, I don’t agree that this is any reason to panic and I don’t agree with all of the talk of testing those who are not very acutely ill requiring active hospitalization any more than I would advocate for treating a common cold or influenza in the average person. Diagnostic testing is done for treatment purposes and we don’t need treatment for most people here. Talk of mandating testing and/or vaccines is dangerous and I will speak out about it publicly and loudly.
    We are witnessing the affect of too much indulgent television watching (the walking dead, et al), poor health education and the general decline of rational thought in America today. People have been lulled to sleep by the bread and circuses of their leaders and the last thing you need to do is join them.
    You have a greater chance of dying from cancer than this. Please use your minds.

    1. You may be a nurse, but I assume (or at least hope for sake of those patients you interact with) you are a Licensed Practical Nurse, not an RN as it appears you understand little about epidemiology which I infer they don't teach in Bedpan Cleaning 101.

      As well, healthy people are not being "quarantined" - you don't seem to know what a "quarantine" is.

      I suppose you also think we should allow everyone to hit anyone they encounter in a public place? The weak may die of head trauma, but that's on them because everyone has the right to swing their arms anywhere they want in public places. If people don't want to be hit on the head and killed, they should "self quarantine" for the rest of their lives in a bunker somewhere.

      This is a temporary measure to avoid needless deaths and the collapse of the economy. It is intended to somewhat mute the spike in cases that will overwhelm medical facilities and result in patients being unable to receive care for COVID-19 and die as a result. This is what medical professionals have been facing in Italy - they know how to give the heavily impacted infected patients a good chance of survival, there just isn't enough capacity to do so. It will be a while before we have a vaccine - and then this particular crisis will be over (particularly if we then ban from public places all those who haven't had the vaccine but have no solid medical reason for not having had the vaccine - every year if needed).

      And your nonsense about those over 76 being over their life expectancy" and your suggestion that once you're 76 you should be written off also belies your ignorance. The life expectancy of a 60 year old is well over 76 years -- because they survived to 60 years without getting killed in a car accident, by a gang shooting, or a drug overdose. Life expectancy is an average and the 76 number is for someone who was just born (actually, I think it's a bit higher than that now in the US - but different sources probably vary on that).

      I'm curious, do you have the guts to spew this kind of nonsense around your workplace if you, in fact, work somewhere other than a hospice organization or some sort of cult "medical provider"? If so, have you convinced any the doctors around of your views?

      1. "...This is a temporary measure to avoid needless deaths and the collapse of the economy. It is intended to somewhat mute the spike in cases that will overwhelm medical facilities and result in patients being unable to receive care for COVID-19 and die as a result..."

        First, EVERY gov't over-reach is a 'temporary measure', and most of them are also claimed to support the economy. Few match the claims. And no one with a straight face has suggested this shut down will do other than 'nad-kick the economy for some time.
        Further, the data provided so far suggests that your 'intent' is not worth the loss of liberty, nor the wrecking of the economy.
        We have, in the US, a total of ~90 deaths. Out of 300,000,000. And after 3 weeks.
        I'm sure you feel brave and virtuous telling other people what they may or may not do, but kindly stuff it up your butt.

      2. Oh, and:
        "...I’m curious, do you have the guts to spew this kind of nonsense around your workplace if you, in fact, work somewhere other than a hospice organization or some sort of cult “medical provider”? If so, have you convinced any the doctors around of your views?.."

        Convince DOCTORS???? Really?
        The height of appeal to authority and insufferable conceit.
        Grow up.

    2. AprilJ - If you are a nurse you may well be interested in this text/graphic - from a videoconference with 4 ICU folks in Lombardy talking to other ICU folks in rest of Italy last week. All of whom presumably also see a lot of seasonal and ICU deaths each year there.

      I see nothing here that is alarming in comparison to those much higher numbers annually.

      Perhaps the first sentence in that linked text/graphic - Covid19 it is like a tsunami. You cannot understand if you are not in it.

      Is that how doctors/nurses would describe seasonal 'business as usual' stuff to each other in hospital? Because that tsunami is not far away from hitting parts of the US

      Since then - in Milan they now have corpses in hallways and out into the streets and are triaging admission. Granted I haven't had to go to hospital in decades but. Is that 'normal' in flu season?

  47. It's a case of Political and Bureaucratic "Monkey See - Monkey Do".
    And check the jurisdictions where this is happening the most.
    Not just Blue but Deep Blue.

  48. If we put the same amount of effort into stopping Drunk Driving, particularly the serial repeat offenders, we could cut the death and injury toll to one tenth of what it is currently.
    But that would require these pinheads to actually do some real thinking and engage in some real action.

    1. Jesus, let it be so. Or just say 'fuck it' after two weeks of this shit. Nuking our economy to save 70+ year olds does not seem prudent.

      1. The really sad part is can save (most) of them without nuking the economy. Encourage those living privately to stay home as much as possible, and limit their social contacts as much as possible, and nail the doors shut on every long term care facility for the next couple months.

        1. "nail the doors shut" being a euphemism for 'essential staff only, aggressive screening for all those who do enter, and decon with bleach for all essential deliveries.'

  49. Too much free thought for facebook. Tried to share this article - "your post violates our community standards and has been removed".

    1. Had the same issue today. They claim it's a bug. Must have accidentally activated the test server.

  50. I agree 100 percent with this article. The panic and the resulting government response will end up harming us more in the long run than the virus. But what choice is there for administrators and businesses who know that if they do not over-react and someone in their business gets sick - the lawyers will descend on them like hungry locusts on wheat.

  51. I'm a libertarian or classic liberal by nature - but not an anarchist.

    Most of the comments here, and the opinion piece to which they are responding, make me embarrassed to claim to be a libertarian (and reinforce why I'm NOT a "capital L" Libertarian).

    For the idiots posting here being critical of government's efforts to control this disease and save, potentially, millions of lives -- what is your answer? Do you expect a sustainable booming economy will be built based on the casket business? Would you rather your older relatives die than you be inconvenienced for a few weeks - or are you just heavily invested in companies that make caskets?

    To those defending their position by citing how few deaths there have been so far in the US, you are stupid and/or ignorant. Without intervention the infection rate and death rate will skyrocket. Look at the death rate from COVID-19 in Italy, even with controls more stringent than those being implemented in the US, to get a hint of how this will look with your childish "no one is going to tell me what to do" attitude.

    Note that many carriers of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) are either asymptomatic or have such mild symptoms that they barely noticed it. The virus also has a fairly high R0 value.

    We don't yet have a vaccine (although yesterday the first dose of a six week long phase one trial was administered to a study participant). Once we have that, and if it's safe for the vast majority of the population, I'll bet most of the selfish short sighted posters here would say "Damn if I'm going to get a vaccination - just because the government suggested I do". Once the vaccine is available, I would tell those people "Fine, and if you die, I just don't care. And I'm urging insurance companies to refuse coverage for COVID-19 to those who didn't get the vaccine unless they had solid, documented, medical reasons for failing to do so".

    Testing (which will be becoming increasingly available quickly) will be of little use in containing the virus as selfish jerks will refuse to get the tests and, even if they do and test positive but feel fine, will not curtail their activities and will happily infect those around them. As a result, testing would have to be almost a daily thing for all the intelligent people and all high risk people will have to stay in virtual isolation for, likely, the rest of their lives.

    1. My favorite are the posters who cite the low CFR from South Korea, as to why this won't be a big deal while not mentioning the aggressive quarantines and other public health measures SK took to get that low number. And bitching about attempts to implement the same here.

      I can't see people putting up with this for much longer. Unless we do start seeing hospitals get inundated in the next week or so. And we still might not after that.

      1. Yes, South Korea stand out, not for a low infection rate, but for the low death rate.

        This has more to do with them having a relatively small cohort of people 70+ years old. Mainly because those people were either killed, or never brought into existence due to the assorted unpleasantries that happened there about seventy years ago.

        1. That, and a lot of their positive cases came out of that one nutty church, whose age distribution skews lower than the population at large.

          Plus, there are cultural differences. People there sound a lot more willing to do things because the government says so, and are more willing to self-isolate, than they are here. No matter what laws end up getting passed here. Their public health system looks to have handled this quite well, despite a patient pool with greater risk factors than here.

          I'm just not sure the experiences and statistics will be that applicable to the States.

    2. BadLib
      March.17.2020 at 8:03 pm
      "I’m a libertarian or classic liberal by nature – but not an anarchist.
      Most of the comments here, and the opinion piece to which they are responding, make me embarrassed to claim to be a libertarian (and reinforce why I’m NOT a “capital L” Libertarian)..."

      Your comments here suggest that you're a libertarian much as LBJ was...

      1. I'm somewhat libertarian, probably more classical liberal, but enough to recognize that anyone saying "selfish jerk" is not remotely libertarian.

  52. I'm 70 years old and resent the the CA governor arbitrarily saying that people 65 and older need to stay home. This statement coming from the mouth of someone who was born with a silver spoon in that mouth and has no idea how the average person lives their life on a day to day basis is hysterical. Dumb schmuck. These wealthy people have no idea how to take care of themselves because they have underlings taking care of their every need for them. So, yes, I resent someone of this class telling me that I can't shop for food, fill my truck with gas or anything else that I need to do, to take care of myself and my family. You politicians need to get your heads out of your @$$, mind your own business, and shut up!

  53. Well said. So far, the big city mayors and some governors are behaving in blatantly unconstitutional fashion, trying to outdo each other in tyrranical decrees. DO NOT COMPLY with this garbage.

  54. OTOH, as a student of history, it's fascinating to watch up close as a civilization commits suicide.

    1. I find it baffling

  55. The disease began in China, with a population of over 1 billion people, and most living in very dense clusters. As a rule, the Chinese medical care is lacking, compared to the west, and specifically compared to the US.
    Beginning there, preparation was non-existent. The gov't did lockdown an entire city *after* it was discovered, which is sort of the proverbial 'locking the barn door':

    "BEIJING (Reuters) - Mainland China had 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the country’s National Health Commission said, down from 21 cases a day earlier.
    That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,894, the health authority said in a statement on Wednesday.
    The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,237 as of the end of Tuesday, up by 11 from the previous day."

    A death toll of ~3k out of a 1B population, while the seasonal flu in the US claims an average of ~36K from a population of 300,000,000.
    Given those numbers, it would take the mental gymnastics of JFree to justify shutting down major portions of the US economy.

    1. This text/toon - from a videoconference among ICU folks in Italy a week ago - is what is coming to the hospitals near you in the next couple weeks. And since then, in a few places near Milan, they are now bodies in the hallways and streets now. Cuz when the hospitals are full - the death rate goes from 1% to MUCH higher.

      You people with your nonsense about flu. Doctors and hospitals are panicking trying to share info about what works and what doesn't. Oh it's just the flu. We won't do anything. Can you handle double the number next week? Cool.

      That said - there is huge upside to just letting this run its course at that 12% fatality rate. Cuz at least it ends sooner than trying to reduce the death rate. And a high death toll is clearly the only thing that will kill that stubbornly ignorant entitled boomer mindset.

      1. Oh, goody!
        Fucking lefty piece of shit responds to data with a 'text/toon'!
        Here's more data for you and your 'PANIC EVERyWHERE ALWAYS AND DO WHAT THE GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU" bullshit:

        The Italian epidemic is falling off rapidly; if it's not done, it's damn close to it.
        Italian population: ~60m
        Deaths from MAGICAL IT'LL KILL US ALL IF YOU DON'T PANIC LIKE ME flu: ~2,000.

        US population: ~300,000,000
        Annual average deaths from seasonal flu: 40,000.
        Even a caveman can do it, but it's doubtful that JFree is that bright; try real hard to do a comparison and then explain why assholes like you should tell people like me to 'shelter in place'.
        And let's add a few more shovels of dirt to the grave of the fucking lefty ignoramus JFree:
        Above, 10:58:
        "You could hardly design a better transmission environment than a cruise ship for something to spread like this; population density, direct physical contact, indirect via handles/rails etc, aerosol contact in confined spaces like elevators, a population pretty much selected for vulnerability, and so on, and so on…
        And we have an infection rate of 17%?

        "And a high death toll is clearly the only thing that will kill that stubbornly ignorant entitled boomer mindset."
        Not to mention your drooling desire that your TDS is justified; I hope it kills scumbags like you.
        Fuck off and die.

        1. The Italian epidemic is falling off rapidly; if it’s not done, it’s damn close to it.

          Yes I suppose growing at 13%/day is exactly the same as falling rapidly in your gnat brain.

          And to get that increase to 13%/day - from the previous 25%/day - they had to shut down the entire country.

          Or maybe Italian viruses are just lazy Eurotrash

          then explain why assholes like you should tell people like me to ‘shelter in place’.

          I would never tell someone like you to shelter in place. I think you should immediately go to hospital, swap spit with the Covid patients, and then yell 'I am invincible'. Course you don't have the stones for that. So you will shelter in place like a whiny baby.

      2. For a whole host of reasons (population density, large numbers of smokers, a greater proportion of elderly, the unbiquity of multo-generational households, etc.), there's little reason to believe our experience in the US will parallel Italy's. That and the fact that the US has nearly 3 times the per capita critical-care capacity of Italy's, I see little reason to believe that our experience should parallel theirs.

        1. Plus, people say "Italy" as if the entire country is completely overwhelmed. Everything I've seen indicates that it is pretty localized, primarily in Lombardy. Yes, there they have a serious problem- but the majority of the country is not like that. You can't use that scenario as the rule that will likely define how this plays out in the rest of the world, when it doesn't even define how it plays out in most of Italy. After Hubei, for whatever reason this appears to be the area where the virus hit next hardest. It must have gotten there very early and took hold before anyone really knew it could be an issue, there is apparently a large proportion of vulnerable people there, Italians are by nature very social and "touchy"... Point is, it's an outlier. The alarmists use the worst case data, which includes Hubei and Lombardy, as what is coming to everyone else. But that almost certainly won't be the case. For example, the numbers for the rest of China, outside Hubei, are much milder and in line with what is seen in other places that are "mature" when it comes to this virus (i.e. it has had a chance to run a significant portion of its course) like S Korea.

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    2. My two concerns with the Chinese death toll are:

      1) I distrust their numbers on principle.

      2) Even if they are being honest about the total number of deaths I even more strongly doubt their health care system accurately confirmed the virus, so there are almost certainly people being counted as COVID deaths who may have had influenza or other respiratory infections as the primary cause.

  56. It’s cute that you all believe Chinese figures on their numbers

    1. It's pathetic you believe that's true.
      Did you have a point, other than your idiocy?

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  59. It is a rare thing when I find myself in almost complete agreement with Matt Welch. But destroying our lives in order to save them is nuts.

    Today there are about 6000 confirmed cases of COVID 19 here in the US. That is one tenth of the number of H1N1 cases - a disease that killed healthy children and healthy young adults with sad regularity.

    Yet today we have ten times the freakout.

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  61. On the one hand I am sick of all the militia wannabe tough guys deciding that the whole thing is made up and thinking that their DuckDuckGo search counts as sound medical reasoning. But on the other hand I DO NOT want or need to see curfews. I agree it is unnecessary and also not American. The thing I really don't get is....why would it matter what time of day we are out? Like, why is after 8PM more of a risk than at 2 PM to be out? I really do not understand that part of curfew thinking. It's not like the worry here is night bombing raids or whatever.

    Side note for all of you arguing about numbers: beating a dead horse here apparently but it's the RELATIVE MORTALITY RATE THAT IS CONCERNING (COMPARED TO FLU) NOT THE "TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS" AT THIS POINT. LEARN HOW TO MATH.
    2) all it takes is one.single.preventable.death. of someone you know/care about/care for for that "little number of deaths" to become extremely fucking real and important. Get that through your heads please.

    1. It might keep down the looting.

      I give it one more day, tops, before that starts over in Oakland.....and spreads.

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  63. The governor of Pennsylvania has issued his most draconian edict yet:

    "No person or entity shall operate a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a life sustaining business regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public."

    So... an accountant can't work by himself in his (home) office? An insurance agent? A salesman? A you-name-it?

    And if you fail to comply: "Finally, in addition to any other criminal charges that might be applicable, the Department of Health is authorized to prosecute noncompliant entities for the failure to comply with health laws, including quarantine, isolation or other disease control measures. Violators are subject to fines or imprisonment."

    So the lone accountant, insurance agent, etc. can *go to jail* for trying to make a living.

    This reeks of unreasoning panic. It's like he *wants* to kill his state's economy.

    Oh, and he *did* close the state's liquor stores.

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  66. They are putting these restrictions in place, when ten minutes of thinking would raise a thousand reasonable objections. The way they are discussing enforcement does show that they don't really understand the implications--and that neither c ops nor citizens are comfortable with these kind of curtailment of civil liberties. Let's keep it that way. Governors, back off!

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  68. This is what really scares me, more than the coronavirus.
    That all these stupid government restrictions in the name of fighting the disease will do more harm than the disease itself.
    Idiots exercising and abusing their political powers without understanding the devastating consequences of their actions. This is just another variation of people not understanding how the market provides goods and services to people in the first place.

  69. Here, we're allowed to go outside for "exercise" and -- naturally -- to go to the grocery store. I drive over to my favorite bar for a beer (served) out on the patio, and then I get in the car and go the nearby grocery store. Or, sometimes, I do all of this on my bicycle (exercise, right?) .... things are rarely only what they appear to be. The grocery store to which I refer is twenty-five miles away. "Getting exercise" is really a way to get out of the house to give my wife a break from having me around, and "getting exercise" is a really good way to see the beautiful countryside.

    The coronavirus' most devastating effect is on the brains of otherwise fairly intelligent folks. Notice ... I said only "fairly" (meaning so - so) intelligent people.

  70. "We are about to see a lot of resentment from the healthy Youngs about how they no longer have jobs or the ability to make student loan payments because of draconian governmental measures to combat a disease disproportionately affecting the Olds."

    I'm pretty sure a lot of young people have the virus?

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