Coronavirus Contract Law

Coronavirus Restrictions That Go Too Far

Politicians rush to limit our choices in the name of "keeping us safe."


I'm "social distancing." I stay away from people.

I do it voluntarily.

There's a big difference between voluntary—and force.

Government is force. The media want more of that.

"Ten states have no stay-at-home orders!" complains Don Lemon On CNN. "Some governors are still refusing to take action!"

Fox News' host Steve Hilton agreed. "Shut things down! Everywhere. That includes Utah, Wyoming."

But wait a second. People in Utah and Wyoming already socially distanced just by living there. Why must Utah and Wyoming have the same stay-at-home rules as New York?

I find it creepy how eager some people are for authorities to boss us around.

That's the topic of my new video.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, people gathered to protest a "stay-at-home" order. The police arrested a protester and tweeted, "Protesting is a non-essential activity."

I bet they got a chuckle out of that. But our Constitution guarantees Americans the right to "peaceably assemble" and "petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The coronavirus doesn't override the Constitution.

Protests also erupted in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imposed some absurd rules. She declared, "All public or private gatherings of any size are prohibited." Her executive order stopped people from seeing relatives and banned anyone with more than one home to travel between them.

Big-box stores are allowed to stay open, but they must not sell things like carpet, flooring, furniture, garden supplies, paint, etc. So, Walmart stores are open, but some of their shelves have tape blocking certain products.

That's just dumb.

Gardening and painting can be done far away from other people.

So can exercise. But in California, police chased down and arrested a paddleboarder paddling in the ocean. He was far more than 6 feet away from anyone.

In Encinitas, California, police fined people $1,000 just for sitting in cars to watch the sunset at the beach. Yes, inside their cars. The police said, "We want compliance from everybody (because of) lives that we're trying to save."

But it's not clear that demanding total compliance is the best way to save lives.

Sweden took a near-opposite approach.

Yes, they encouraged older people to stay inside and sick people to stay home. They didn't want hospitals overwhelmed. But otherwise, Sweden is carrying on almost as normal.

"Closing schools, stringent measures like that, closing borders, you cannot do that for months or years," said epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Swedish Health Agency. "What we are doing in Sweden we can continue doing for a very long time. I think that's going to prove to be very important in the long run."

The long run matters most.

Since a vaccine is probably at least a year away, the Swedes reason that the best protection is what epidemiologists call "herd immunity," a critical mass of people who get the disease and then are resistant to it.

The hope is that once enough people get COVID-19, there will be enough immunity to prevent mass outbreaks later. Many of the most vulnerable may then be able to avoid ever getting the virus.

The jury is still out on this experiment. More than 1,500 Swedes have died, five times the death rate of neighboring Norway. But if Swedes acquire "herd immunity," their death rate will be the first to drop.

Other European countries agree that lockdowns are not sustainable.

Last week, Denmark reopened nursery and elementary schools. Germany opened retail stores this week. Norway opens schools next week. Austria reopens shops to people who wear masks on May 1.

That seems smarter than the "absolute shutdown" promoted by so many American authorities. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has threatened to "shut off water and power" to homes of people who do not shelter in place.

Shut off water and power?

Politicians rush to limit our choices in the name of "keeping us safe." They don't even want to think about places like Sweden or the argument that leaving us alone might make us safer.

They just like pushing people around.


NEXT: Shouldn’t COVID-19’s Lethality Inform the Response to It?

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  1. The Constitution has a panic exception. It’s called wiping your ass with the Constitution, because you ran out of toilet paper.

    1. I wouldn’t think parchment that absorbent.

    2. “These are the times that try men’s holes.”

    3. I would suggest you test that theory but we all know how you feel about testing.

  2. The answer to the thread title is ‘all of them’.

  3. There’s not going to be a vaccine. There’s never been a coronavirus vaccine. SARS-Cov was 20 years ago, no vaccine. Stop drinking the koolaid Stossel.

    1. SARS-Cov disappeared before their was a financial incentive to create a vaccine.

      It’s a possibility (though I don’t know how likely it is) that SARS-Cov-2 will develop into a seasonal, further increasing the importance of vaccination.

      1. Scientists have claimed in the last week covid 19 has mutated into 30 other strains already. There wont be a vaccine.

        1. Just as there are no flu shots.

          Watching right-wing dumbasses provide unqualified statements about pandemic management — or anything related to science, medicine, or expertise — is always a treat.

          1. COVID attacks the upper respiratory system which the body considers external tissue like your skin so the immune response is completely different than for the flu.

          2. Poor Rev-he must be grumpy that his mom is home now and he can’t watch PornHub all day

        2. That’s what RNA viruses do. That doesn’t mean a vaccine designed against a single strain won’t be successful, or even wildly successful against most or all strains. It just means that mutations must be monitored forever and vaccine effectiveness must be continually tested.

    2. People over 65 years old are saying that they want to quarantine until there is a vaccine.

      This has scared the shit out of Boomers because it is a 15%+ death rate for those 70 years and up.

      Boomers think they are too special to make compromises. This Generation will run our National debt into outer space if they have to, in order to make sure they can fuck up this World for the next 10-20 years.

      Not all Boomers are shitty but even Stossel spent decades with the Kool-Aid on his lips and spreading the Propaganda of the Left. I personally think Stossel has made Amends but many Boomers want every American to suffer because Boomers are too scared of a virus.

      1. 70 and up has a death rate of 13% yearly. Pre covid. Covid isnt additive.

      2. In the US, it’s around current age + 4 years across the board. As people age, their risk of death is inverse of logarithmic. Meaning at 70, a 15% increase in death puts them around 80 – a 10 year difference. But that assumes a 100% morbidity and a 15% mortality (for those age 70) – those are not the numbers the CDC is touting even under removal of lockdown. Current estimates for 70 year olds (given removal of lockdown) would be 66% (due to herd immunity) and 10% mortality (US has more resources than global) resulting in around 6.6% mortality for 70 year olds. Or current age + 4 years.

      3. Social distancing is the only way to at least flatten the curve and slow down the spread of Covide-19. The people who are flaunting this rule have such a totally uncaring attitude, but they also put themselves at risk, as well as their friends, neighbors and relatives, because even people who are asymptomatic can be infected with the virus and not know it.

        1. Not true. The insistence that there is only one, very draconian way to solve a problem is part of the reason the protests need to occur. It’s either arrogant or narrow-minded.

          Excessively judgmental people who insist on the police-state lockdown have such a totally uncaring attitude about the real mental health dangers and real violence / death occurring because of increased domestic violence due to the forced human isolation.

          Humans in cages.

    3. There is one, but it’s for a Cv that affects livestock.

      Medical science has improved dramatically, even over the 15-20 years since SARS. I won’t say a Covid vaccine is impossible, but it’s certainly not something likely to be made in the next few months. While the virus has mutated, I don’t know if it has mutated far enough from the original strain(s) that a vaccine would be ineffective.

  4. I think Stossel is on point here. Notice how he doesn’t include dubious claims about how this is complete hoax or otherwise diminish the severity of COVID-19 (like some here). But he rightly points out that some (many?) of the restrictions imposed are unnecessary and unrelated to combating coronavirus. Ticketing people for watching the sunset from their cars is just government overreach and completely unrelated to saving lives.

    I think if some of the people pushing less restrictive options for combating coronavirus weren’t also peddling plain lies (e.g. “it will disappear” or “it’s just as bad as the flu”), their argument would be more credible. But, I also think that evidence shows that some level of imposed shutdown will save lives (which will probably start some arguments among the ideologues here), it’s just that restrictions John points out go way too far.

    It’s also funny to see some people realize that Sweden’s government puts a greater emphasis than U.S. governments on personal freedom in many areas (with the notably and important exception of freedom of speech), while having a more comprehensive welfare state.

    1. “Notice how he doesn’t include dubious claims about how this is complete hoax or otherwise diminish the severity of COVID-19 (like some here).”

      What about the severity of strawmen? You should panic about those too.

    2. some level of imposed shutdown will save lives


      Nothing any level of government in the US is doing right now is about ‘saving lives’. Nothing they will ever do will save a single life barring a state is reached where the healthcare system is overwhelmed and people die who would otherwise survive if healthcare were available. This is not happening anywhere, hence no governmental regulation has saved a single life. The stay-at-home orders are unnecessary and in many, many ways, counterproductive to resolving the crisis.

      One of Stossel’s most popular pieces is titled “Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?”. The answer is still a resounding, YES!

    3. A pandemic is the *perfect* opportunity for actual libertarians to attack how the @FDA is routinely “keeping us safe” by limiting our choices in medicine to protect our lives and health, but not a peep out of Stossel on that.

      Healthcare freedom would cut into corporate profits.

  5. It has been reported that dozens and dozens of medical firms are working on a Covid19 vaccine. Also reported is that the feds have poured a LOT of money into the vaccination industry to develop a Covid19 vaccine. There WILL be a vaccine, several vaccines, in fact. The only medical question about such vaccines is how effective will they be? For some perspective, according to the CDC, 2018’s flu vaccine was 29% effective and 2019’s is running around 45% effective.

    The legal, and more important to me, moral, question is, How long do you think it will be before some Tin-Plated Political Hitler starts pushing for a requirement to have the vaccine before they let you start living your life again?

    1. How long do you think it will be before some Tin-Plated Political Hitler starts pushing for a requirement to have the vaccine before they let you start living your life again?

      Ima say “less than a month”.

      Care to speculate on the name of the pusher(s)?

      1. Is the pusher(s) last name Cuomo by any chance?

    2. Coronavirus is actually a family of viruses responsible for, among other things, the common cold. Jokes about how hard that is to cure are so common that they are a cliche.

      While I am hopeful for a vaccine, I won’t be holding my breath for it. And I will vigorously oppose any politician who thinks we should hold out for one.

  6. Yeah, nothing like shutting off my water and power to make me more likely to stay at home…

    1. Given the run on bottled water at the grocery stores, I’m beginning to think I’m the only person in Columbus that still has water piped into my home.

    2. Yep…peeps will just leave and go where there is electric and water. What a horse’s ass Socialist Garcetti is. Might even give Socialist Newsome a run for his money.

  7. It’s all fucked. I am 20 weeks pregnant, know the gender, can feel her every single day and can walk in today and get a legal abortion (of course will not) but I can’t bring my fucking husband to his own child’s prenatal appointment because scary virus? How is this helping anyone?


  8. 4,163,000 tested in the USA.
    825,306 confirmed infected.
    45,075 deaths in the USA.

    It is tyranny for the state to advocate any involuntary measures for this barely deadly cough due to cold.

    1. As of today. JHU Sick Map.

    2. Wonder when the media starts comparing the overall death counts for march/april from last year to this year. Will they understand there is an insignificant uptick?

  9. Who let a libertarian post an article on this site?
    What happened to editorial standards?
    Where are the Trump references?

    1. unreason cannot stop Stossel now. he’s one of the few contributors who doesnt have to mention Trump every time.

  10. The jury is still out on this experiment. More than 1,500 Swedes have died, five times the death rate of neighboring Norway. But if Swedes acquire “herd immunity,” their death rate will be the first to drop.

    I’ve seen plenty of people arguing that Sweden’s “unprecedented” experiment obviously hasn’t worked because just look at the numbers – and yet you would expect to see initially higher numbers from a “just let everybody get sick all at once and get it over with” approach than from a “flattening the curve by limiting the number of people who can be out and about at one time” approach. Let’s see how Sweden’s final numbers compare to other places. And see what it cost each of them to get there.

    It’s like when you’re going swimming and the water’s kinda chilly – some people use the “dive right in and get it over with all at once” method, others use the “slowly inch your way into the water bit by bit” method. 5 seconds into the test of which method works better, the diver is 100% wet and cold while the incher is only wet and cold up to his ankles. But wait a few minutes and the diver is frolicking about as his body has completely adjusted to the water and the incher is still only chest-deep. Eventually they’re both going to be 100% wet and adjusted to the water temperature, one chose the initially more uncomfortable but quicker way, the other chose the slower and more comfortable way, but they both wound up at the same place.

    1. Try that analogy with the addition of the incher having to pay $10,000.0 per second while inching in. The economic disaster has to be considered each day.

      1. Yeah, that’s what irritates the shit out of me about the “listen to the experts” folks — the “experts” are only concerned with handling the spread of the coronavirus regardless of the cost. Sure, let’s all just stay locked in our houses for a year or two until the coronavirus goes away or they find a cure and never mind the millions of people who are going to die from starvation or malnutrition-related diseases or murdered by roving bands of looters and pillagers desperately looking for food. If your only interest is in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, I’d suggest starting by nuking New York City. Hey, at least they didn’t die of the coronavirus!

        1. Except in some places, including Sweden IIRC, any death is counted as a COVID death if you die within 30 days of being diagnosed with COVID

          1. Sweden is starting to disentangle ‘died from covid’ and ‘died with covid’, but it’ll be a process.

      2. Right, the analogy is that it’s a diver jumping into cold water to save someone (the economy). The incher guarantees it will drown.

    2. Notice they keep comparing Sweden to only 2 other countries and ignore all the countries sweden has less deaths per capita than. They also have ignored the differences in their migration policies the last few years.

    3. If you look at the trends over time, Sweden and the US are on essentially identical curves (on a per capita basis) despite radically different approaches to the lockdown. That means, it doesn’t matter whether you inched in bit by bit or jumped in immediately. To extend the analogy, you were already completely wet because it’s raining.

  11. What do Don Lemon, Gretchen Whatshercunt, and Eric Garcetti have in common?

    All need a good face fucking with a mace.

  12. There’s a big difference between voluntary—and force.
    Government is force. The media want more of that.

    Force is the volunteering we all do together!

  13. So if we are all still on lockdown by Election Day, I wonder if these progs calling for longer and stricter lockdowns are going to still be calling for them, especially if evil orange man wants to lift them. Who do you think the voters will choose?

  14. I admire the progressives for knowing how to burn a concept into modern thinking by repeating a phrase ad infinitum. It’s worked for decades. “Children in cages,” for example.

    The proper phrase to be repeating here, over and over, is “police state.” Police state, police state, police state.

    Or “families in house arrest,” at least in Michigan.

    Enforced, of course, by “jackbooted thugs,” and media defenders of the state being the “totalitarian apologists.”

    Quotes, of course, not needed… these are real things that the MSM gets to whitewash away.

  15. “People in Utah and Wyoming already socially distanced just by living there”

    I agree nothing should not be closed, but do you think before you write? They still go to stores and restaurants and bars and theaters.

  16. This year is totally fucked–and I’m pissed off right now!

  17. All over the country, we constantly see multiple “protesters” cited, fined, arrested even, for actually breaking laws on the books, only to have some judge let them off with a slap on the wrist, or less.
    Are these same judges going to show similar leniency on people charged with these made-up Wuhan virus “violations”?

    1. Well, the protestors should be cited, arrested and fined for breaking the law, because they not only put themselves, their friends, relatives and neighbors at risk, but they put tons of other people, including patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19 and other ailments at risk also. By protesting and blocking traffic, the protestors are also preventing first responders (i. e. paramedics, EMT’s, doctors, nurses, and other hospital/healthcare workers from getting to work in order to care for sick people, not to mention other emergency vehicles (i. e. police, fire engines and ambulances) from getting to the scene of a crime, a fire, or to rush a seriously injured or ill patient to the hospital.

      Imho, protestors, in general, regardless of their reasons for protesting, really have no business blocking traffic anyway, but this is an especially dangerous and stupid time to be doing so.

    2. The “law” is only for other people, if that’s not obvious to anyone. Witness: other kinds of protests, illegal immigrants, health hazards created by homeless, Congressional grandstanding, etc. Almost everyone is ok with breaking laws they think are unjust, then weigh judgment on others who break the laws they hold dear.


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