Coronavirus

Coronavirus Curfews Are Counterproductive and Un-American

Making businesses close early will not stop the spread of COVID-19.

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As states reopen, many businesses are slowly starting to reemerge. So are misguided calls for coronavirus curfews.

The idea isn't new. As Reason's Matt Welch wrote in March, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy "strongly suggested" residents abide by an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew as COVID-19 began ramping up, though he never officially enforced it. The city of Boston followed suit in April, recommending a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, but it seemed to be just that—a recommendation. Such declarations were essentially moot anyways, as widespread stay-at-home orders supplanted the purpose a curfew might serve. An exception would be Puerto Rico, which instituted, and rigorously enforced, a rather constraining curfew—7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Yet the latest round of curfews aren't on individuals. They're on businesses, and they're not optional.

Consider the plan released Thursday by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. Prior to reopening bars and restaurants, each county must first submit a separate proposal detailing how they will meet public health requirements. As a part of that package, establishments will have to mask their employees, space customers out by 6 feet, and close no later than 10 p.m.

Brown is certainly well-intentioned. But social distancing means restrictions on space, not time. Indeed, spreading out over time should make it easier to spread out over space, by allowing businesses to serve people later.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock similarly permitted bars, restaurants, and casinos across the entire state to reopen starting May 4—if they close no later than 11:30 p.m. Bullock's mandate allots more time for revelry than Brown's does, but it might be more nonsensical, considering that Bullock's sparsely populated state has recorded only 458 cases of COVID-19 and is meeting the adequate testing thresholds.

Business curfews amount mostly to an attempt to "do something," even if that something flouts science and common sense. Brown and Bullock aren't alone in that. Gov. Gavin Newsom shuttered beaches in Orange County, California, for instance, after some photos seemed to show the area crawling with sun-drunk beachgoers. That decision contradicts the wealth of infectious disease experts who say that such outdoor spaces are adequately safe—and beneficial to our mental health—if social distancing guidelines are enforced. 

The coronavirus response should be guided by science and reason, and it should give people the greatest flexibility possible to act in accordance with basic social distancing measures. These curfews do neither.

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  1. “The coronavirus response should be guided by science and reason”

    Bawhahaha

    1. Like recommending that restaurant patrons wear masks… good idea, Governor DeWine.

      1. It’s Governor Dewhine to you sir.

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      2. But in some states you can take the mask off whilst eating and drinking. Because we all know the virus can’t be passed whilst eating a meal. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

        1. So long as you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim.
          Just sayin’

          1. By now it’s clearly Slim that shouldn’t be messed with. Try to keep up.

            1. Yeah, Jim was a has-been when I was a little kid!

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    2. It should be guided by four words said by James Carville.

      “It’s the economy, stupid.”

      That is what should guide our policy regarding this pandemic.

      1. “It’s fragile lives, heartless.” [attr. Andrew Cuomo]

        1. When I think of someone with a heart full of compassion for his fellow man, Andrew Cuomo is the first name that springs to mind. He’s not a bitchy scold at all!

  2. Viruses only attack late at night. It is known.

    1. You gotta watch out for that night air.

    2. At this point it’s not about how many hours you’re actually open. Nobody actually believes that closing at 3 is safer than closing at 6. What’s important now is making sure that you back off the edicts in such a way that nobody realizes you were a dumbass and cost them their life-savings for not a damn thing other than to experiment around a bit with fear and population control. If you go back to regular hours overnight, then everyone asks “what the hell happened between yesterday and today”.

      Also just a bit more playing with the mouse by offering treats for being a good puppy. Everyone is grateful for the extra couple of hours, and view the dictator as benevolent instead of arbitrarily cruel. It’s an election year after all.

      1. This guy gets it.

      2. I want you to take a quiz so I can gauge you on a Wingnut Scale of 1 to 10, ok? It has one question in two parts: Here goes:

        How much responsibility does Bill Gates have for the coronavirus and which Bill Gates lab unleashed this virus on the rest of us? Thanks…

        I have to grade on a curve here because of all the Trumpian asshole bullshitters on this comment board so you have a good chance at a good grade. So relax, ok?

        1. Not a lot of people still use “wingnut”. Interesting.

          Is that you, Markos? Nah he at least has a personality, a brain, and some sense of decency. You lack all those qualities. But you would make a good narcissist. Or a sociopath if you try harder.

        2. That’s it, AmSoc. Let the hate flow through you. You know all, you see all. Others exist only to be spat on.

        3. Wow. JFree and Kirkland are going to be pissed when they realize there’s no straw left for them to construct strawmen after you used all of it for your colossal strawman…

          Provide just one example of a common poster (not some drive-by poster) seriously asserting any such thing. Just one, if you can. We’ll wait.

      3. Bluewater,
        I believe you hit the nail on the head. I’ve been reading and listening to a variety of sources about this and have noticed a few things. The restrictions put on churches, even when people were staying their cars was a continuation of the Progressives attack on religion. Golf courses, vacation homes, hair salon closures, an attack on the so called “rich”. Then we have the hassle about beaches. One of the safest places you can go. You have the outside air instead of a confined space. Anybody see about treating the virus with UV light? Well the largest source of UV light is the freaking Sun. Not to mention being able to flush your entire body with water. How much of this whole thing is a farce?

  3. coronavirus curfews

    Nice band name.

    Seriously, though: Oh, FFS!

  4. the covid fears the sunlight. wampyr.

    1. Give Wesley Snipes a half dose
      We need a daywalker

  5. So the virus is union?

  6. Business curfews amount mostly to an attempt to “do something,”

    More like…

    Business curfews are meant to “show you who’s in charge of your business.” And it’s not you.

    1. Exactly.

    2. Fascists gotta be fascists

  7. Living in an area prone to hurricanes I have lived through several periods of curfews. In the wake of disasters like hurricanes curfews kKes sense because many people evacuate buildings are destroyed and looting occurs. At a time when most people are sheltering in place, enacting a curfew seems to me to be nothing more than a reason to give the police another excuse to harass people who are doing nothing wrong.

    1. ^This!

  8. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy “strongly suggested” residents abide by an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew as COVID-19 began ramping up

    Fuck Phil Murphy.

    1. But only before 8PM – – – – – –

    2. Fuck Unicorn Abattoir who claims some unalienable and/or God-Given right to infect and/or kill innocents … with a highly infectious disease he would not even know he had.

      Infections can have no symptoms for 14 days.
      And up to 25% of the infected-and-cured, NEVER have symptoms.

      1. Do you not realize how absurd it is for you to liken the mere act of breathing to attempted murder?

        1. Do you realize you just made a massive ass of yourself. In public.

          You don’t know the meaning of “attempted” or “murder.”
          Or you’re bullshitting your way around your self-proclaimed unalienable right to infect and/or kill others,

          1. Also wacky on “breathing.”

            1. Die immediately, hihn

            2. Go back to trying to ban muskets, asshole.

              1. That’s even crazier.
                Muskets cannot be banned, since 1939, affirmed in Heller by Scalia.

      2. Given that the context of UA’s response is one the curfews, perhaps you can explain to us how compressing everyone’s activities during the pandemic into _fewer_ hours of the day, thereby increasing the density of human activity, is supposed to _reduce_ transmission. It won’t be as easy as a scolding rant, but perhaps you can manage it if you really try hard. Don’t forget references to valid studies showing the causative benefits of curfews enacted exactly as these governors have implemented/suggested under the same overall circumstances.

  9. “The coronavirus response should be guided by science and reason, and it should give people the greatest flexibility possible to act in accordance with basic social distancing measures.”
    Considering that less than 1% of of the population are at any significant risk from this virus with or without “social distancing” and of those likely to go out to eat or drink at a bar the risk is a fraction of that 1% science and reason dictate that that all of these little tyrants be fed head first into industrial grade woodchippers.

    1. No, no; feet first, please. And it’s OK if they’re only back yard, KMart grade. Why should they be fast and efficient and neat? Seems like slow and rough and sloppy would be more appropriate.

    2. Considering that less than 1% of of the population are at any significant risk from this virus with or without “social distancing”

      And Obama is a Muslim!

      And you seem totally ignorant that social distancing has two purposes.
      To keep one’s self from being infected.
      To protect everyone from YOU … who could be infected and never know it,

      NOW TELL US how an infectious disease can be transmitted, if there’s no other person there?

      Imagine two people, each in one of two adjacent rooms. Can either infect the other? HOW?

      1. Guy in room A licks a spoon, that unwashed spoon gets transported to room B and the second guy uses it. Next question.

        1. That’s your second wacko blunder on the page.
          Has NOTHING to do with lockdowns

          But thank you for playing.
          Please select a lovely parting gift,

          1. I guess you showed me. Would you be kind enough to provide the correct answer?

            1. I already did!
              https://reason.com/2020/05/08/coronavirus-curfews-are-counterproductive-and-un-american/#comment-8247651

              You ignored most of it, then cherry-picked a small part, that is also irrelevant.

              And you seem totally ignorant that social distancing has two purposes.
              To keep one’s self from being infected.
              To protect everyone from YOU … who could be infected and never know it,

              Yes, I did say TOTALLY ignorant of the very purpose..

              Are you done stalking me down the page?

              1. Not done stalking you yet. You asked if either could infect the other and how. I gave an answer in which the infection could spread. You went on a rant about ignorance.

                1. You went on a rant about ignorance.

                  Also a liar!
                  You proved yours, by trying to pretend the issue is not social distancing and lockdowns.

                  Why you you keep denying that social distancing is also about protecting others from YOU .. who could be infected and not know it?

                  You keep PROVING your ignorance,

      2. The quote is that less than 1% is at significant risk. Is your argument that this is incorrect? I didn’t see it in your reply.

  10. Hmm, really? China yesterday had 1 {Damn you, communist propaganda} 2 new case of COVID-19. The US had over 29,000. I wonder how they did that.

    1. By lying.

      1. They had very severe lockdowns, and began two months before Trump got off his ass.

        Do you not know what “bending the curve” means???

        1. Yes. I know quite a bit about catenary engineering.

          1. Except when it has no relevance at all.

    2. Hey, if you’re truly an admirer of their policies, just weld yourself into your own apartment. Naturally, if you are unable, I bet there are literally dozens of people here who would be more than willing to assist with that…

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  12. Do you not know what “infectious” means?
    If there are two people, in two adjacent rooms, can either infect the other?
    duh.

    1. Yeah, they can. That’s what hospitals use negative pressure clean rooms to prevent. Duh. Now fuck off, slaver.

  13. “[Oregon Governor Kate] Brown is certainly well-intentioned.”

    I am no longer willing to grant this. After the goalpost moving and other statements & actions, she has negative credibility: The rebuttable presumption is now that she is acting out of an actively malicious desire for people to suffer and die.

    1. How much responsibility does Bill Gates have for the coronavirus and which Bill Gates lab unleashed this virus on the rest of us? Thanks…

      1. Yep. He is THAT crazy!

  14. Coronavirus Curfews Are Counterproductive and Un-American

    Fixed

  15. Gosh that CoronaVirus, it’s such a night owl!

  16. The first time they limited store hours it was obvious to anybody with a brain that it was counterproductive. You would go to the grocery store and it was packed with people who couldn’t shop at other hours or at other shops which were forced to close. So you had all these people in close quarters possibly spreading infection. And then you have the orders closing parks and other outdoor spaces when there’s no evidence of spread outdoors and scientific studies showing the health benefits of sunlight exposure and exercise. It’s a lack of common sense and just plain ignorance.

    1. The first time they limited store hours it was obvious to anybody with a brain that it was counterproductive.

      Your own ignorance is astounding. But typical.

      Store hours were limited, when fewer people were shopping in droves, and to allow time for sanitizing the entire store. Also, many stores actually limit how many customers can be in the store! (gasp)

      Many more have 60-90 minutes reserved for only seniors and other high-risk people, 1 – 3 days per week,

      It’s a lack of common sense and just plain ignorance.

      Well, at least you admit it!

  17. “Brown is certainly well-intentioned.” How do you figure that? She’s a fascist. She’s acting 100% outside the law and the Constitution, she’s in denial about the science, and she doesn’t have a single moral leg to stand on when it comes to exerting political power over people’s lives and freedom. She has no fucking business telling people when or whether they close or open. Ever. Fuck her and fuck this “well-intentioned” bullshit. There’s no such thing as benevolently ruling people’s lives.

  18. On the other hand, curfews are very effective in conditioning the citizens to follow event the most arbitrary and asinine edict of petty tyrants.

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