With bureaucrats constantly shifting the COVID-19 goalposts, civil disobedience may be a compelling, final option.
It’s been 511 days since President Donald Trump first implored people to “slow the spread” of COVID-19. In early 2020, the United States faced its first surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Very little was known of this novel coronavirus. So, working remotely, attending Zoom school, and staying home seemed like a reasonable sacrifice to keep our hospital systems afloat.
As the Washington Examiner’s editorial noted at the time, by April 2020, the U.S. succeeded in “slowing the spread” of COVID-19. Our hospital systems remained afloat, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sending ventilators to other states. Despite this, public health officials began to move the goalposts for returning to normal life, with some saying we needed to wait until there was a vaccine.
Unfortunately, the goalposts have shifted again. With the number of cases surging due to the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance recommending fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks. Following the agency’s suit, Los Angeles County, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Louisiana have reintroduced indoor mask mandates. And New York City announced it would launch a vaccine passport, required for entry into all indoor venues.
A significant portion of the public is opposed to the possibility of new restrictions. A recent Gallup poll found only 57% of K-12 parents support requiring masks for students in schools, and 47% favor requiring high school students to get vaccinated. And though a Morning Consult poll found 76% of Democrats and 46% of independents supported vaccine mandates, 39% of independents and 49% of Republicans were opposed.
At this point, there is little reason why pandemic-era restrictions ought to be reimposed. With effective therapeutics and vaccines, our country is in a much better position in the fight against COVID-19 than last March. There is little reason to impose further mandates, restrictions, or shutdowns. If anything, these measures should be met with peaceful resistance.
Some have taken steps to resist these new restrictions. One Staten Island restaurateur told Fortune he would move back to fully outdoor operations in response to New York City’s vaccine mandate. And Staten Island officials have already announced plans to sue New York City.
Students and parents have begun to protest mask mandates, with some showing up to school board meetings to voice their concerns. Other parents started micro-schools and learning pods in the last year after seeing their children’s schools would not reopen.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also released a video on Sunday, saying, "We don't have to accept the mandates, lockdowns, and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and bureaucrats. We can simply say, 'No, not again.'"
“Do I sound fed up to you? That’s because I am,” Paul emphasized in his speech. And a good portion of America is frustrated, too.
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Original Author: Samuel Kim
Original Location: Civil disobedience can stop another COVID shutdown