Weirdest crisis ever?
On one hand we have the President of the United States, looking I thought very uncertain and timid initially, giving a press conference where he declared a national state of emergency. Stores are running out of stuff, or are already out of things like toilet paper and bottled water (even though literally everyone has access to ample and often free running water). I wrote about the situation at our local Sam's Club where things were mostly calm but still there was an underlying tension. Well, our Hoosier courtesy isn't universal in America:
Brawls break out at Costco, Sam's Club amid coronavirus outbreak tensions
They occurred in Brooklyn and Hiram, a suburb of Georgia. In Georgia two men apparently got into a fight with broken wine bottles and one was stabbed fairly seriously based on the video I saw.
Schools are closing all over the country, in Ohio and Michigan among others the entire state school system is shut down while in my home state of Indiana it is being left up to local schools. Our major local school districts in neighboring Allen County are all closed. The local library system is closing for a month. There are pretty much no sports in session right now, making me wonder what ESPN is talking about. Hopefully not politics, that is always a train-wreck when sports reporters try to play grown-up. That all sounds kind of ominous.
On the other hand, a lot of stuff is completely normal. Power is on, internet works, deliveries are still arriving as scheduled. Living out in Amish country, they seem mostly baffled as to what is going on but are as of now not making any plans to change...well, anything.
In the spirit of Rahm Emanuel, "never let a crisis go to waste", we saw the first ominous overreach of a local autocrat using the coronavirus as a way to try to squelch liberty and of course the 2nd Amendment:
Executive order in Champaign could include banning sale of firearms, ammunition and alcohol
Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order declaring an emergency in the city.
City officials said the emergency is related to the COVID-19, which is anticipated to cause an impact on the health of community members. Champaign Municipal Code allows the mayor to declare an emergency for a limited time.
Included in the executive order are ordinances that would give the city extraordinary powers to the Mayor.
- Violating parts of the Open Meetings Act
- Ban sale of firearms and ammunition
- Ban sale of any alcohol
- Closing of all bars, taverns, liquor stores, etc
- Ban sale or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank permanently fixed to a motor vehicle
- Direct the shutoff of power, water, gas, etc
- Take possession of private property and obtain full title to same
- Prohibit or restrict ingress and egress to and from the City
"The executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community. None of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed," Jeff Hamilton the City of Champaign's Communications Manger told WAND-TV.
Oh, just closing down the sale of firearms and ammo, closing down bars, the arbitrary authority to shut off power, water and gas, seizing property and locking down the city. How exactly does a Mayor have the authority to arbitrarily prohibit the sale of legal firearms and ammo? She doesn't. Believe me, she is hardly the only elected official who is considering ways to flex their power during a national crisis.
Have you wondered why there is such a push to get people to move into concentrated urban areas? Maybe because it is far easier to lock those people down, control their movements and what they are able to do.
This whole thing has the feel of a trial run, a modestly serious pandemic that is being treated like the zombie apocalypse. Perhaps to gauge how people will react in a more serious situation?
Like I said, it is surreal. Weird. Just weird and certain to get even weirder before too long.