Covid-19 and the New Normal

Have you ever wondered how communism overtook countries that were once free? Was it always an all out armed revolt as in Russia, or was it a gradual concession to government control through dependence? History shows the majority of the time, it was a gradual loss of freedoms, by increasing reliance on the government. Venezuela is a recent example. They went from talk-of-the-liberal-town, to economic collapse, then bread lines in a matter of months

Then, did you think; it will never happen here.”

We are beginning to see some similarities between economic conditions, that only existed in socialist/communist countries, and conditions here. We have gone from a free society, to being told to ‘shelter-in-place’ in a space of less than 2 months, willingly surrendering our freedoms over fear. Fear of a virus. And here are just a few examples.

Businesses forced to close by government mandate, forcing 10’s of thousands out of work, but it’s OK, because the government is here to provide for you. The government’s response is ‘See, we’ve just passed into law a $2 Trillion support package – here’s some money so ‘stay at home.’’ ‘We are doing whats best for everyone.’

And we obey.

In this joke of a bill, what the individual family (of 4) winds up with is $3400.00. Great! Now what about next month? Will we wait on the government to pass another, then another, so we can pay our bills and keep our homes, continually increasing our dependence on the government?

The government has designated certain businesses as essential so you can still go to the grocery store, the drug store, the doctor, and get your car fixed and a few others. But you can only do this during certain hours, the rest of the time you must ‘stay home.’

Once you get to the grocery store you are faced with long lines even to get into the store, shortages, spending the money the government gave you-just like those socialist countries. What choice do you have? The place you used to work at is closed.

States are beginning to close borders restricting interstate travel.

Florida for example;

Governor Ron Desantis ordered a checkpoint to enforce a new order that travelers from certain states self-isolate for two weeks if they visit Florida. Those states include New York, Louisiana, Connecticut and New Jersey”

Regardless of the driver’s license plate, officials said travelers are required to let health department officials at the checkpoint know which state they are coming from.

Florida requires travelers at border crossings to provide papers. Did you ever think you would see the day that you would have to provide papers to anyone for simply traveling?

Some counties within those states have imposed even stricter travel restrictions and/or flat out bans.

In Dare County, North Carolina, “where officials have implemented what may be the strictest ban of its type in the nation: Police have set up roadblocks to stop visitors from entering the coastal beach haven — even people who own vacation homes there.”

Not allowed to go to your own home?

Thus far, we have no place to work, forcing relance on government handouts, the government deciding which business are essential and which are not, few selections at grocery stores, travel bans, and ‘shelter-in-place orders.’ How long before we go from this to this?

In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.”― Leon Trotsky

Adding to the current list of socialist/communist similarities, we find people spying on their neighbors for government rewards.

We will control those who don’t comply by the use of snitches says the governor of California; “You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards,” Garcetti said. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.”

Snitches know no bounds; there are reports of people calling 911 because they hear their neighbors coughing.

The Constitutional right of peaceful assembly, by forbidding church services, is happening now.

Looks and sounds just like those Socialist/Communist countries, doesn’t it. Some would say I’m being hyperbolic and argue there’s a difference between Socialism and Communism. I say; that depends on who you ask.

The goal of socialism is communism”Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

We are voluntarily surrendering our civil liberties, faster than anyone could imagine. Why are we willing to do that?

Fear.

Fear of what public officials have termed an “unprecedented public health threat.” But, is it unprecedented? There is no evidence to support that. We don’t know what the entire impact of Covid-19 is or was. All we have to go on right now is the numbers we are supplied.

I was listening to a news run this morning and all the information regarding Covid-19 was negative. The focus was on the number of cases, the number of deaths, shortage of supplies, people need to do this and do that in order to stop the spread, etc. But when the health officials were asked about recoveries, their answer was always the same- “we don’t know.” Even our own state’s (Alabama) Covid-19 tracker website lists everything except recoveries.

The media and government information sources tell us daily about the increase in the number of cases, which naturally have increased substantially due to the increase of testing, but the only people being tested are those with symptoms, leaving the majority of the population untested.

In those untested, there could be many who’ve had Covid-19 and recovered from it, with only minor symptoms. There could be just as many that test positive for it and have symptoms no more serious than the common cold, or no symptoms at all. We don’t know so instead of careful consideration, we over-react, fearing the unknown.

The second thing is there is no proof that all of this ‘sheltering-in-place,’ or other restrictions forced upon us, have slowed the spread of Covid-19. I don’t think we should throw caution to the wind regarding Covid-19, but at this point we cannot say that social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, washing your hands, and other common-sense precautions, wouldn’t have been just as effective as what has been government forced.

The infection rates and fatality rates have not even come close to pandemics of the past, so is Covid-19 truly ‘unprecedented?’ Granted life is precious, but where is the balance between the lives we think we are saving and the lives we are destroying trying to save those lives.

The economic wreckage, and damage to our civil liberties from Covid-19 maybe the only thing that is ‘unprecedented.’

While all of our government agencies are deciding what’s best for us, we need to ask when this will end. Their immediate answer is going to be “we don’t know,” or “it depends.” That’s not good enough. Every day we are losing our rights. All the of powers vested in the government for emergency measures are meant to be temporary, we must not allow them to be continually renewed. Allowing these measures to be continued based on computer models would be a tragic mistake.

When Alabama governor Ivey imposed shelter-in-place orders, she did so pursuant to relevant provisions of the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955. There are a number of interesting things in this act, what you won’t find is a mandated time limit. While the spirit and intent of emergency actions imply temporary measures, there is no defined time limit. How long this state of emergency lasts is at the whim of the government. That is very concerning, and one of my two main concerns with this government lock-down; no definite time limit.

The second concern is the continual use of the phrase ‘the new normal’ describing the current situation. You hear it on every news channel and in almost any ad. The new normal? The longer this lock-down goes on, the more willing people will be to accept temporary things as permanent.

The current situation is anything but normal, and I think it’s important that we all guard against it as being the new normal. The best way we can do this is to press our government, local and national, to set a date to the easing of restrictions. Give our economy a chance to get started back up again. The longer we delay the harder it will be to recover and the more likely we will be willing to accept things, the way they are now, as the new normal.

Is this the new normal we are willing to accept? A normal with travel restrictions, net worth’s depleted, home ownership a rarity, simple pleasures like a night out at a nice restaurant all but gone because there are so few nice restaurants left, and the one’s left we cannot afford to go to because of reductions in income. We need to be move forward towards relaxing these government imposed restrictions, our liberties are in jeopardy.

How do we start? First by relaxing restrictions in states and areas that have few cases per population, like Alabama. By doing so we can get the economy up and running, in turn providing tax-generating revenue, helping those hard-hit areas like New York. I have faith in most Americans to be able to exercise caution while conducting business. Let’s begin to work ourselves out of this before we are guilty of creating a new normal we don’t want.

I heard a Doctor say this morning on a local radio station “by sheltering in place you are being patriotic.” Sheltering in place has nothing to do with patriotism, and let’s not confuse the two.