Who gives the government the right to determine what is and is not “essential”?
Let’s be real, electronics are the only things keeping us from a violent revolt right now–what would we do if we didn’t have Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu? We’d be out there in front of City Hall with torches and pitchforks is my best guess.
Some state and local governments have used the coronavirus pandemic as a way to impose ridiculous fiats on the public in the name of “public health.”
On April 2, Vermont announced some restrictions on what was permissible to be sold in “big box stores” like Walmart, Target, and Costco. The items could still be sold, but not within the stores, instead, they should be made available online, through telephone ordering, curbside pickup, or delivery. This was in order to limit the number of people inside the store and maintain “social distancing” guidelines.
The items that cannot be sold in person include, but are not limited to, arts and crafts, beauty supplies, carpet and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment, furniture, home and garden, jewelry, paint, photo services, sports equipment and toys.
Stores are ordered to close aisles, close portions of the store or remove items from the shelves.
The agency also said showrooms and garden sections of large home improvement centers should be closed unless there is a life-threatening emergency.
Source: WUSA 9
This order led to weird things happening like packets of seeds sitting on shelves are unavailable for purchase if you’re already in the store.
— Jason Bermas (@JasonBermas) April 2, 2020
Michigan’s Governor Whitmer must’ve thought this was a great idea because they did the same thing.
— Whatevs II (@joesichspach) April 10, 2020
— masked taint (@_poeia) April 11, 2020
Has it come to this? Businesses being told to block off “non essential items” they are not allowed to sell. Do we realize how dangerous this is to allow the government to dictate what’s essential & what isn’t? We’ve seen what they consider “healthy”. ?
SLIPPERY SLOPES HERE. pic.twitter.com/jnKVl3y1LR
— Talia (@talialikeitis) March 29, 2020
To many, the restrictions seem completely ridiculous and arbitrary. As the weather warms up, the inability to purchase seeds for the garden in a store that you’re already shopping in seems to be an unnecessary restriction. If the goal is “social distancing” to reduce the transmission of the virus, wouldn’t it be better to shop at one store than having you go directly to a dedicated home and garden store and interact with more people?
The Board of Commissioners in Howard County, Indiana, enforced a similar rule earlier in March, preventing businesses in the area that were deemed essential from selling nonessential items.
The board said it had received complaints from businesses that were forced to close because they sold mostly nonessential items saying it was unfair for other stores to continue selling these products.
Retail workers in the area also complained that customers were congregating in stores and browsing nonessential goods because they were “bored at home,” thus filling up the aisles and putting workers at greater risk, the board said.
There have been reports elsewhere of other counties putting similar rules into play. While some people said they disliked the new restrictions, others applauded the change and encouraged other local governments to do the same.
Source: Business Insider
My biggest fear about this pandemic is how governments have shown how quickly they can flick on that authoritarian switch when they have an excuse to do so.
The big question is–will we be able to turn it off again?