Who could have possibly seen this coming in January?
The novel coronavirus has made governments reacting on the fly to a virus that there wasn’t a whole lot of information about.
Many governments around the world are reacting to the coronavirus by insisting that people self-quarantine to stop the spread of the virus by those who don’t know that they have it. This is the “flatten the curve” model.
Taking the virus seriously means that some in authority are infringing on individual rights with no compunction because their actions are “saving lives.” Let me be perfectly clear here–public health emergencies are something that we all need to take seriously, but we also need to be cautious because we don’t have all of the information. I understand that governments who are relying on the advice given to them by public health experts are going to take the “abundance of caution” approach. That seems reasonable to me, but at some point, we have to have a discussion on how this has affected our individual liberty.
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That is an absolutely necessary and relevant conversation as rights continue to be infringed.
We need to be able to ask the question, “Is this a necessary public safety measure or an infringement of rights?” without being called monsters who want to see people die.
Apparently, there are some people out there not waiting for the discussion–they’re going about their business despite the government-mandated order to stay at home.
Kentucky is cracking down on that in a pretty harsh way.
Kentucky is taking severe measures to ensure residents exposed to the coronavirus stay at home. Louisville residents who have been in contact with coronavirus patients but refuse to isolate themselves are being made to wear ankle bracelets.
One case, a resident of Louisville identified as D.L., lives with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, and one who is a presumptive case, but has refused to self-quarantine. A judge ordered D.L. to stay at home, but according to family members, D.L. leaves the house often.
After D.L. didn’t respond to messages left by the health department, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Angela Bisig ordered the Department of Corrections to fit D.L. with an ankle monitor to track movement for the next 14 days. If GPS tracking shows that D.L. has left the house, D.L. could face criminal charges.
Kentucky Public Health issued a guide to those who are in self-quarantine because they have tested positive for coronavirus or live with someone who does, and it states that they would be “monitored” by Public Health officials.
D.L. is not the only Louisville resident ordered to wear ankle monitors to contain the spread of the coronavirus. According to WDRB, there are three other known cases so far. Two other people who live in the same home — one who has tested positive, and the other who has not — were ordered to remain in their home last week after both refused to stay isolated.
And another man was put under house arrest after he went out shopping despite having tested positive for the coronavirus, according to WDRB.
WDRB says Jefferson County courts has set up an on-call judge for these types of cases.
The article isn’t clear on why D.L. or the others weren’t tested for coronavirus, but it could have something to do with Kentucky lagging behind in testing and “fake” test sites popping up are a real problem.
On March 27, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that “drive-thru” testing was coming to Louisville. According to WKLY, the testing would be restricted as the sites become operational, “initially, two groups will be prioritized: Health care/first responders and people in the most vulnerable groups who are showing symptoms.”
Kentucky still prioritizes testing for those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
But wait! There’s more…
Kentucky is also releasing convicted prisoners of “not-so-serious” crimes.
The state will also be releasing at least 186 prisoners convicted of not-so-serious crimes on commuted sentences. However, the prisoners must identify a residence where they can stay and where they will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days, according to Michael Brown, the secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
So, to sum up, if you live with someone who has tested positive and/or is a presumptive case of COVID-19 and still choose to leave home because you can’t be tested, you might be treated like a criminal. Meanwhile, convicted criminals are being released from prison.
It seems a bit contradictory to me.
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