After months of lockdown restrictions easing up across the country, many states are suffering under a renewed onslaught of the coronavirus sweeping the nation. Despite this, COVID fatigue is more prevalent than ever, especially in states that have been in near-permanent lockdown since the start of the pandemic. Efforts to “flatten the curve” that once dictated health policy have been abandoned in the face of reality, that pleading for Americans to stay home for an undetermined amount of time subject to change by bureaucrats will never work.
Recent news has also proven that the myth of a scientific consensus dictating lockdown protocols is neither legitimate nor effective.
In California, Los Angeles County has become the biggest offender of reneging on its commitments to data-driven health policy. Within the last few weeks, statewide restrictions combined with LA County’s curfew, ban on outdoor dining, and an unofficial ban on Thanksgiving and Christmas have angered residents of the state experiencing severe COVID fatigue. Most outrageous of all, the county’s own data used as justification for banning outdoor dining supports the exact opposite conclusion to which the county board of supervisors came when it banned outdoor dining.
According to a county health report released at the time of the ban, generous estimates point to outdoor dining as the cause of up to 15% of COVID cases in the county. In comparison, more conservative estimates put it at less than 3%. It’s essential to keep in mind that the ban came at the suggestion of LA County Health Director Barbara Ferrer, who was criticized earlier this year for citing the presidential election as the first point to start thinking about reopening schools.
Ferrer even acknowledged that the outdoor dining ban was not to prevent dining itself but to prevent citizens from not wearing masks. Currently, restaurants and cities are fighting back against these awful policy decisions by forming their own health departments to supersede the county and have taken the county to court to force it to defend its policy decisions.
Discussions about the hypocrisy of the state’s ruling class continue, with a recent news report revealing that LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl immediately traveled to a restaurant in Santa Monica to eat after voting to ban outdoor dining throughout the county. This case of “do as I say, not as I do” from another California politician demonstrates just how little the liberal ruling class believes in its own policies. Keep in mind, this same board of supervisors is currently attempting to oust the county sheriff for the horrible crime of being unwilling to enforce gathering restrictions on citizens in their homes.
What do politicians have to gain from all this? The simple answer is to appear to be a leader and in control. Actions like the outdoor dining ban demonstrate how the science and data seen as driving forces for lockdowns are nothing more than facts taken advantage of when politically convenient and shunned when not so useful.
The liberal narrative currently implies that bureaucratic policies, not individual actions, are the real solutions in the battle against COVID-19. Liberals understand that the pandemic is not easily controllable. The illusion of control matters most to the ruling class, and the virus has only exacerbated this dilemma for the worse in local government. California has become the primary case study to analyze how an obsession with control has come to ruin so many lives under the guise of public health, with other Democratic states like New York not far behind.
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