Sunday, April 26, 2020

Social Distancing Isn’t a Religion

Sam Thomas/Reuters
A sure sign of fanaticism is the inability to make distinctions, in this case between risky and non-risky activities, between places hard hit and places not.
Forgive Jacksonville, Fla., for it has sinned.
The largest city in Florida partly reopened its beaches, and it became something of a national scandal. CNN ran a disapproving segment, and the hashtag #FloridaMorons trended on Twitter.
As the CNN report put it: “The scene at Jacksonville Beach wasn’t one of caution in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Crowds cheered and flooded the beach when police took the barriers down. People were seen swimming, biking, surfing, running and fishing.”
None of these activities has been shown to be a vector for the spread of COVID-19; in fact, no outdoor activities have been shown to be dangerous at all. A recent study examined hundreds of outbreaks and traced only one to an outdoor environment.
Surfers and bikers are the least of our worries. Yet, there is a segment of American opinion that takes it as its responsibility to scold and shame anyone who dares go out and get a little fresh air.
Early on in the crisis, CNN anchors spent 20 minutes inveighing against people walking, running, biking, and Rollerblading along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Noting that some people were holding hands, Jake Tapper called it “enraging.” Of course, random strangers don’t hold hands, but people who are likely in close proximity whether they are enjoying a stroll or not.
Juan Medina/Reuters
Despite there being no indication that outdoor spaces abet the spread of the disease, parks have been shut down throughout the United States, and the closures are at times enforced with rigor. No less than Tom Brady was chased from a closed Tampa Bay park after he was discovered working out, apparently alone. A father in Colorado was briefly detained by police for the alleged offense of playing T-ball with his 6-year-old daughter on a softball field.
Read the rest from Rich Lowry HERE.

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