COVID-19 has the states in a state. Governors aren’t sure whether to roll out the reopening or roll up and arrest anyone who dares to step foot outside. Cockburn has violated plenty of laws in his time, as well as many time-honored customs in remote societies where the light of the Lord’s word has yet to penetrate. But he has yet to come across taboos so intolerable and regulations so ridiculous as the ones contrived by our corona-conscious elected leaders:
Gov. Tom Wolf’s name sounds identical to that of novelist Thomas Wolfe. The governor goes in for similarly prolix flights of imagination. He’s letting bars and restaurants sell mixed drinks by the Memorial Day weekend. But sales, to Cockburn’s absolute dismay, are limited to one gallon of mixed drinks. And the edict gets stranger: no drinks can be sold after 11p.m. Employees must use transaction-scan devices to verify the age of buyers. The drinks are considered open containers, so they can’t be consumed in a vehicle and must be transported in the trunk. If you live in Pittsburgh, stow the drink next to the bodies, the quicklime, and the shovels.
Gov. Umbridge — sorry, Whitmer — has outdone herself and produced some fluently nonsensical lockdown restrictions. Whitmer has ordered stores to stop selling ‘paint, carpets, and other home-improvement material’ deemed nonessential. Stores like Home Depot are open, but with random sections of the store shut down. ‘You can put up drywall,’ one anguished Michigander noted, ‘but you just can’t paint it right now because that’s not essential.’ The good news for gamblers is that stores are still permitted to sell lottery tickets. For reasons that only the all-wise and supreme leader Whitmer can understand, motorized boats are disallowed, but non-motorized ones are not.
Michigan is all at sea on dry land too. Other daft policies include a shutdown of lawn maintenance providers and a ban on traveling from house to house. Michiganders have been stopped from traveling to their vacation homes and from visiting their loved ones. All violations of the lockdown policies may earn citizens a fine of up to $1,000 and possible criminal penalties.
New York City
When not otherwise occupied calling for the round-up of Jews, Bill de Blasio is sniffing out any whiff of fun and stamping it out with an iron boot. That includes cracking down on New Yorkers safely enjoying take-out drinks outside of their favorite bars.
‘I’m not comfortable at all with people congregating outside bars’, said the temporary tyrant. ‘That violates what we’re saying about social distancing. That puts lives in danger.’ He then called for New York City’s Karens to step up and rat out their neighbors: ‘Please share with us those locations, and we will deal with them immediately.’
Not to be outdone by the East Coast, California’s officials have also made reasonable measures of fun illegal for now and possibly forever. In San Clemente, they filled a skate park with 37 tons of sand to stop skateboarders from licking each other’s boards. In response, some residents laid out beach chairs and towels, thanking California for not spending their hard-earned tax dollars on illegal aliens for a change. Others simply broke out their dirt bikes or helped skaters shovel out the sand, permitting them to continue their ‘social shredding’.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti explained that there is somehow a difference between wet and dry sand: ‘Beaches will open up this week for exercise and active recreation only — in the wet sand, I guess, is a good way of thinking about it, not hanging out and tanning in the dry sand.’ Cockburn suggests that San Clemente should simply wet the sand in the skate parks, as coronavirus apparently avoids water like Hillary Clinton avoids subpoenas.
Myrtle Beach’s city council has imposed a strange restriction on elevator use. In the hospitality industry, service elevators were limited to one employee, one guest, or one family at a time — an entirely irrational policy for high rises and hotels with many stories. A few weeks later, Myrtle Beach removed the restriction. Or should that be ‘lifted’ it?
Some mad Colonel Sanders in the state bureaucracy has decreed that coronavirus patients should receive ankle bracelets to monitor their movements if they refuse to self-isolate. Louisville chief of public services Amy Hess said that the house arrest policy is ‘well-suited’ to the enforcement of social distancing when necessary. ‘We can monitor activity…to make sure they’re not further affecting the community.’
Elective surgeries are suspended and virtually all businesses are closed in Washington State. But the pot shops are open for business. Under the state’s stay-at-home order, cannabis sales are considered essential. That reminds Cockburn: maybe it’s time to dust off that pipe he bought in Afghanistan in the days when he worked for the embassy in Kabul. As for the people of Seattle, they can hit a doobie while stuck at home without a dream of finding a job any time soon.
In the tax-evasion state, Gov. John Carney has permitted churches and other places of worship to resume services. But congregants must maintain social distancing and stagger their arrival times. Services must be limited to one hour — because staying in church for one hour and 15 minutes is much more dangerous. Lucky for Carney, Delaware’s most fragile resident, former Vice President Joe Biden, wouldn’t be found within miles of a church, as he has tested negative for Catholicism-19.
It’s enough a part of the US to succumb to the mania for dumb rules. The 5-0 Führers have shut down virtually all tourism. With Hawaiians now saying ‘Aloha’ to 37 percent unemployment, twerking Mayor Derek Kawakami of Kaua’i is doing TikTok dances for his subjects. After setting a draconian 9p.m. to 5a.m. curfew — he seems to think that coronavirus, like herpes, is more viral after sundown — Kawakami is single-handedly entertaining all of Kauai on Facebook Live. Watching your mayor dance the Renegade and call you a ‘covidiot’ is much more entertaining than going to a concert or bar…or working, if you remember what that was.