Those protesting George Floyd’s death in crowds large enough to fill a small stadium have evaded scrutiny from the same people who told us that Floridians lying distanced on a beach were Literally Killing People. Some elected officials say that these protests are different — that the demonstrators have a good reason to be congregating on the streets. As Bill de Blasio said, the protests are much different from the matter of the “aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person.” They don’t have good reasons to break quarantine. The looters do.
Everyone you know has a “good reason” to break quarantine. Some wish to bury a relative, while others want to visit a lonely elder in a nursing home. Parents want to baptize their children to save their souls, and first-generation college students want to attend graduation. All of them were told to abstain from these things in the name of public health. Following those orders had human costs — rates of domestic violence increased during the lockdowns. Calls to suicide hotlines skyrocketed. Millions were thrown out of work. Businesses built over generations filed for bankruptcy, Some will never recover.
Those who protested the lockdown regime were ridiculed. Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan said that anti-lockdown protests came “at a cost to people’s health.” Michigan nurses stood in front of protesters’ cars with folded arms, leering on in contempt.