RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper order all bars and restaurants in the state to close their doors to diners, effective starting at 5:00 PM Tuesday. Take out and delivery services will still be “allowed.”
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) March 17, 2020
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Not, they “shall,” or they “must,” but they “will.” It is unclear if this language is selected purposely for legal reasons, but the wording is curious.
Semantics aside, this comes on the heels of an executive order in which the governor banned large gatherings to mitigate the spread of the Wuhan virus, but made specific exceptions for retail establishments like restaurants and shopping malls. However, the snowball effect has taken over with elected officials around the country ordering businesses closed in the name of public health. The means justify the ends, allegedly.
But do they? It usually in times of extraordinary threats that the citizenry is most willing to relinquish their freedoms in exchange for a sense of security. This is definitely one of those times. Not that the Wuhan virus isn’t a serious challenge to public health and the health system in our state and nation — it is, and it warrants cautious consideration and high doses of individual responsibility to help reduce its impact — but such draconian measures make the many of the negative impacts of the Wuhan virus self-fulfilling.
Restaurant owners are wondering what exactly they are going to do in order to keep their enterprise afloat and also avoid laying off employees. The same can be said for all sorts of business owners across the state and country. The government ordered closures and bans on assembly have guaranteed economic woes for the small-business owners and workers that form the backbone of our communities. After assuring this result, the government prepares rescue packages that expand government in permanent ways, further institutionalize redistribution, and reinforce the dangerous precedent that the government is here to take of us.
Should the Wuhan virus spare the United States of the worst scenarios seemingly being celebrated in much of the media (especially when that media can use it to bludgeon President Trump), many will wonder if these heavy-handed measures were really appropriate. What amount of safety and security is worth giving up your liberty for, even if it is temporary?