These government actions during the shutdown are not the first chapter in some hot-off-the-press dystopian novel.

Post-apocalyptic and dystopian movie cars at the Petersen Museum by zombieite is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ninety days ago the following stories would have been nothing more than the opener to a scary fantasy about some dystopian future. I am nowhere near creative enough to guess how bizarre the plot line would have been to incorporate these fantastical events.

Now approaching the end of the eighth week of California lockdown it is still hard to believe the stories are true instead of the figment of a creative sci-fi writer.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

5/6/20 – ABC news – Historic New York City subway shutdown for cleaning deemed “successful” – For the first time in over 100 years the entire New York City subway system was closed for a while overnight, specifically between 1 AM and 5 AM so that staff could clean every subway car.

The shutdown will be repeated every night in order to clean the cars.

Based on numerous comments I have read elsewhere, but for which I don’t have specific citations, this is apparently the first time the subway cars been disinfected since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

If I get this straight after having read multiple articles, the subway cars had not been disinfected until 5/5/20, making them a major source of viral spread in the city.

This next story is more weird. It is sufficiently out there into the surreal realm that I had to cross check it with other articles to make sure it wasn’t fabricated. Turns out it’s actually real.

Required spreading of coronavirus into at-risk communities

5/5/20 – New York Post – New York’s coronavirus nursing home death toll didn’t have to be so high  and  5/1/20 – New York Post – Cuomo’s nursing home policies amid coronavirus “a disaster,” says ex-Gov. Pataki

Nursing homes in New York were forced to take COVID-positive patients as residents. Let me rephrase that…

Facilities that house elderly people who were already frail (that’s why people go to nursing home) were required by public health officials in New York to take people who had already been treated for coronavirus infection. When residents who went to the hospital because they had COVID-19 were sufficiently stable so they did not require continued hospital-level care, the place they were living prior to getting sick was required to take them back.

Yes, that paragraph means what you think it means. The government in New York required facilities containing the most vulnerable people to expose them to people who were already infected.

Oh, and the nursing homes were not allowed to test returning residents to see if they still had active COVID-19 infection.

5/10/20 – Daily Wire – Andrew Cuoma FINALLY Reverses Order Forcing Nursing Homes to take COVID Patients, Demands testing For Care Workers – Federal regulations require that someone who is recovering from COVID-19 be quarantined apart from the general population. Purpose is to protect everyone the patient contacts.

On the other hand, New York State required nursing homes to take patients who didn’t need further hospital care, thus exposing everyone in the nursing home to coronavirus.

Only on 5/10/20 did the governor reverse the order.

Yes, for one and a half months of the pandemic the state of New York has been forcing nursing homes to take in people who were infected and contagious.

A separate ABC News report suggests the state may finally start to use those emergency hospitals that were set up to handle such patients.

At some point we will find some estimates of how many of the deaths in New York State are attributable to the stated policy of the state government.

Even more difficult-to-believe story in our dystopian fantasy novel – yet another elected official declaring in public he has read and therefore will follow the U.S. Constitution

Previous posts have described a variety of elected Sheriffs saying they choose to follow the federal and state constitutions when orders from other government agencies are in violation of said constitutions.

Stories of such officials continue to emerge:

5/6/20 – Fox News – California sheriff says he can’t enforce coronavirus orders making “criminals” out of business owners, others exercising rights – Looks like there is another elected official who actually read the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution while on the job.

Riverside County is immediately south of the county where I live. The Sheriff there advised the county’s board of supervisors he cannot enforce a law that is contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

Now that the curve has been flattened and hospitals are not overrun, he points out the health order from the county is confining people to their homes, closing businesses, and preventing people from exercising their religious freedom.

He told the supervisors:

“In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold.”

He also told them:

“Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights.”

As for the open ended hold placed on freedom he added:

“There cannot be a new normal. We are talking about a country formed on the fundamental freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Any new normal is a direct attack on those basic rights which set us apart and make us the greatest country in the world.”

If a year ago you had strung those stories together as the opening chapter in your dystopian novel, everyone would have known you were a long way into fantasy-land.

Today? Factual news reporting.

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