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10 hours ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

I’m not so sure about the bolded part.  My concern is that we’re doing more damage than good. How much longer can the economy last with everything shutdown? And now that state and local governments have seen just how far they can control the masses without any real backlash, they will start doing this more often for just about any reason in the name of “public health.”

It worth considering that even if we didn't shut everything down the way we have, there'd probably be serious economic impacts.  People would eventually self quarantine anyway once news started spreading of a quarter million people dead, and of hospitals overwhelmed with sick.  When it gets so bad that needing hospital level care is almost the same as a death sentence (because there aren't enough medical resources for everyone that needs them), people would shut themselves in.  And many would do it in a true panic.  There'd probably be a lot more looting and rioting than we are seeing now.

Would the total economic havoc be the same as what we are seeing now?  Perhaps not.  But I expect it would only be marginally better.  And so we'd have a marginally better economic situation at the cost of ten times as many lives with a side of social unrest.

Situations like this don't have "right answers." They have trade offs.  As a society, we essentially have to ask ourselves which we value more--human life, or economic prosperity.  And then act accordingly.

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2 hours ago, askandanswer said:

In all my life I've never used as much alcohol as what I've been using since this virus started. 

I'd imagine some people are almost bathing in the stuff.

1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

It worth considering that even if we didn't shut everything down the way we have, there'd probably be serious economic impacts.  People would eventually self quarantine anyway once news started spreading of a quarter million people dead, and of hospitals overwhelmed with sick.  When it gets so bad that needing hospital level care is almost the same as a death sentence (because there aren't enough medical resources for everyone that needs them), people would shut themselves in.  And many would do it in a true panic.  There'd probably be a lot more looting and rioting than we are seeing now.

Would the total economic havoc be the same as what we are seeing now?  Perhaps not.  But I expect it would only be marginally better.  And so we'd have a marginally better economic situation at the cost of ten times as many lives with a side of social unrest.

Situations like this don't have "right answers." They have trade offs.  As a society, we essentially have to ask ourselves which we value more--human life, or economic prosperity.  And then act accordingly.

The way things are going it could be a depression we are headed to.  It could be a very bad depression.  I think this is one of the concerns that many of the Republicans have noted and the thing that they've struggled with.  People and companies missing payments at the beginning of the month is not a good thing, especially en masse.  People not spending at all is a bad thing for a capitalist nation.  One month of a LOT less spending and money circulating the economy...it could rebound...but that month has already occurred to a great degree with February.  Two months and we are probably looking at a guaranteed recession.  Three months and really bad things start looming.  We could be headed to depression that will be equal to those of earlier centuries.

I think this is why Trump set the Easter date initially.  That's what some may say is the drop dead date.  We either start spending at the latest for Easter...or we hit a depression.

The question is how bad is it going to get?  When people have no housing and food it can be deadly if the do not know how to take care of themselves otherwise.  People today are not as well equipped as people of the 20th century (in my opinion).  I think there is a great deal of fear of how to face with another possible Great Depression.

On the otherhand, do we trade the immediate future (deaths from this virus) and seem inhumane in light of what could possibly be down the road.  I think at first many Conservativess were willing to try to risk the immediate future and many deaths in trade for a more secure economic future no matter how inhumane it seemed.  I think that tune is changing and many wish to deal with the immediate circumstances, but in the process are trading away the time to try to solidify a foundation for the further future and as such, a depression is becoming much more likely.

As some would put it...how many lives will the cure (quarantines, stay at home, etc) eventually cost in lives if/when a depression hits and a LOT of people who have no idea how to deal with such things are suddenly on the street hungry and homeless.  Will our infrastructure even be able to deal with it?

Personally, I'd like to deal with the immediate concerns now and try to save as many lives as possible. I think that's the humane thing to do.  I will acknowledge that by doing so we may be putting the further future at risk.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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38 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

I'd imagine some people are almost bathing in the stuff.

The way things are going it could be a depression we are headed to.  It could be a very bad depression.  I think this is one of the concerns that many of the Republicans have noted and the thing that they've struggled with.  People and companies missing payments at the beginning of the month is not a good thing, especially en masse.  People not spending at all is a bad thing for a capitalist nation.  One month of a LOT less spending and money circulating the economy...it could rebound...but that month has already occurred to a great degree with February.  Two months and we are probably looking at a guaranteed recession.  Three months and really bad things start looming.  We could be headed to depression that will be equal to those of earlier centuries.

I think this is why Trump set the Easter date initially.  That's what some may say is the drop dead date.  We either start spending at the latest for Easter...or we hit a depression.

The question is how bad is it going to get?  When people have no housing and food it can be deadly if the do not know how to take care of themselves otherwise.  People today are not as well equipped as people of the 20th century (in my opinion).  I think there is a great deal of fear of how to face with another possible Great Depression.

On the otherhand, do we trade the immediate future (deaths from this virus) and seem inhumane in light of what could possibly be down the road.  I think at first many Conservativess were willing to try to risk the immediate future and many deaths in trade for a more secure economic future no matter how inhumane it seemed.  I think that tune is changing and many wish to deal with the immediate circumstances, but in the process are trading away the time to try to solidify a foundation for the further future and as such, a depression is becoming much more likely.

As some would put it...how many lives will the cure (quarantines, stay at home, etc) eventually cost in lives if/when a depression hits and a LOT of people who have no idea how to deal with such things are suddenly on the street hungry and homeless.  Will our infrastructure even be able to deal with it?

Personally, I'd like to deal with the immediate concerns now and try to save as many lives as possible. I think that's the humane thing to do.  I will acknowledge that by doing so we may be putting the further future at risk.

I'm not disputing that this is going to be painful.  It most definitely will be.  What I'm disputing is the idea that if we just let the disease run its course, then everything would be just fine.   I'm skeptical that we wouldn't face most of the same long term problems anyway.

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2 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

As some would put it...how many lives will the cure (quarantines, stay at home, etc) eventually cost in lives if/when a depression hits and a LOT of people who have no idea how to deal with such things are suddenly on the street hungry and homeless.  Will our infrastructure even be able to deal with it?

 

48 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I'm not disputing that this is going to be painful.  It most definitely will be.  What I'm disputing is the idea that if we just let the disease run its course, then everything would be just fine.   I'm skeptical that we wouldn't face most of the same long term problems anyway.

This is exactly what Systems Engineers were trained for.  They're supposed to be the ones that answer these questions.  But, as it stands right now, Systems Engineers are too bloodied up by the untrustworthiness of their system models like Climate Change that when they come up with models of a Pandemic for the government people don't trust that they are intelligent and not politically motivated!

Systems Engineers can tell you what happens if we close or open certain sectors of the economy.  Systems Engineers can predict how many beds are going to be empty and how many are going to be overrun according to several factors - population density, population age, hospital use history, school closures, etc. etc. 

System Engineers can tell you if we don't die of covid what we'll die of instead - suicide rate up or down, crime rate up or down, regular flu rate up or down, mental health, poverty, homelessness, hunger, etc. etc.

Then the big wigs can make targeted policy decisions according to risk factors instead of making blanket decisions.

But, even if you fix Systems Engineering, you still have the big hurdle of partisan politics.  As it stands right now, Trump cannot make sound decisions without getting bloodied up by partisan politics with the media deliberately twisting context to make political hay regardless of the impact it has on the people.  Travel ban - xenophobia.  Press briefings - distracting from impeachment or using virus for campaign.  Test kit recall - executive incompetence.  Etc. etc.  If the media would take a vacation until this thing ends and just let all politicians do their own streaming unfiltered by media narratives, we'll be better off.

Edited by anatess2

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7 hours ago, askandanswer said:

In all my life I've never used as much alcohol as what I've been using since this virus started. 

Didn't anyone ever tell you that you'll go blind drinking that stuff?

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5 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Situations like this don't have "right answers." They have trade offs.  As a society, we essentially have to ask ourselves which we value more--human life, or economic prosperity.  And then act accordingly.

Based largely on various news reports, I'm beginning to modify my previous position that this is all a vast overreaction to what is in effect an unusually virulent and nasty flu. But even if the worst-case reports have truth to them, I think the above judgment is unfair and overly harsh. This is not about valuing economic prosperity over human life. Rather, it's an acknowledgement that our ancestors have worked and toiled and in some cases given their lives, in wars or otherwise, to provide us with the world we live in. If our economy collapses, we risk having people dying in the streets as happened earlier in the 20th century. Worse yet, we risk having a panicked and fearful population demand more FDR-style socialism, and thus lose our freedoms, which were established in the first place only by the loss of much blood.

Don't characterize all who worry about the economy as filthy-lucre-hungry monsters looking to trade life for money. I do not believe that's the choice we're faced with, but I do think we potentially have a sobering choice between keeping our economy afloat at the cost of human life vs. keeping people alive short-term at the cost of devastating our economy for a generation or more.

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7 minutes ago, Vort said:

Based largely on various news reports, I'm beginning to modify my previous position that this is all a vast overreaction to what is in effect an unusually virulent and nasty flu. But even if the worst-case reports have truth to them, I think the above judgment is unfair and overly harsh. This is not about valuing economic prosperity over human life. Rather, it's an acknowledgement that our ancestors have worked and toiled and in some cases given their lives, in wars or otherwise, to provide us with the world we live in. If our economy collapses, we risk having people dying in the streets as happened earlier in the 20th century. Worse yet, we risk having a panicked and fearful population demand more FDR-style socialism, and thus lose our freedoms, which were established in the first place only by the loss of much blood.

Don't characterize all who worry about the economy as filthy-lucre-hungry monsters looking to trade life for money. I do not believe that's the choice we're faced with, but I do think we potentially have a sobering choice between keeping our economy afloat at the cost of human life vs. keeping people alive short-term at the cost of devastating our economy for a generation or more.

You're right, it is unfair to characterize this as an either/or proposition.  It isn't.  And I'm sorry I left the impression that I did. (What I wrote doesn't reflect the nuance of the situation)

Realistically, they are ends of a scale.  The more lives we try to save, the more economic pain we will suffer.  The more we minimize the economic damage, the more lives we will lose.  These are correlated (but not causal) features. Perhaps its better phrased to say that as a society, we need to think about where the balance should be between saving lives and preventing economic losses. 

But I'll still assert my main point--there was going to be a massive economic disruption regardless of the scale of interventions applied to contain the spread. I'm optimistic that most things will be by and large back to normal by the end of the year so long as we can figure out a way to keep people housed and fed until the summer (I kind of like Italy's move to put a hold on all rent and mortgage payments for two months). 

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7 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

You're right, it is unfair to characterize this as an either/or proposition.  It isn't.  And I'm sorry I left the impression that I did. (What I wrote doesn't reflect the nuance of the situation)

Realistically, they are ends of a scale.  The more lives we try to save, the more economic pain we will suffer.  The more we minimize the economic damage, the more lives we will lose.  These are correlated (but not causal) features. Perhaps its better phrased to say that as a society, we need to think about where the balance should be between saving lives and preventing economic losses. 

But I'll still assert my main point--there was going to be a massive economic disruption regardless of the scale of interventions applied to contain the spread. I'm optimistic that most things will be by and large back to normal by the end of the year so long as we can figure out a way to keep people housed and fed until the summer (I kind of like Italy's move to put a hold on all rent and mortgage payments for two months). 

I don’t think that’s the right question. It isn’t just about economic prosperity. It's about freedom. The government is telling people they can’t go to Church, deciding what businesses are “essential,” and, in some cases, even closing down gun stores. Who are they to decide that? That is completely unamerican. 
 

As far as Italy’s move to hold off rent and mortgage payments, what good does that do? That just harms the lenders which will have trickle down effect. Property owners won’t get their rent payments, so they lose their livelihood.  
 

Furthermore, I really don’t understand why so many people are soaking up all of the media hype. The Seine Flu produces caused far more deaths than COVID-19 has. The difference is that Obama was president then and Trump is president now. 

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Furthermore, I really don’t understand why so many people are soaking up all of the media hype. The Seine Flu produces caused far more deaths than COVID-19 has. The difference is that Obama was president then and Trump is president now. 

We're still very early into this particular pandemic. We'll see how the final numbers play out. COVID-19 is on pace to dwarf H1N1's body count, which ended up being around 12,000 between April '09 and April '10. We're already a quarter of the way there. Worth noting, H1N1 was deadlier in the Fall.

 

Edit: We're almost halfway to that H1N1 number, and will probably surpass that mark today. Apparently the number I was looking at last night was almost 24 hours old. And that's why this situation is so serious. It's spreading faster than H1N1, and our medical system isn't equipped to handle a large volume of victims of a highly contagious disease in such a short period of time. H1N1 took 6 months to peak, so while there are undoubtedly things that the Obama administration could have done better, our hospitals were ultimately better prepared. There was also a relatively short time lapse between the spike in cases and the distribution of a vaccine. Again, probably due to the delayed spike in cases.

Edited by Godless

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Weird thought here, and I don’t know if I actually believe it; but I thought I’d float it for public dissection:

I’m not convinced our society values human life as much as we like to say we do.

How often have we (especially those of us who are theologically or socially conservative) heard folks gloat about the impending die-off of people whose worldview is as backwards as our own?

What if we could have a guarantee that the ONLY victims of COVID-19 would be two hundred thousand neo-Nazis?  Or two hundred thousand seniors over the age of 95?  Or two hundred thousand viable fetuses between 6-9 months of gestation?  Or two hundred thousand trans-sexuais?

Would we deliberately push ourselves into a depression—Dow Jones under 10K, 20%+ unemployment, skyrocketing homeless rates—for the sake of those two hundred thousand distant, relatively powerless—perhaps even repulsive—individuals?  Or would we say “you know, that loss is unfortunate, but ultimately not worth the sacrifice of preventing it”?

And, a darker thought:

As Mormons who constitute less than 2% of the US population (and an increasingly unpopular minority, at that)—do we think our countrymen would make those kinds of sacrifices on our behalf?  

I rather don’t think they would.

Whatever’s driving this reaction to COVID-19—I wonder whether it truly is a universally consistent regard for human life per se.  I wonder whether we’re actually doing it out of fear that the pandemic will strike someone within our own social sphere.  Perhaps all this talk of regard for human life is less of an ideological motivator, than a bludgeon to be used to socially shame people whose noncompliance we perceive as a threat to our own safety?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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9 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 Perhaps all this talk of regard for human life is less of an ideological motivator, than a bludgeon to be used to socially shame people whose noncompliance we perceive as a threat to our own safety?

This.  This exactly.

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Unemployment claims surpassed 6 million this past week.

My dad was furloughed last week and applied for benefits. Neither of my two jobs have officially cut me loose, though they probably would if I asked. I haven't worked in over 3 weeks.

Edited by Godless

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My job seems secure for the time being.

And the govt is about to send every member of my family, money we didn't ask for and don't need.  I'll do my "part", and try to spend it on the little guy, small businesses and the like.  Fast offerings donations.  Might do some outrageously large tipping in the next 6 months.

Perhaps in retrospect, it would have been better to limit the individual/family stimulus to those households with folks filing for  unemployment?

Edited by NeuroTypical

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Husband is considered essential. I'm teaching from home, but originally planned on filing for unemployment since my contract is up if I don't score another position. Seems awkward now. I'm paid up through August, so I'm tempted to just wait and see.

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2 hours ago, Godless said:

Unemployment claims surpassed 6 million this past week.

My dad was furloughed last week and applied for benefits. Neither of my two jobs have officially cut me loose, though they probably would if I asked. I haven't worked in over 3 weeks.

Yeah.  My wife has been out of work for 3 weeks.   

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14 hours ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

I don’t think that’s the right question. It isn’t just about economic prosperity. It's about freedom. The government is telling people they can’t go to Church, deciding what businesses are “essential,” and, in some cases, even closing down gun stores. Who are they to decide that? That is completely unamerican. 

There's a lot of give and take here, too.  There's an unavoidable tension that comes between individual freedom and living in a society (tensions that are probably most easily observed in a home owners association).  Where is the line between where a person's individual freedom can ethically be superseded by society's interests? 

The reality with a viral disease is that one person's idiotic use of individual freedom can put a great many people at risk of serious illness and death. Why should your freedom to keep a restaurant open put my aging father at risk of death?  Under normal circumstances, those two things don't relate to each other.  This is one of those rare situations where they actually do.

That isn't to say all of the decisions made have struck the right balance. But there valid reasons to put societal benefit over individual liberties.

As for "who are they to decide [what is an essential business]?" um, well, those would be your elected representatives. That doesn't seem all that unAmerican to me. 

Quote

As far as Italy’s move to hold off rent and mortgage payments, what good does that do? That just harms the lenders which will have trickle down effect. Property owners won’t get their rent payments, so they lose their livelihood.  

I would think that tons of evictions, defaults, foreclosures, etc would do a lot more harm to the lenders than a two month hiatus of revenue. That isn't to say it wouldn't be painful, but it seems a little silly to worry about "the lenders" when "the lendees" are effectively unemployed and trying to scrape together money for food. This here is the flip side of living in society--sometimes we have to share some of the pain.

As for property owners, well I guess they'd be on the same footing as their tenants who don't have lost their livelihoods (and thus can't afford to pay their rent).

The good that such an action does is that it puts off for a couple of months what is for most people the largest expenditure they make each month.  And take note, it isn't mortgage and rent forgiveness*. It's just a pause, effectively imagining that two months didn't happen.  A 30 year mortgage becomes a 30 year and two month  mortgage, with two months not paid in the middle with neither penalty nor interest for those two months.  And it's may be the most effective way to prevent a mass loss of housing in the middle of this ordeal.

Quote

Furthermore, I really don’t understand why so many people are soaking up all of the media hype. The Seine Flu produces caused far more deaths than COVID-19 has. The difference is that Obama was president then and Trump is president now. 

Let's put this in perspective for you.

Days between first reports and being declared a global pandemic:
H1N1: ~ 60 (exact dates weren't given in my reference and I'm too lazy to go look them up.  It was from April to June of 2009)
SARS-nCOV2: 71 days (31 Dec 2019 - 11 Mar 2020)

Length of pandemic:
H1N1: 20 months (Jan 2009 - Aug 2010)
SARS-nCOV2: 3 months (93 days from first report)

Total Cases:
H1N1: 700 million - 1.2 billion
SARS-nCOV2: 966,939

Total Deaths:
H1N1: 150,000 - 575,000
SARS-nCOV2: 49,295

 

Yeah, sure, those numbers for H1N1 might seem really high, but SARS-nCOV2 has only been around a seventh of the time--and there's no indication that this disease spreads on a linear scale. It's pretty clearly exponential. If this thing were to double every three months for the next 15 months, you'd be looking about more than 3 billion cases and 1.6 million deaths. Those totals would be three times higher than H1N1. 

Consider also that the latest estimates put the US death toll at 1.5 million (on the low end) if no attempt is made to control the spread. Recall, there wasn't a wide spread use of mitigation tactics with H1N1, and globally, it only killed maybe as many as 575,000 people.  Without mitigation tactics, it's projected that SARS-nCOV2 would kill at least 2.6 times as many people as H1N1 in the US alone. Even with mitigation done well, the US is projected to lose between a fifth and a half as many lives as H1N1 killed globally.

 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/white-house-issues-stark-coronavirus-death-toll-estimate-n1173716

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12 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Whatever’s driving this reaction to COVID-19—I wonder whether it truly is a universally consistent regard for human life per se.  I wonder whether we’re actually doing it out of fear that the pandemic will strike someone within our own social sphere.  Perhaps all this talk of regard for human life is less of an ideological motivator, than a bludgeon to be used to socially shame people whose noncompliance we perceive as a threat to our own safety?

You mean like how when drug abuse was mostly a inner city poor people problem... the answer was to "Get tough on Crime" and Many laws on drug use...

Whereas now that it has reached Middle Class Suburbs.. its now a "Health Crisis Epidemic" that we need to "Wake up to" or "Open our eyes and see it' 

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5 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

My job seems secure for the time being.

And the govt is about to send every member of my family, money we didn't ask for and don't need.  I'll do my "part", and try to spend it on the little guy, small businesses and the like.  Fast offerings donations.  Might do some outrageously large tipping in the next 6 months.

Perhaps in retrospect, it would have been better to limit the individual/family stimulus to those households with folks filing for  unemployment?

I think that would have been better than what they did...by a LOT.

I'd have paired down that 2 Trillion to a 500 Billion MAXIMUM (that's max, less is easily done).  I'd have probably bailed out airlines and put aside another 50 million for small businesses (with the option to expand that later if needed) and that would have been it...and I'm considered one of the Liberals of the forum.

It was far too excessive in what they did.  Not everyone is out of work right now.  Those who are, I agree need the funds...but those that are not...there is no reason to give them more money I think.  It's not going to get them to spend more money as long as they are staying at home.  They aren't spending the same reason that they can't spend the 'stimulus' the government is sending...they are stuck at home.

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3 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Consider also that the latest estimates put the US death toll at 1.5 million (on the low end) if no attempt is made to control the spread. Recall, there wasn't a wide spread use of mitigation tactics with H1N1, and globally, it only killed maybe as many as 575,000 people.  Without mitigation tactics, it's projected that SARS-nCOV2 would kill at least 2.6 times as many people as H1N1 in the US alone. Even with mitigation done well, the US is projected to lose between a fifth and a half as many lives as H1N1 killed globally.

 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/white-house-issues-stark-coronavirus-death-toll-estimate-n1173716

I think the US has probably not put in stringent enough measures from what we've heard.  I mainly hear about what's happening outside now from the news (used to have students and conversations and such, but now it's all remotely done...I had to learn new programs though called Zoom and Loom...then learn that they think Zoom has been hacked or is not secure...crazy news these days) and it paints a VERY grim picture of what is occurring with patients and such.

In the good news, whatever it was that I had is clearing up and I'm feeling fine now.  I never threw up and never lost sense of smell and taste so I suppose it may not have been the COVID...which is both reassuring and not...as I may actually get it and it sounds bad.

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We probably all know this already,  it here is further truth the media is lying

 

Edited by Fether

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But we are all getting $1200 at some future, unspecified date. That will fix everything, right?

I am very concerned about the dictatorial directives going out now. Some cities are even threatening arrest if you go outside. What the heck is happening to our country. Is this really over a virus with a 2% mortality rate, or is this just their chance? We are literally allowing our freedom to be taken away without even a pip.

I am getting truly annoyed! I fear we are done as a country. Goodbye America.

 

Ben Franklin was right:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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Some small towns are taking this very seriously, especially in rural Utah and Colorado.

You can even stop for gas in some of the counties without the threat of one year in jail.

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