Thursday, March 26, 2020

From Parody to Reality In Less Than One Generation

As of tomorrow Raj and I will be joining many of you in mandatory involuntary confinement. Our order wasn’t handed down from on high by our governor as it has been in other states. So far this lockdown  only applies to our county, Summit, which has a population of just 40,000 but is running the highest per capita number of confirmed cases in the state (90 as of yesterday). Nor was the county-wide shutdown ordered by our elected County Manager but rather by our duly unelected county health director who was given all this power by the simple declaration of a county emergency. It’s bad enough when elected officials - who are at least accountable each election cycle – have access to this much control over our liberty but seriously, when your local government charter grants this capacity to individuals who are simply appointed I have a real problem. The petty demigods amongst us are always far too eager to use their power.

I first heard about the coming shelter in place order from my neighbor, who listens to the local NPR station round the clock. I guess that’s good as otherwise I’d never know what was happing around here.  She also sent me this PSA on food safety which coincidentally was made by a doctor in my hometown. Suffice it to say that putting groceries away will never be the same.

Now I know the good Dr. means well and is only interested in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping people safe until it is your time. But honestly, about 2 minutes in and all I could think about was Phil Hartman’s Anal Retentive Chef on Saturday Night Live.

Sad isn’t it - from parody to reality in less than a generation.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan

You are now free to go about discussing the $2 trillion Covid-19 bailout.

NOTE: NBC doesn’t allow SNL clips on YouTube but if you don’t mind sitting through a couple of mandatory commercials you can view the entire The Anal Attentive Chef Fixes Pepper Steak episode here.