115. When the streetlights come on

Wednesday November 18 2020

The Governor of the United States of Ohio, Mike DeWine, has issued a state-wide curfew to be effective tomorrow evening.

And people are, of course, pushing back because how dare he tell us what to do.

But after taking a deep breath and slowing down a notch to understand the intention, we realize it’s actually a very reasonable compromise in the attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Ohio. In October there were 1,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to DeWine. On November 5, the number was 2,000. Five days ago, it was 3,000. Today’s number is said to be 3,648 people in hospital care.

The curfew is simple stated. Retail businesses are to be closed from 10pm to 5am for the next 21 days. That’s it. Groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, and those stop-n-rob convenience stores can stay open. People can still leave their homes to work their third shift jobs. And if the mood hits, you can pop out after dark to get a tub of Ben & Jerry’s from Kroger’s. There are a still a few unanswered questions as we get granular with the details and we’re told a more detailed report will come out in the next few days.

Nobody’s freedom is being violated here. Ugh, ok, unless we consider the madness of Black Friday shopping. This year there won’t be the opportunity to do your midnight holiday shopping at Kohl’s on Thanksgiving. You’ll have to wait until the 5am door-busters, along with the other hundreds of shoppers willing to trade cooties for a good deal on small kitchen appliances. 

DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted have decided to take this route after talking with business leaders in Ohio. A second full shut-down would have double the impact it did in the spring, says DeWine. He realizes there are more people out during the day, but the curfew is expected to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and is the least impactful for business and other sectors of Ohio’s economy.

I have no idea if this was in response to the Governor’s curfew or if it’s just because people suck, but this morning’s new has a report from last night of a crowd of more than one hundred people gathered in an area of Harrison Township. These folk closed an intersection, doing burnouts and donuts and generally causing a disturbance. So far, nobody’s calling this a riot or anything so organized.

This particular area already hits the news now and then with somebody shooting somebody else, so social unrest is a familiar theme for the local PD. So honestly, if these guys can gather in the double digits and not kill anyone, leaving tire marks in the intersection is kinda tamed down for them. Montgomery County Sheriffs responded, took a look at the melee, and called in assistance from other jurisdictions. In the aftermath, one person was arrested after refusing to leave, which is impressive, not only because it was only one asshole who got detained, but also this guy held to his beliefs like a dog with a bone.

I really don’t believe this was related to the curfew announcement though. This all went down around 7pm last night, which actually sounds lame for such a disturbance. Like “Hey Dale, let’s say after dinner we go out and play a few games of chicken outside the apartments?” However, do keep in mind that it’s dark as sin by 5:30pm now, so that ups the rebel factor a notch.

Still. It’s a reminder of how differently people see the pandemic. Over one hundred people gathered when we’re advised to social distance. This area is multi-family housing, so it maybe it encourages the feel of being a community on its own. Or it could be simply a marginalized population that has more immediate issues to consider than slowing the spread and this was a cheap way to blow off some steam without killing somebody.

I don’t know, I’m projecting here.

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