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The Grand Farce of American Social Distancing
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This week in Colorado, our statewide stay-at-home order was extended until April 26. Gov. Jared Polis urged everyone to wear a mask of any kind while outdoors. Local groceries are limiting customers to one every 120 square feet of the store. For the first time, my neighborhood playground on Tuesday was wrapped in bright yellow “CAUTION” tape. And in Brighton, Colorado, a father was handcuffed in an empty park by three police officers for playing T-ball with his 6-year-old daughter and wife.

We are not a serious country. America’s “social distancing” campaign has gone both too far and not far enough. The restrictions and guidelines are arbitrary, irrational and unevenly applied.

While children’s swings and slides are now crime scenes, golf courses and pickleball courts in my city are wide open.

Weed and booze stores are considered “essential.” Ice cream, dessert joints and fast-food outlets with takeout and delivery services are still operating. But family-owned, sit-down restaurants that have been staples in our community have been forced to shut their doors after decades in business.

Barbershops and hair salons here were ordered to close three weeks ago, but government employees on landscaping crews who cut grass — like the ones I’ve seen all crammed together in a city truck — are still earning paychecks subsidized by the taxpayers sidelined from their jobs in the name of safety and public health.

In my state, and across the country, private gyms have been forbidden spaces for the masses for weeks. But if you’re a celebrity or Beltway elitist, you can still stay in shape while sanctimoniously taping public service announcements telling everyone else to stay at home.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have been racking up social media clicks by sharing cozy family quarantine videos and coping tips from their multi-million-dollar Florida mansion. “We all need to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically, and also be respectful of the health and well-being of others. At a time when people need to stay apart, we can still find other ways to feel togetherness. Stay connected, and most importantly, stay safe,” Rodriguez tweeted to his 1.2 million fans. Yet, last week, the power couple was caught by paparazzi exiting a Miami gym whose front-door sign read: “This gym is not open. Stay home stay safe.”

Actors Mario Lopez and Mark Wahlberg have also become quarantine time favorites, sharing dance routines, home workouts and homeschool scenes to show their commitment to self-isolation. But last week, the buff Hollywood bros ventured out to a posh Los Angeles F45 Training facility to tape a partner workout together (with a two-person film crew) that they told their viewers to replicate in their apartments or backyards.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer bragged that until last week, she was working out at the private Supreme Court gym. “Everybody’s been shut down,” trainer Bryant Johnson told Law360, a legal news and analysis website. “The only reason why I didn’t shut the justice down is because, hey, she ain’t having it,” Johnson said.

Translation: We are not “all in this together,” like the cliched hashtag saying goes. The privileged among us get VIP gym access during lockdown, while ordinary Americans are cooped up inside doing pushups in the living room, lunges through the bedroom, makeshift treadmill runs in slippery socks across the kitchen floor, and bicep curls with their jugs of laundry detergent.

Wealthy LA denizens were still flocking to trendy farmers markets last week — until they were shamed on Nextdoor and other social media outlets. Throngs descended on the D.C. Maine Avenue Fish Market last weekend in defiance of stay-at-home orders. Mardi Gras partiers and spring break students formed contagion-friendly mobs while authorities sat on their hands. Philadelphia hoodlums are still holding tailgate parties with carloads of boozers. New York subways remain stuffed to the gills with commuters on trains and platforms. But cops in Florida did crack down on a pastor in Tampa for holding services at his megachurch, and police in New Jersey arrested 15 attendees at an Orthodox Jewish rabbi’s funeral.

Mandatory mass isolation (or at least the illusion of it) is an efficient way to instill hysteria and disrupt lives but a poor means of actually protecting the most vulnerable. Selective social distancing is a futile exercise in virus virtue signaling. Either we’re all in or we’re all out. You can’t attribute curve-flattening to “social distancing” if huge swaths of people never practiced it or opted out when convenient.

How long must we carry on the charade? Public health autocrat Anthony Fauci insists we must continue living like this until there are “no new cases” and “no new deaths” — and until a vaccine (which his control-freak pal Bill Gates is working overtime to foist on the world) is in place. This is nuts. The zero-cases/zero-deaths standard doesn’t exist for any other pandemic. We’re strangling ourselves in CAUTION tape, riddled with holes, for show. Pretense is a pointless cure worse than any infectious disease.

Michelle Malkin’s email address is [email protected]

Copyright 2020

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Civil Liberties, Coronavirus 
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  1. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    Im afraid vacvines may someday be covert sterilizations in targeted demographics.

    • Replies: @mark green
    , @Kim
  2. Here in Arizona city parks and schools have closed tennis courts and outdoor pickleball courts. Yet the racquet ball courts are open. Some baketball courts are taped off, some not. Children’s play areas in public parks are taped off but not the pavillions with tables and sitting areas in those same parks. Children’s play areas that are in private housing developments are still open, as are their tennis courts. All the exercise weights are sold out from all the sporting goods stores.

    • Replies: @Billy Hill
  3. “Selective social distancing is a futile exercise in virus virtue signaling. ”

    That’s a well-formed phrase. I had hoped that the pandemic might damage the economy so badly that we couldn’t afford virtue signaling and status whoring. We aren’t there yet.

  4. Elsewhere says:

    Welcome to UNZ, Michelle!

    I’m personally not worked up about private gyms, but it’s awful seeing small businesses closed and having parks made off limits, even when it would be easy to maintain social distance. This anarcho-tyranny must stop!

  5. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer

    Also, username available.

  6. AaronInMVD says: • Website

    I don’t doubt the virus in real in the other way seasonal respiratory weirds are, but the reaction indeed appears to be a farce. Just socialists and the mammy state grabbing their 9/11 equivalent.

    Much ado about something that happens every year. That a US/China psyops pissing match fed the hysteria is just going to leave the world poorer and far less free.

  7. @Anon

    Im afraid vacvines may someday be covert sterilizations in targeted demographics.

    Chilling thought. Then again, considering the modern world’s dysgenic trajectory, such a solution might not be such a bad thing.

  8. melpol says:

    Promiscuous people are not paying attention to social distancing. Some are making dozens of contacts and can be spreaders as they did with VD and HIV. Hookers also present a health issue. Naval ships should stop making port visits or else there will not be a healthy fighting force.

  9. To second commenter Elsewhere, yes, it’s great to see your column on here, Mrs. Malkin. There are just loads of Commie and anti-Americans stupidity on this site, so your column should be another bright spot for me. (I saw your columns a few days back, but without a comment function.)

    As an overview, in case you read the comments, the sane side of is basically Steve Sailer (of course!), J. Derbyshire, the Audacious Epigone, and syndicated Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan columns, plus the courageous Paul Kersey. Fred Reed is annoying and often wrong but leans sane. Call all that an archipelago of sanity in a world of madness.

    I won’t comment today at least on this Kung Flu Infotainment Panic-Fest, as I’m tapped out right now. Right now, I’ll just thank you for being a stand-up lady in ignoring the name-calling and keeping your support for Mr. Peter Brimelow and all the good people at VDare. I’ve been reading you on there every column since your columns appeared. Thanks, Michelle!

    • Replies: @anonymous
  10. Kim says:

    This sort of nonsense is standard everywhere and has been for years.

    Take the supermarket plastic bag tax. Supposedly to reduce plastic usage. But when I go to the produce section, I find cucumbers, yes cucumbers, individually wrapped in plastic. Grapes are sold on a plastic plate and wrapped in plastic. Chicken breasts are wrapped in plastic, aspirin too, and, and….

    In fact, everything in the joint is wrapped in plastic. Layers and layers of it. Hardware items that are essentially unbreakable – like pliers – are enclosed in hard plastic shells. But you are taxing me for a plastic carry bag?

    As is so often noted, Idiocracy was a documentary.

  11. Kim says:

    Oh, they will mandate and enforce vaccines.

    On the other hand just recently some state (new york?) made its policy that police could no longer retain the DNA of underage offenders…because it might be used to catch them when they graduate to adult culpability for their crimes.

    Civil liberties, donchaknow?

  12. Thekid says:

    You know these are strange times when you find yourself agreeing with Michelle Malkin.

    • Disagree: Achmed E. Newman
  13. And when the death toll isn’t as bad as predicted because these simple precautions are actually effective, you will have concrete evidence that the threat was exaggerated in the first place!

  14. Suggested changes to lexicon: 5G Flu, communist China, Jewtube, Congressional pedophile, change socialist to communist. No need to be polite.

  15. This excellent article shows how we are not only being lied to, but rather how we are being bombarded with cognitive dissonance.

    So, let us focus on one truth which we cannot blame the governments for not telling us: most of us will be infected eventually. Merkel spoke of 70%; in Brazil one health official spoke of 100% no less.

    Let us analyze the situation, then.

    To begin with, the percentage of the infected who get sick is only 50% approximately.

    Of those 50%, only about 10% will require hospitalization. But those will be enough to overhwelm the health system. So, we are shutting down the economy for the sole purpose of delaying the spread of the virus (‘flattening the curve’), which means we are sacrificing the entire planet’s economy for the sake of a minority of about 5% who will need to be hospitalized. But wait! This is not the real picture either!

    Most patients — that figure is not known exactly, but a rough estimate is 80% — that are put on ventilation die, so we are shutting down the economy for the sake of the 20% of those who require ventilation and survive.

    The planet Earth is going through a collective phobia of being called callous on account of letting a very small minority of people die, most of whom have already lived a long life; on account of that phobia, we are condemning billions of healthy people to a life of misery.

    If I told that to an extraterrestrial who arrived here today, he would probably consider two courses of action: make an about-face and depart to his planet of origin, laughing his head off during all of his long return journey; or, if he is of a more aggressive nature, drop a terribly destructive bomb on us to start things anew with a better class of people.

    • Replies: @Hail
  16. Hail says: • Website

    How long must we carry on the charade? Public health autocrat Anthony Fauci insists we must continue living like this until there are “no new cases” and “no new deaths” — and until a vaccine (which his control-freak pal Bill Gates is working overtime to foist on the world) is in place. This is nuts. The zero-cases/zero-deaths standard doesn’t exist for any other pandemic.

    Good observations on the internal contradictions of CoronaPanic Clownworld. And welcome to the world of fresh air of the anti-CoronaPanic opposition.

    Step 1.) Fire Idiot-in-Chief Fauci;
    Step 2.) Create a tangible plan to end the shutdowns while protecting the vulnerable;
    Step 3.) Investigate who lied us into this Corona Charade.

    By way of closing, let me say, apropos of the Corona Hysteria Pandemic:


    media delenda est.

  17. Hail says: • Website
    @Brás Cubas

    The planet Earth is going through a collective phobia of being called callous on account of letting a very small minority of people die, most of whom have already lived a long life; on account of that phobia, we are condemning billions of healthy people to a life of misery.

    Well said, Bras Cubas.


    A possibly-useful way of visualizing the concept of the skewed Corona Death Rate occurred to me today:

    (I am making up plausible-sounding numbers for demonstrative purposes:)

    At any given time, let’s say 85% of people are healthy and not in very-old age; 14% of people are either in very-old age or are in seriously bad health due to one condition or another (many of which can be fixed [e.g., severe obesity] or can pass with a full recovery [e.g., cancer] and the person may be able to return to the Healthy grouping, but for now the person is in the Bad Health group). For people who stay in the Bad Health group for five straight years, ~15% will die. Then there is the remaining 1%, which are people at death’s door, as in terminal patients. Not all of the latter will die in a given year, but their chance is high; their five-year survival rate is quite low and ~85% are expected to die (with ~15% defying the odds and surviving past five years).

    So we have three groups, the Healthy, the Unhealthy/Aged, and the Terminal Patients. These groups, especially the first two, can have some movement between each other depending on circumstances, but for a single-moment-in-time analysis (March and April 2020, CoronaPanic season), they are fixed:

    – The Healthy: 85% of population; chance of death in a given year @ 0.2% (say);
    – Unhealthy/Aged: 14% of population; chance of death in a given year @ 3.5%;
    – Terminal Patients: 1% of population; chance of death in a given year @ 35%.
    –> Aggregate national deaths 1.01% of pop. (typical for European countries)

    The flu-death spike is now said to be likely to kill a grand total of 0.02% – 0.06% of the total population, according to the best data now available, but with a very skewed distribution. The rise in chance-of-death during the epidemic will be something near this (and this is the critical part of this exercise):

    Chance of Death / year (demonstrative) and increase under coronavirus
    – The Healthy: 0.2% –> 0.201%;
    – Unhealthy/Aged: 3.5% –> 3.6%;
    – Terminal Patients: 35% –> 37.5%.
    –> Deaths now at 1.05% (typical for the same country as above in bad flu seasons)

    These are carefully selected numbers because they align with the data we have seen, more or less, in age-condition distribution.

    The majority of coronavirus victims are from the category Terminal Patients (this is what European health agencies have reported). In this setup, statistically 72.5% of the Terminal Patients group would be expected to die within three years in normal conditions. A few percent of them will die slightly earlier now. (Many of these people are seriously unwell and in pain to begin with, and at risk from any ‘opportunistic’ infections.) The Unhealthy/Aged group is also at risk, and 1 in 1,000 in this group who otherwise would have lived on will die, in this scenario. The Healthy group has nothing really to fear, with only 1 death in 100,000 people (and even this is probably a little high; for demonstrative purposes I didn’t want to go out yet another decimal place for the Healthy group), which is far below car accidents (10+ deaths per 100,000 people/year).

    Triggering a Great Depression-style economic self-hit in this kind of situation is so bizarre as to leave any thinking person baffled.

    Another possible calculation to make: Expected Years of Life Saved per Dollar Lost to Economic Disruption.

    • Thanks: Brás Cubas, Thomasina
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. @Hail

    From both our various comments and our correspondence, I know we agree wholeheartedly on the ridiculousness of it all, Hail. I thank you for this set of numbers and attempt to show the stupidity of this forced shutdown of the service economy on behalf of many people who would have unfortunately died fairly soon, anyway. On this:

    Another possible calculation to make: Expected Years of Life Saved per Dollar Lost to Economic Disruption.

    I have a great respect for numbers and perspective, but (as I wrote you before), there are major principles involved here. The Socialism being implemented to “make this boo-boo on the economy all better” is one thing. The Police State “Shelter-in-Place”, “Lockdown”, “Stay-at-Home” ORDERS from these Kung Flutalitarians is possibly even worse than the Socialism.

    I don’t care if 2 Million people are going to die that would not have otherwise (not the case, obviously). All this Police State business is doing is inuring Americans to the normalcy of these orders. In the same way as now the TSA, doing unConstitutional searches and molestation daily, is “just a part of life”, there will be more “lockdowns” and such in the future, for various excuses. You won’t miss it – it’ll come straight to your phone, airplane mode or not, maybe even when you’ve turned it off! Hell, put the phone in the other room, and your spouse will get it: “36 lockdown starts tomorrow 6 PM, may be extended… all citizens must have ID and phone on their person … that is all.”

    I’m not playing this game. People are out and about, the weather’s been great. Not one person in 50 is wearing a face mask outside or at the park. We are homeschooling with 1-2 hour recess for frisbee and messing with the cat. The Governor can kiss my ass! The Mayor can kiss my ass!

    Be Americans, people. Remember what that’s all about? Don’t put up with this!

    • Agree: AaronInMVD, anarchyst
  19. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Wow – a white-knighting lickspittle.

    Maybe she’ll check out your website…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  20. @anonymous

    I surely hope she does, and you too, anonymous. As for licking the spit, as much as I’m avoiding participation in the current Panic-Fest season, I won’t go quite that far! I didn’t wash my hands before typing this, just so’s you know…

  21. Mike G says:

    When is the shooting going to start, because that is not too far down the road. That it hasn’t already shows that Americans want to be good citizens, but just how much BS can we take?

  22. Down here in Florida, they’re telling married couples not to sleep together if either has been to a store.

    My ex-wife would have been thrilled..

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  23. @Jedi Night

    Seeing that nowhere has a law been specifically passed and that everywhere I have looked it up, these are all just government ‘guidelines’ or, suggestions, I find it astonishing how people are so intensely MATRIXED that they willingly bend their necks and comply to all these suggestions as if it were on stones Moses himself brought down from the mountain.
    As for me, my take on it, is the suggestions would have been FAR FAR more effective if they had been intensely directed at those persons known to be at the highest risk-people with pre existing conditions that compromise their immune systems.
    If the directions/suggestions had been clear, simple and directed at those most at risk, for THEM TO TAKE precautions, the number of dead would likely have been half or less what it stands at now.
    For that matter, IF the guidance to those who are ALWAYS most at risk for infections that are always out there, like colds, flus, bacterial, or other infections, WERE to ALWAYS take extra precautions, for their OWN HEALTH then the yearly seasonal deaths and infections would be lower every year.

    I just read a chart compiled by facts4eu .org where they have noted that the yearly death rate for this year and the past FIVE YEARS are the same, meaning that despite all of the breathless and hysterical news scare mongering, the number of annual seasonal deaths is the same as it ever was.

    “EXCLUSIVE: So far deaths per week have not risen due to Coronavirus
    What on earth is going on?”

  24. LOL, Jim!

    Achmed, old man, how the hell are ya? I’ve been zero commenting presence around here last three months, busy down here (Fla, NPR) with a family member needs help with his cancer-stuff. Old leather-lung fire fighter. Those guys never last very long after they retire, my bro is one of em, I guess. Leaves me little attention span for frivolities such as the pages of Unz. I look for the comments of yourself and a few others in skimming comments, those mostly being better than the original authors and always corrective of the ravings of “The Crew” that has been around the last few months, muddying up the place, mostly with profanity, all of them female/feminist.

    I could name names, none are innocent. Dare dispute their ravings with factual arguments and they break out Carlin’s 7 dirty words, we know who they are. When it all descends into that, it kills the mood and threads, I see it all over the place. From here to Capitol Hill, the women are toxic and destructive to discourse. If only their moods would stop outrunning their meds.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Achmed. Always a pleasure to read your stuff.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  25. The hypocrisy is alarming, yes? “Good for me, not for thee” should be the new slogan for these folks. I value my freedom and refuse to let the devil grip me with fear. Keep up the good fight, Michelle and thanks for all the truth you’re putting out there.

  26. @Jim Christian

    I am doing just fine, Jim. Thanks very much for the compliments. I’m sorry about your brother, or is this someone else? It wasn’t clear to me.

    I do know who you refer to as far as some of the women commenters. Lately, it’s been better, and I’ve tried not to perturb them – I really don’t have time for that either. As to the ones on Capitol Hill, I wonder if you are referring to the lady in this post with one epic hysterical rant about the Kung Flu. Mr. Speaker (or whoever he was) called her the “gentlelady”, but man, I won’t see ever see her as gentle after this unless she is in two layers of straight-jacket… in a cage … like that Silence of the Lambs guy.

    This virus Panic-Fest has been good for the blogging business, at least! (No, not my real job.)

    • Replies: @Hail
  27. Hail says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    on Capitol Hill, I wonder if you are referring to the lady in this post with one epic hysterical rant about the Kung Flu. Mr. Speaker (or whoever he was) called her the “gentlelady”, but man, I won’t see ever see her as gentle after this unless she is in two layers of straight-jacket

    That is one Haley Stevens. Profiled, as a case study in CoronaMadness (probably triggered by an underlying mental state or condition), here:

    Miss Stevens is much younger than commenters casually assumed upon viewing that grainy video (Mr. Anon had pegged her condition as Corona-Induced Dementia).

    early 1970s: Haley’s parents-to-be meet while students at Oakland University in Michigan. Mother [b.1951?] graduates in 1973 and begins climbing corporate ladder;
    – Haley is born June 1983 in Oakland County, Michigan (Detroit metro area) and raised there; mother was for a time the “CEO of a successful marketing agency” (1990 to 2007); father ran a landscaping business and later became a high school teacher. Haley was their only child;
    – In the 1980s and into the 1990s, Haley is raised mainly in Rochester Hills, Michigan, at which time the small city of 60,000 was 95% White, 1% Black (see pdf of Michigan town results on 1990 census — note: As of 2020, the city is at 76,000 pop., 76% White, 12%+ Asian, 5% Hispanic, 5% Black);
    1994: Haley wins “a district-wide speech competition as a fifth grader. ‘I was always a performer and somebody who wasn’t shy being in front of large groups of people,’ says Stevens […..] (CONTINUED)

    “I was always a performer.”
    — CoronaMadness-sufferer Haley M. Stevens, Congressperson.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman

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