Progressives blithely accepted throwing millions out of work to fight coronavirus but now urge street protests to fight racism
hen I reflect back on the extraordinary year of 2020 – from, I hope, some safer, saner vantage – one of the two defining images in my mind will be the surreal figure of the Grim Reaper stalking the blazing Florida shoreline, scythe in hand, warning the sunbathing masses of imminent death and granting interviews to reporters.
The other will be a prostrate George Floyd, whose excruciating Memorial Day execution sparked a global protest movement against racism and police violence.
Less than two weeks after Floyd’s killing, the American death toll from the novel coronavirus has surpassed 100,000. Rates of infection, domestically and worldwide, are rising. But one of the few things it seems possible to say without qualification is that the country has indeed reopened.
For 13 days straight, in cities across the nation, tens of thousands of men and women have massed in tight-knit proximity, with and without personal protective equipment, often clashing with armed forces, chanting, singing and inevitably increasing the chances of the spread of contagion.
Scenes of outright pandemonium unfold daily. Anyone claiming to have a precise understanding of what is happening, and what the likely risks and consequences may be, should be regarded with the utmost skepticism.