November 25, 2020 Reading Time: 4 minutes

“The coronavirus takes a lunch break.” That’s the running joke among the students and parents at a rather elite grade school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Due to hysteria among the teachers about the virus, masks are required at all times of the day. Even on the fields of play.

The challenge for this school’s educators has been lunch. Amazing as capitalism is, it hasn’t devised a way short of intravenous feeding for human beings to eat without opening their uncovered mouths. Which means the coronavirus miraculously takes a lunch break each day. For about an hour everyone can rest – and breathe – easy.

This past Sunday, public health officials banned all outdoor dining in Los Angeles County for three weeks. Right as the Christmas shopping season begins, state employees who will never miss a meal chopped SoCal businesses off at the knees. If you’re even mildly compassionate, it’s hard not to be sickened. 

The at-first-glance reaction from some upon thinking about the above anecdotes might be a pessimistic one. If a virus that has proven more than meek when confronted by the healthy can still elicit this much unreason, what hope do we have as a society?

Better yet, what hope does our economy have if the eternally worried in our midst can continue to foist their panic on everyone? Will the U.S. economy ever fully re-open?  

It’s scary to contemplate, but the view here is that there’s a bullish quality to what’s taking place. What’s ridiculous eventually self-immolates.

Basically all the hysteria that defines the present signals that the end of what’s senseless is nearer than the pessimists think. Bars in some parts of the U.S. are required to close at 10 pm. Implicit here is that coronavirus goes to bed early, not to mention how what’s mindless creates the incentive for the social to crowd bars early, and perhaps pack their alcohol intake into very few hours as opposed to many.

California’s Governor in Gavin Newsom famously instructed Golden Staters to re-apply their masks after each bite. Lots of luck there.

Newsom has similarly laid out decrees about crowd sizes on Thanksgiving since Californians are apparently too dense to avoid or care about what allegedly sickens them. Newsom will force his constituents to act in ways that will supposedly keep them healthy, including in ways that Newsom himself can’t be bothered to abide if stories from the wine country are true…

The happy truth, however, is that Newsom should prepare himself for a rude awakening. Though California’s voting patterns have a Democratic quality to them, there’s a fierce individualism that defines all Americans. And it won’t be held down by that which insults stupidity.

Notable is that we’ve already seen the revolt in California. About it, some will assume what’s being referenced here are the various referenda that Californians revealed a free-thinking streak in response to: no more mauling of gig workers, limits on race-based preferential treatment, no partial repeal of Proposition 13. These were all good things, but the revolution arguably began a few months before November.

Think back to July, or July 4th specifically. Does anyone remember the impromptu fireworks show that California’s citizens put on after Newsom and his fellow nail-biters forced the cancellation of planned shows across the state?

Traveling back to New York, Newsom’s authoritarian twin in Albany has decreed limits on private gatherings that effectively ban large parties. Translated for those who need it, Andrew Cuomo has joined Newsom with a ban on what makes Thanksgiving great. The problem for Cuomo is that his subjects have stopped listening.

Even better, the law in New York has begun tuning out New York’s power-mad governor. Indeed, as the New York Times reported last week, an upstate sheriff informed the newspaper that “his office” would “never interfere with ‘the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner.’” It seems this sheriff won’t be the only one to mock what vandalizes ridiculous. Another sheriff in the southern part of the Empire State informed the Times that he would not be “peeking in your window” in an effort to count heads. A third sheriff informed Times reporter Michael Gold that entering houses “to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present isn’t a priority.”

Are those reading this write-up assuming that the 2020 Empire Revolt is limited to Republican-leaning parts of the state? The good news is that Gold accounted for that. He did some digging in Democrat-leaning, science-reverent locales like New York City. Would the police be arresting urbanites for having the temerity to enjoy Turkey Day? It turns out the answers were quite similar to the ones in the science-denying parts of New York. According to Gold, city officials (that would be New York City) “said they did not anticipate strict enforcement, citing other priorities.” Amen!

Sorry politicians, experts, and other deniers of reality, but life is moving on. Information travels fast, and capitalists have made it possible for information to travel faster than ever. More and more Americans are wise to just how overdone the corona-hysteria was, and is. They get that alarmist headlines about a “raging” virus spread are mostly indicative of testing on every street corner as opposed to blood on every street. More important, Americans have a clue. If something threatens them, politicians aren’t their first call. 

In short, if coronavirus takes a lunch break then it will soon enough take many more breaks throughout the day. Absurd eventually swallows itself. Even in California and New York.

Reprinted from RealClearMarkets

John Tamny


John Tamny, research fellow of AIER, is editor of RealClearMarkets.

His book on current ideological trends is: They Are Both Wrong (AIER, 2019)

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