Lockdown proponents are eager to resurrect communist system
PARIS — France’s strict eight-week lockdown mercifully came to an end on May 11. No more permission slips just to go outside or back to work.
On the same day, the French government’s “Mr. Deconfinement,” senior civil servant Jean Castex, published his long-awaited report on unlocking the country.
“The possibility of an emergency reconfinement must remain in people’s minds and be anticipated by public authorities,” Castex said.
You had one job, Mr. Deconfinement!
Good luck with any reconfinement plan. On the first day the government restored basic freedoms, Parisians piled onto subway trains with masks (now mandatory) that they hadn’t waited for the government to procure. Good thing, too, because on the eve of the unlocking, there were far fewer than the 2 million “masks” promised by Paris officials. Scare quotes apply here because these masks resembled paper towels: single-use and ripped from a roll.
Commuters stood shoulder to shoulder despite stickers placed on the floor and seats instructing commuters to practice social distancing. Security guards were unable to stop them from piling on top of one another as the subway service ran at reduced capacity.
Hair salons stayed open later than usual to accommodate the shaggy onslaught, and there were reports of lines outside Starbucks, McDonald’s and Zara clothing stores in several French cities.
None of this is surprising. In contemporary Russia, remnants of authoritarian communism are largely ignored. On a recent visit to Moscow, I went to a public swimming pool. Under Soviet law, such a visit would have required medical authorization, or “spravka.” Instead, an on-site doctor chatted me up for a few minutes before sending me on my way with a smile.
Such is the ultimate fate of overbearing government measures. Not that perpetual lockdowns won’t have their cheerleaders.
Two types of people have emerged from this global fiasco. There are those who are exasperated by government control over their lives and livelihoods. They trust their own observations about the reality of the viral threat rather than believing governments that lie to them constantly. And then there are the Coronasheviks — the modern-day version of the Bolshevik enablers who ushered big-government authoritarian Vladimir Lenin into power in Russia a century ago.