November 20, 2020


American New Quarantine: In the United States, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic just moved past the 250,000 mark, with the good news of two apparently successful vaccines emerging from Pfizer and Moderna tempered by the lack of preparation by the Trump Administration for distribution of the vaccines.

Trump is focused on the fallout from the recent presidential election, which appears to have gone to his opponent, Joe Biden as this American new quarantine. He has refused to allow any government agencies to begin transition talks with Biden’s leadership team, and so national preparation to provide Americans with vaccines is on hold.

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Georgia Senate Runoff – Odds to WinOdds
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Lockdown or No Lockdown? America Faces New Quarantine

American politics is focusing on this lack of a transition, and one question that has emerged is whether the nation will return to a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There never has been a nationally uniform response when it comes to closing down businesses or schools, mandating the wearing of masks or other management strategies to control the spread of the disease. Instead, the states have been left to make these decisions for themselves, and in states where the governors did not want to make statewide mandates, cities and counties have made decisions.

In some places, such as Texas and Florida, governors have put in orders meant to keep cities and counties from closing down businesses and schools; in the Texas city of El Paso, the hospitals are out of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, but the state governor and attorney general have fought attempts to close down businesses and schools in the interest of public health.

In other places, such as Michigan, New York and the West Coast, there have been orders to return to a short-term lockdown. In Michigan, indoor dining at bars and restaurants, casinos, movie theaters and group fitness classes are closed for three weeks.

In Minnesota, there is a four-week restriction on in-person gatherings with people outside one’s own household, limiting restaurants and bars to delivery and takeout services only, and closing entertainment venues and gyms.

With the distribution of a vaccine coming soon, there is hope around the world that people will be able to move on from the COVID-19 spread and return to a life resembling normalcy over the next few months.

For now, though, the battle over whether restrictions in the name of public health violate people’s rights is just one issue dividing Americans.

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