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Manila, the capital of the Philippines; New York City; and the state of New Jersey all had something in common last week: they are re-instituting stricter lockdowns despite small percentages of COVID-19 deaths.
In Manila, city officials forced the cancellation of most domestic flights and imposed a night curfew. Police established road checkpoints to restrict all vehicular traffic. President Rodrigo Duterte returned the city to lockdown based on 106,000 people known to be infected and some 2,100 deaths. The Philippines has a population of 109 million or a 0.002 percent death rate from the virus.
The 4 August headline in the Health & Environment section of the South China Morning Post read, “Hong Kong Third Wave: Growing COVID-19 clusters at two wet markets spark fears of wider outbreaks as city records 80 new cases and four deaths.”
Note the anxiety-provoking language. Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million, thus, four new deaths is barely a trickle and hardly a “Third Wave.” It should also be noted that to date, since the virus hit China in mid-January, there are a grand total of 51 deaths or 0.0007 percent of the population.
New Way to Educate, New York Style
As if Ghost Town NYC hasn’t been devastated enough by the economic shutdown (see our article from last week, “NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: SINKING”), Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on 5 August that checkpoints will be set up at tunnels and bridges to force quarantines on all people who have come into the city from states with high rates of the virus. Violators can be fined up to $10,000.
What is this new law that has taxpayers funding goon squads to target violators? Declared Joseph Fucito, Head of the Office of Sheriff of the City of New York, “In fact, what we’re looking to do is educate people who’ve spent time in COVID-19 hot spots regardless of their residence.”
Jersey Jolted by Knuckleheads
Not to be outdone by his neighboring state, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy tightened the lockdown in his state last week. Included in the new rules: a limit to 25 percent capacity on indoor gatherings with a maximum of 25 people (down from 100). The governor clarified that “for purposes of determining this limit, any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single room.”
He later added, “The actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no choice.”
On 3 August, NBC news posted this headline on its website: “N.J. sees spike in COVID-19 cases as residents slack off on masks and social distancing.” Note the “spike” description referred to the fact that from 20 July through 2 August, there were 134 deaths… in a state of some 9 million people. Neither the ages of those who died from the virus were reported and/or if they were suffering from pre-existing chronic illnesses.

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