Why is the Police not enforcing social distancing at the parks and beaches?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Lerner, May 26, 2020.

  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Why is the Police not enforcing social distancing?

    I was watching the news and it was surprising to see people gathering on the beaches defying distancing and other rules.
    Why couldn't local Police enforce social distancing? I'm not saying to do it in a draconian way but
    ticketing and show presence could have worked.

    This could save lives and slow down spread or possible second wave unless someone is interested in having a second wave which I don't think is the case.
    The newly found power of Governors and Myers who can easily stop people from going to church seemed to ignore the parks and beaches since the reopening of these areas.
    I didn't politicize it, but it is interesting to compare the blue and red states. At first glance, both seem to neglect this area. And ticketing can bring some revenue to the city.
  2. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member


    Police unions have, generally, made a devil's bargain with Republicans in general and President Trump in particular. If you remember a few years ago, there was a big push to create right-to-work states, most especially in the Midwest. I remember this because I am a teacher and I participated in the protest at the Michigan Capitol on the day that Michigan went right-to-work and the police tear-gassed our protest. The laws ended closed-shop bargaining for everybody except for firefighters and police.

    Note: During the recent protests at the Michigan Capitol, the police just let everybody walk around with guns because these were conservative protesters.

    Basically, police and fire sold out everybody except for themselves. Ever since, police unions have been in the tank for Republicans. We now have a Republican president and Republican governors opening everything up. There is not much incentive for police officers to enforce social distancing regulations in these states.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    They're doing it in some places here in Canada. I heard news on the radio that a newly-reopened beach area will be patrolled by police and people will be ticketed for gatherings of more than five and / or individuals not maintaining social distance (2 metres). The fines I heard about were in the $500 range.
  4. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    People should really stick with social distancing. So few actually keep themselves to the rules or wear their mask.

    I learned this evening that my GP passed away from covid 19.
    He gave his life for his profession.
    64 years old. Not an age to die.
    He was in coma since March.
    His organs gave up.
    Such a terrible way to go.
    He got it in his doctor practice.

    I'm a bit shocked by this news.
    He was a good person. He didn't deserve this.

    People who don't social distance or don't wear masks are so respectless. If you don't protect your own life, at least do it to protect someone else's.

  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There are 18,000 police departments (and another 3,000 or so sheriffs) in the US. I'm not sure you can make such a sweeping statement based on some anecdotes.

    I also suspect that failure to wear a mask is a civil, not a criminal, matter in a lot of places, and a lot more where it has nothing to do with the law at all. Then there are priorities police officers have to manage and follow.

    I suspect the answer is, "Are you sure it's a thing?" and "It's a complex issue."
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think it can work, just a few cops on a beach can start issuing tickets, once the news spread the problem will be reduced significantly. Start writing tickets, fine $100 first offense, $200 second.
    A. Be consistent and the people will start following the instructions, this will reduce the number of infections.
    B. it can be a source of revenue for the city. (maybe if not many lawsuits filed against the cops and the city).
    And now with all the protests who knows if policemen be safe there.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This is where you lose me, because when municipalities become reliant on fines, it creates a very abusive perverse inventive.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Like some bizarre municipal speed trap, only for everyone, not just passing motorists.
    SteveFoerster and Maniac Craniac like this.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Point # 2 was sarcasm. I forgot to put a smiling face next to it. Look at this parking enforcement tactical vehicle- no violator escapes this one.

    Maniac Craniac and SteveFoerster like this.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Fair enough, Lerner. Believe it or not, I've seen that argument being made seriously elsewhere, so that was unclear. Poe's Law, and all that!
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The worst thing is - I believe we could still be arguing this issue ten years from now. Obviously, this damn virus is NOT going to die easily. And people who violate mask or social distancing requirements don't help it. I feel they SHOULD be heavily punished - they're evil. But they won't be.

    As to vaccines - we don't have them for many virus-caused diseases, e.g. AIDS and common cold (which is a corona virus). I'm not sure we'll have one any time soon - or perhaps ever - for COVID-19.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You might be right, but I hope not. This particular coronavirus is much more dangerous than the two you cite (and the third I will cite).

    HIV (the actual virus that causes AIDS) is really hard to catch. It doesn't transmit from casual contact, and even behaviors deemed "risky" are not very good pathways for it. But there's no cure for it, no vaccine for it, and it can be deadly.

    The coronavirii that cause common colds are easier to catch, transmitted in myriad ways. But the disease is not normally deadly (or all that harmful) and the infected do not remain so for very long. We've learned to live with it.

    Similarly, the flu is easy to catch, more deadly than the common cold, but much more rare. Most people who think they have the flu really have a bad cold. We have a vaccine, but it must be updated and taken annually to stay ahead of the evolving virus.

    Then there's ebola. Deadly. Easy to transmit. Kills very quickly. In fact, it kills so quickly that it is usually detected quickly and outbreaks are prevented through distancing, barriers, and isolation. So the spread is contained quickly because the virus gives itself away. There is no vaccine.

    But this coronavirus? It's bad news. It spreads easily, like the cold or flu, but is much more prevalent and is much more destructive and deadly. It's insidious because people can by asymptomatic-yet-contagious for days after infection. There is no vaccine yet, but this is one infection that will require one for human society to function as before.

    I fear we've not seen the last of this. With human intrusions into ecosystems once reserved for animals, we're seeing more infections transfer to humans that were contained only in certain animal species--often harmlessly. Whether it's settling into their habitats or handling them as pets and food, these animals will continue to infect humans. If we don't get a handle on it, every part of our society that is based on the idea that strangers can gather safely in small spaces over periods of time will be lost. From something as simple as riding an elevator to something as grand as attending a sporting event will be lost. Even family gatherings will be dangerous.

    We can choose to react to each viral incursion on humankind. Or we can get at the root cause of these transmissions and stop what is causing them to occur. Or, to hear some American politicians tell it, we can choose to do nothing because it's a hoax. Or it's real, but exaggerated. Or it's real, but we've turned the corner. People will believe what they want. This virus--and the others yet to come--doesn't really care.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. But will there be one? I don't claim any scientific knowledge, but I have some doubt. In the early days, I heard some idiots raving that "we're only hours/days away from a vaccine." Haven't heard that bunk for a while, now. Only guy I've heard that sort of nonsense from is a fella named Putin in Russia - and I know not to believe him.

    Requirement for a vaccine doesn't always mean it's forthcoming. E.G. AIDS. It has devastated countries in the developing world - there was and is a real need for a vaccine. So where is it? we all know the answer - it isn't. Same for Ebola - no vaccine. Three things bother me:

    (1) The possibility of no vaccine for COVID-19
    (2) and the possibility of none for its mutations, descendants and relatives.
    (3) The long timeline in vaccine development. Two that took years of work and research:

    (a) The polio vaccine - Dr. Jonas Salk
    (b) Gardasil - the vaccine given to girls around 13 years of age, to prevent future cervical cancer.

    This is not the flu we're dealing with, here. Come to think of it, I don't believe flu vaccine was quickly developed either, although nowadays, we take the yearly reformulations for granted. Plus, it's never 100% effective. Sometimes, it's not even close.

    With COVID-19 all bets are off. The betting window is closed till further notice.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There better be an effective vaccine. If not, people will not be able to interact casually, nor in large groups. Ever.

    I think there will be an effective vaccine. Both the type of coronavirus being fought and the progress so far seem to point to that.

    A big question will be, do people develop sufficient immunity with its administration? Or will they need frequent boosters? Or will this coronavirus, like the flu, mutate significantly each year, requiring a new vaccine each year?

    When I was in Korea, it was normal to see people walking around wearing surgical masks. It seemed weird, but common. It's not weird anymore. In fact, I entered a supermarket yesterday and had my mask in my pocket. It hit me immediately, like one of those dreams where you're in your underwear in public. I stopped dead in my tracks, not 10 paces into the floor, donned my mask, then looked around for anyone to apologize to. Oh, my.

    This pandemic will change a lot of things....
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It already has. I'm hoping (and I think the hope is pretty faint) that they can someday be changed back -- at least to a large extent. Meanwhile, things are a joke - a bad one. You get people who don't wear masks, you get people who stand two feet or less from you in line at the supermarket. Perhaps if the first three got a Singapore-style caning or a public flogging, the rest would get the idea!

    I saw five unmasked teenagers get on a bus together, yesterday. The bus driver is forbidden by his employers to say anything. Another day, some idiot had his mask off, hanging from one ear, loudly conversing about sports with the driver. Passengers had to pass him within about a foot of his spraying mouth to access seats. Bus driver just let him stand in the forbidden zone and chewed the fat with him all the way downtown. I reported the incident but I don't think anything will happen. His union rep. will hold his hand, he'll possibly get a brief chewing out and it'll all go away.

    We make laws and regulations for a reason - they should be enforceable - and enforced. even against morons.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    We're getting the exact outcomes we deserve. No more, no less.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    WE deserve it? Who is "we" - all of us? Why do WE deserve it? (I guess "we" includes Rich Douglas, doesn't it? I guess I'm "we" too.)

    What did WE do to deserve it? Who says? What did I do to deserve "it." And what outcomes do we deserve? I haven't figured that out.

    You got some explainin' to do, Rich. Especially the part about why/how people deserve to have their family lives disarrayed, lose relatives etc. ...and why I
    deserve those morons in grocery stores and buses. And what do you figure you, Rich -- deserve in all this?
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I just realized the ENORMITY of Rich's statement. 917,000 people have died worldwide - 166,000 in the US. And Rich says this outcome is exactly what we DESERVE?

    That's by far the most egregious statement I've read in 12 or 13 years on this forum. Despicable.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, it would be if taken at face value, but given that Rich isn't a psychopath I gather that he meant that this outcome is sadly predictable when a subset of the population treats a pandemic cavalierly and the rest of the population doesn't do enough to stop them, rather than that the people who have succumbed to this disease literally deserved to, as individuals.

    "Start from the premise that we are not selfish or nuts (even if you doubt it), and see how it goes. We all owe each other that much." -- Sean Stromsten
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If you say so -- I'll suspend for a moment, the belief that I was beginning to form. How does a person manage to be so cavalier, yet pontifical in the same breath?
    It's an acquired art, I guess. The pronouncement is almost Levicoffian - except Dr. Steve doesn't give a sh*! about us here - the rest of the world, he cares ... I think.

    Excuses don't take away from the print I see. If what you say is what Dr. Douglas meant, he should have said it clearly -and he didn't. He's a man with a fistful of degrees and good ability with English. No matter how you try, he's not getting away with that yarn!

    Those guys on the bus and in the supermarket - and Rich - have just worn the premise too damn thin. It won't hold.

    As G*d is my Judge, Dr. Richard Coleman Douglas is neither my G*d nor my Judge! How dare he sit in judgment and tell us we "deserve" this.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020

Share This Page