As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths soar, states and cities are justified in once again curtailing risky activities. But what is a risky activity?
In parsing the same imperfect data of how, and how quickly, the not-so-novel-anymore coronavirus spreads, states and cities have come up with a bizarre array of different restrictions that reflect neither local severity nor harm posed by a particular endeavor.
Consider the contrast between Los Angeles and New York. A resident of LA has a straightforward instruction to follow, effective as of early December (and tightened last week): "All persons within the City of Los Angeles must stay home." A person strictly following the rules can't even have an adult sibling over to the backyard for an outdoor meal, nor take a beach stroll with a friend unless he and his masked friend stay six feet apart. Indoor and outdoor dining: closed. Museums: closed. Zoo: closed. Barbershop: closed. Stores: open at 20% capacity.
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