After years of questioning United States President Donald Trump’s sweeping use of executive powers and internationally provocative militarism, American progressives, thanks to COVID-19, have embraced a sweeping infringement of civil liberties, explaining that it's not martial law. It's viral law.
"We’re at war with a virus, and we need to do everything we can to get this thing under control." explained 66-year-old Don Mason of Newport, Rhode Island, a lifelong Democrat who is no longer allowed to live on the sailboat he used to call home, which he keeps docked at a Newport marina. Due to concerns about the coronavirus, the State of Rhode Island has prohibited Mason from sleeping on the 38-foot vessel he's owned since 1992. "They are letting me take her out during the day, though, which I think is extremely generous,” he said.
Until the indefinite date that he’s allowed to return to his floating home, Mason has been sleeping in a friend’s garage - practicing diligent social distancing, of course. “My sister in Florida would have let me come stay with her, but right now the regulations are very strict as to who can enter the state," he said. "Which is good. We need strong borders right now - in the progressive, American sense, that is. Not the Trump wall sense.”
Democratic voter Kelsey Freeman of New York City, a former server who is job-hunting after losing her position due to COVID-19-related restaurant closings, has included her negative coronavirus status on her updated curriculum vitae. “I had to pay for my own test, but I felt it was a worthwhile investment,” she said. “It’s going to be important to start distinguishing between the acceptable people who are safe to be around, and those who need to be quarantined well away from the rest of society. Kind of like apartheid, but of course nothing like that, because this is a medical thing. And this is America.”
And Green Party member Shannon Belmont of Wellesley, Massachusetts, who has been working from home since the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March, is hoping that her company will require all employees to be tested for COVID-19 before physically returning to the workplace – whenever that might be. “I managed to get tested, and I’d like that to be documented and to go on my record,” she said. “I’m negative. Can you be sure to include that in this story, please, in case they see it?"