As you well know, the coronavirus pandemic has created some rather extreme mandates all over the nation. But as annoying as they are, mask mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns seem to be just part of life now.
We just kind of put up with them, doing our best to stay within the guidelines our government has put in place, while at the same time believing that we won’t be treated all that unreasonably if someone should see us with our mask slipping.
However, the case cannot be said for everywhere.
Take the seemingly free and hospitable nation of England, for example.
Here, unlike in the United States, mask mandates and lockdowns are done on a national scale and not lead by each respective state, which apparently makes the consequences for disobeying them a bit more serious.
Jessica Allen and her good friend, Eliza Moore, learned this first hand recently when the two met up to do some exercise together.
The pair had agreed to drive separately to a 230-acre nature preserve called Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire, a good five miles out of town, to walk together, social distancing and all.
However, their walk was cut short when a swarm of police officers arrived. Jessica and Eliza may have thought a serious crime had been committed in the area by the amount of police presence that suddenly laid siege to the site.
But the officers were there for the walking women only.
Apparently, by planning a walk outside, the pair had knowingly violated the current COVID lockdown measure in place, and, as such, they were both heavily fined, according to BBC.
But in addition, they were given more consequences because they had both brought hot drinks along with them. The officers said this was “classed as a picnic,” which is also currently outlawed in the island nation.
Seems pretty bad, huh?
I mean, what harm were these two women, drinking tea on an outdoor walk in a nature preserve far outside of town, really causing?
But that’s hardly the worst of it.
In Russia, things are even more strict.
According to an Amnesty International report, one female doctor in the nation was caught passing out personal protection equipment such as masks. But, as she was not home, steering clear of others, she violated the lockdown order.
And for her crime, she was arrested, choked until she passed out, beaten, and dragged by police from the area.
But, per the Amnesty report, others have had it far worse. “The pandemic has been used frequently as a pretext to introduce laws and policies that violate international law and roll back human rights.” The report goes on to list dozens of cases where “violators” of COVID regulations have been abused, tortured and even killed in places where national mandates have been put in place.
Now many of you would assume that these atrocities would never be allowed in the US, and I’d love to agree with you.
But I’m not so sure anymore.
You might remember a video that went viral last year when an Ohio mother at her son’s football game was caught not wearing a mask while sitting in the school bleachers. She was sitting far from any other spectators and only had her other children around her. And yet, when security was notified that she wasn’t wearing a mask, she was tasered, handcuffed, and arrested.
In Georgia, a father was arrested at Costco while shopping because his son dared to lower his mask for a quick moment to breathe.
And in New York City, a woman and her five-year-old son were tackled to the ground by police when she was seen at a train station with her mask slightly below her nose.
And that’s with only state guidelines and rules in place. Can you imagine what would happen if these were federal mandates being broken?
Well, if Joe Biden has anything to say about it, it won’t be long before we’ll find out. As he has stated for months, he is very interested in putting national mask, social distancing, and lockdown measures in place – and soon.
For all his talk of unifying the nation, it seems the only way we’ll be together is under lock and key.