Fourth Anniversary of ‘Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve’

Member Group : Guy Ciarrocchi

March 13: the fourth anniversary of Pennsylvania’s “two weeks to flatten the curve.”

Governor Tom Wolf issued his first executive order, closing all schools. He would ultimately issue countless executive orders in 2020 and 2021 — including telling us all to stay home and inside without legislative or voter approval.

You may recall that the last of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties was not allowed to go “green” and “re-open” until July 3. That was the “thriving metropolis” of Lebanon County. Why? Because their commissioners had voted not to enforce lockdown punishments in their county. Wolf’s decision underscored his approach: Arrogance. Abuse of Power. Shamelessness.

Ultimately, in the primary of 2021, Pennsylvanians voted for the extraordinary step of amending Pennsylvania’s Constitution to bring his dictatorial madness to an end — and to save our liberties, lives, and livelihoods.

Wolf closed too much, for too long, and was too slow to re-open. Wolf’s actions, rhetoric and decisions often reflected the worst decisions of the era of “experts” and politicians issuing mandates, lockdowns and threats. Worse, they prohibited, mocked, or silenced dissent. And we now know that the federal government worked with all media — traditional, print, and digital — to silence or hide questions and alternative approaches.

Recall that Wolf marched with BLM protestors through Harrisburg, after having told all of us to stay inside. If one questioned why we couldn’t go to church, but a crowd of thousands could march; those “in charge” told us we were bigots — or, didn’t understand that some activities “trumped” others. The national wrongs of the Covid-era extend far beyond Wolf and his arrogant, dictatorial actions.

Because so much of what was done by “experts” and those in charge of government and many media outlets of all forms — from the New York Times to CNN, from Facebook to Twitter — was so obviously wrong, it’s imperative that we remember.

Because so many in power used their bully-pulpits and executive orders to silence, mock or hide questions, dissent or alternative approaches to treatment or living our lives, it’s imperative that we remember.

Because of our children. Because so much wrong was done to our children — not only in March and April of 2020, but into 2021 and even 2022 — to keep them out of school or masked-up in schools. So much wrong was done to cancel their sports or force them to wear masks while playing softball and basketball, to keep them away from their friends, to keep them away from their grandparents. And it was done with total disregard to their mental and overall physical health. It’s imperative that we remember.

Because those in power stood in judgment and told us that some jobs were “essential,” but others weren’t, forcing millions to stay home and wait for government aid or unemployment checks — sometimes waiting a year. Because even today, there are empty storefronts where small businesses once thrived, it’s imperative that we remember.

Because those in charge decided that “slowing the curve” was literally the most important thing in the world — more important than working, going to school, socializing, getting our teeth cleaned, talking to our senior citizens, and being screened for cancer or heart disease, it’s imperative that we remember.

Because so much of what was being forced on us, our livelihoods and our families was so obviously wrong or lacked commonsense and we were not allowed to object, it’s imperative that we remember.

You could sit on an airplane flying from Philadelphia to Los Angeles with 500 strangers for five hours, but, you couldn’t get a haircut. You could buy a microwave at Home Depot but not at your neighborhood appliance store. You could not go to a bar for a drink, but you could go to the bar to eat and drink. You could go to Walmart, but not a church, synagogue, mosque, or Quaker meeting house.

Why? Because “they” said so! And we were not supposed to object. And when we did on Facebook, Twitter or as a comment to newspaper stories, they deleted or hid our comments.

To this day, the PLCB — Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board — is still prosecuting caterers, bar and restaurant owners that are alleged to have ignored executive orders in 2020. Shameful.

Arrogant government officials lacking CommonSense and drunk with power.

Some may want to forgive “them” for decisions made in March or April of 2020. But they enforced this insanity into 2021 and continued to issue mandates into 2022 and “guidance” up through today.

Where are the apologies? The promises to never do this again?

Again, those in power in government — from school boards to Harrisburg and D.C. — not only issued mandates, they shut-down discussion. The school board members screamed at parents wanting schools to reopen or masks to come off: “Do you want your children to die!?” 

Like many others, I continued to ask in public, during radio and newspaper interviews, and on social media: If it was imperative — “life saving” — to shut-down public schools for months, even years, why were the religious, charter, and private schools allowed to re-open? Either those in charge were “okay with” Jewish Day School kids risking their lives, or the local public school a block away should’ve reopened, too.

Many of us asked about herd immunity. Many of us wondered if it made sense to push seniors into nursing homes — aren’t they the most vulnerable? Many of us asked why anyone had to die alone — especially senior citizens: why couldn’t nine-year old boys hug their aging, ailing grand-pop? Elites yelled and mocked us.

Many of us asked about our mental health because Americans are social people who socialize, drink with friends, play pick-up basketball or chess, go to book clubs, jog in the park, worship. Aren’t those things part of our health, too? We were ridiculed.

Many of us asked what would happen to our children if they couldn’t go to school, see their friends, laugh, cry, do projects or play in the school yard — expressing concern about their falling behind in the academics, and that those whose parents had to work or whose parents didn’t have the time or skills to teach their children effectively might fall so far behind that they’d never catch-up. We were accused of hating children and wanting them to die.

Many of us asked why a barber shop or diner couldn’t open and allow business owners, employees and customers to decide whether to go — we suggested that healthy people be allowed to live life, that adults could weigh the pros and cons. We were accused of wanting “blood money.”

Now, the after-the-fact “studies.” Various “experts” and “esteemed” institutions spent millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to produce reports concluding what those of us with commonsense and a sense of liberty and decency knew: the experts blew it. The lockdowns weren’t needed or lasted too long. Millions of people are still suffering the effects of being away from people. Millions of children are way behind academically and emotionally; some may never reach their pre-Covid potential.

Worse, the Twitter/X email-dump and congressional hearings have proven that the White House, team Fauci, and their allies pressured and collaborated with media to hide “disinformation” about Covid’s spread, its impact on healthy people, especially children, about treatment alternatives, questions about vaccines and the legality, morality and necessity of lockdowns and mandates.

Because they locked us down, because they picked winners and losers, because they harmed our children, because they crushed our economy with impacts still felt today in empty storefronts and inflation, because they cost citizens their jobs, because they acted with arrogance, ignored commonsense, because they abused their power and influence to silence anyone questioning them, because they ignored the Constitution, and because far too many have yet to apologize and to pledge to never abuse power again, we owe it to our children to remember.

Guy Ciarrocchi is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation. He writes for Broad + Liberty and RealClear Pennsylvania. Follow Guy at @PaSuburbsGuy