Colorado County Refuses to Enforce Lockdowns as Civil Disobedience Spreads Across America Reply

“Pan-secessionism” seems to be increasingly common in practice. Examples include 2nd Amendment counties, sanctuary cities, autonomous zones, federal drug law nullification, refusal of lockdown orders, etc. As well as other forms of more serious “direct action” like torching enemy military outposts and star chambers, or looting corporate feudal plantations.

I could conceive of some kind of public health emergency where dramatic quarantine measures or some other far-reaching response would be justifiable based on a pragmatic assessment of the circumstances. I approved of Obama’s banning flights from African countries where the Ebola outbreak occurred in 2014. Ditto Trump’s ban on flights from China. Shutting down or restricting transportation systems with lots of people packed together during a pandemic might be justifiable, or large gatherings like stadiums. But generally speaking, I think people should individually look out for their own health, and groups should practice freedom of association. For example, if a restaurant wants to require masks or take peoples’ temperatures before they enter, fine. If people don’t want to wear a mask or have their temperature taken, they can go elsewhere. And other folks can also refuse to patronize businesses that don’t implement health guidelines.

By Jon Mitimore, Foundation for Economic Education

Colorado officials last week announced that several counties had moved into the “red level”—the second-highest measurement on its COVID-19 dial—and would be forced to implement new regulations on restaurants, gyms, and other parts of the economy to combat the virus.

Then something remarkable happened. Weld County, a county in the northern part of the state with a population of roughly a quarter million people, politely said no.

“Instead, county government continues to do what it has done since March, which is promote and encourage residents and business owners to take individual responsibility and make decisions to protect themselves, their families, their community and their businesses,” the Board of Commissioners said in a statement.

With a test-positivity rate north of 16 percent, Weld County’s infection rate is well above the 5 percent threshold the World Health Organization uses as a benchmark for taking proactive measures to limit the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, county officials enumerated what they would not do.

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