Gov. Baker’s latest lockdowns: All wrong, all the time.

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We have a big advantage.  While decisions in socialist countries are made by a just a few, America relies upon the collective genius of 231 million people to make our country’s decisions.  (Yes, I know we have 331 million people, but no one is relying upon the wisdom of middle schoolers).  That’s our advantage over places run by politburos.  That’s why we are exceptional.

Government mandates cut against what makes us exceptional.  We don’t like to be told what to do.  It’s against our character.  Plus, as a people, we’re smarter than the government.

Which brings us to the curfew that is going into effect on Friday.  In a spectacular display of wrongheadedness, it requires that places like gyms close by 9:30 p.m.  Which is exactly the wrong thing to do – restricting the hours of operation will inevitably result in bigger crowds when they are open.  If gyms were open at 10:00 p.m., a few people would be there, people who would not be part of a crowd at 10:00 a.m. People are smart that way, they would figure it out.

But wait, there’s more.  I miss the Elm Draft House, a wonderful old-style restaurant/movie theater here in Millbury.  It will reopen, and we will be eating popcorn and watching movies there again.  Until then we could – theoretically – watch movies at a drive-in.  Except that we can’t.  The Governor’s order requires that drive-in theaters close by 9:30.  I’m not in the habit of going to drive-ins and I’m trying to picture my wife’s expression if I suggested that we go in mid-November, but if we did we certainly would be socially distant (I promise we’d keep the windows closed, particularly if it were snowing).  In that context, mandating the closure of drive-ins is nothing more than inexcusable government overreach.

Stopping the spread of the virus shouldn’t depend on whether I wear a mask while taking the puppy for her walk at 5:30 a.m.  But that’s the plan; wearing masks outdoors is now mandatory regardless of whether doing so is sensible.  There are better plans.  More American ones.

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