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Constitution, Covid have a good talk

by John Williams
| May 5, 2020 1:00 AM

COVID-19: Wow, I’m really giving you a beating, aren’t I?

U.S. Constitution: Depends on who you talk with, COVID. In the Bill of Rights I state “Congress shall make no law ... abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” It can be interpreted that I don’t guarantee people’s inalienable right to assemble; I say “ Congress shall make no law...”

COVID: What about your 9th Amendment? Hasn’t that been explained as people having rights that aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution?

U.S.C.: Yes. The Supreme Court has found that unenumerated rights include such important rights as the right to travel. But right on its heels is my 10th Amendment — I don’t prohibit states from enacting laws pertaining to emergency conditions, among other things.

COVID: And Chapter 6 Title 46 Idaho Code allows the Governor to declare a state of “extreme emergency” at his discretion?

Con: Yes, which he did on March 27, 2020.

COVID: Something “extreme” must have happened.

Con: Three deaths from you.

COVID: Three? He ordered people to not leave their homes, shut down businesses and called up the National Guard for the “extreme emergency” of three deaths? I am One Bad Bug!

U.S.C.: All perfectly legal under Idaho Code although it certainly violates my spirit. (Admittedly, I’ve been forced to take a back seat to epidemics in the past.) Let’s hope future Idaho leaders don’t believe heart disease, accidents, and diabetes (which all produce more deaths than you done have in Idaho) qualify as “extreme emergencies” or eating, driving and people’s weight may be severely regulated by the State. The only way to prevent the possibility of such deprivation of liberty for any reason is to support only gubernatorial and legislative candidates who favor removing Chapter 6 Title 46 from the Idaho Code. The State can always disseminate guidelines, provide aid and offer economic support to its citizens.

COVID: Another question: controlling who can work, where they can work, what they can sell or make, conscripting factories to produce certain products — that sounds a lot like “controlling the means of production” which is a major tenant of another form of government whose name begins with a “C.”

U.S.C.: Yes, it does.

COVID: Do you think Uncle Sam can defeat me with lock-downs, contact tracing, mandatory vaccinations, quarantines and by tracking all citizen movement via their cellphones?

U.S.C.: That’s Big Brother Bill’s idea. It may not eradicate you but it would certainly eviscerate me. A vaccine is probably two years away and even then it may only be as effective as current flu vaccines (about 40% to 60% according to the CDC.) With a 98% survival rate among most people and the concept of herd immunity, concentrating on protecting the “at high risk” demographic seems to make more sense. Striking a balance between safety, liberty, and economic health should be the goal, not completely sacrificing one for the other. Believe me, I’m worth protecting!

COVID: Connie, my kin and I plan on coming around for a visit every two years or so. Are you going to shut down your country every time?

U.S.C.: That’s a very good question. We’ll see. Here’s to you, COVID, the mouse that roared!

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John D. Williams is a Coeur d’Alene resident.