Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local authorities are cracking down on outdoor activities in order to slow the spread of the virus:
- The Democratic mayor of Los Angeles is encouraging residents to report nonessential businesses that refuse to close up shop.
- Sheriff's deputies last week arrested a disobedient paddleboarder off the coast of Malibu for defying Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order.
- Pennsylvania State police cited a woman last month for going on a leisurely drive amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Kansas cops on Saturday halted a parade of cars driven by elementary school teachers and administrators meant to encourage students and their families and get them excited about distance learning, as it apparently violated the Democratic governor's command.
- Judges are ordering ankle monitors for people who refuse to obey stay-at-home commands.
- Anti-abortion activists are being threatened with jail — and actually are getting arrested — for being outside.
Technology cracks the whip
But we're also seeing crackdowns via technology. TheBlaze previously reported on a California police department that's considering the use of drones to "educate the public about the dangers" of the coronavirus.
Now feast your eyes on a drone flying by a Manhattan park on Saturday doing just that, courtesy of CBS News:
WATCH: A drone was seen flying over a Manhattan park on Saturday, urging pedestrians to “maintain social distancing… https://t.co/rTCXWZvW1m— CBS News (@CBS News)1586127609.0
The drone had a loudspeaker and sent a message to strollers: "This is the Anti-COVID-19 volunteer drone task force. Please maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Again, please maintain social distancing. Please help stop the spread of this virus. For your own safety and your family's safety, please maintain social distancing. Thank you for your cooperation. We are all in this together."
Not to be outdone, a Twitter user posted a video of parking lot loudspeaker outside a Walmart with a very similar message to shoppers:
This speaker is in a Walmart parking lot https://t.co/vnhOvcxTk8— Sue Mullins (@Sue Mullins)1586009271.0
"Please remember to wash your hands often, stay home if you're sick, and practice good social separation of at least six feet when possible. Loitering inside or outside of the store is strictly prohibited. Thank you for choosing Walmart," the recorded message noted.
Here's another Walmart loudspeaker message:
📢 “…we know it can be a difficult time.. stay home if you’re sick...“ I’m hearing this #COVID19 announcement eve… https://t.co/rGQqPSywYM— Marissa Parra (@Marissa Parra)1586038317.0
'Very George Orwell of them'
To say some folks were creeped out by the drone and parking lot loudspeaker videos is an understatement. Here are some of the comments:
- "That's very George Orwell of them."
- "That 'we are all in this together' crap is f'in creepy. Sounds uber-fascist."
- "This is happens when u put democrats in power."
- "1984 China Techno Tyranny! This is sick! I do not consent!"
- "This is the weirdest dystopia plot ever."
- "This is becoming downright creepy."
- "Makes no sense — totally not going to stop the infection rate, but they are teaching people how to behave and to follow orders."
- "At first I thought Russia.... but I was wrong it seems."