As we slip deeper into a dystopian nightmare by the day, we are starting to see the first police actions against people who disobey state and local government orders to stay at home and not gather in large groups.
Today in Lakewood New Jersey, Police in Ocean County arrested a homeowner for hosting a pop-up wedding with more than 50 people in attendance. Earlier in the week, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order shutting down schools, telling non-essential businesses they had to close, and telling people not to gather in large groups.
Lakewood police charged 49-year-old Eliyohu Zaks with maintaining a nuisance for hosting the wedding at a home.
“The Lakewood Police is asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those that choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution,” police said in a statement.
Police around the country have been flooded with calls from everything from people turning in their neighbors for having people at their homes to turning in businesses who weren’t complying with shutdown order.
In California, multiple police departments say they have been receiving 911 calls from residents concerned that their coughing neighbor might have the coronavirus.
The San Jose California police chief on Friday announced officers will begin enforcing Santa Clara County’s health department order on sheltering at home and shutdown of non-essential businesses to stop the coronavirus spread. They asked the public to call and turn in any business that doesn’t comply. They’ve even started closing down gun shops.
In Las Vegas, police actually had to tell the public to stop calling 911 to turn in businesses on-essential businesses that remain open because they were clogging up the 911 lines. According to a release from NHP, in 24 hours, its dispatchers handle over 800 calls for service, and they need their lines to be kept clear for actual emergencies.
But today, Gov. Steve Sisolak gave the police the power to enforce these forced closures when he issued a broad emergency directive ordering, not asking, all non-essential businesses in the state to close effective midnight on Friday, March 20, 2020.
The directive in Nevada allows local law enforcement agencies to impose criminal penalties on businesses that continue to remain open, after all, other remedies have been exhausted and will remain in effect until April 16.
“This is our only chance at flattening the curve,” Sisolak said. “That’s a fancy way of saying that we need to move quickly, and creatively, to slope a tsunami that’s headed our way.”
Prepare for Coronavirus-related Chaos
Hysteria and panic can make people unpredictable, and even turn the neighboor you thought was your friend against you! If you need supplies, at this point I would stay off the streets for awhile and try to order them online — if you can find them. Many retailers have started limiting even online orders, and Amazon is out of large amounts of grocery products. But if you can, I would see what you can find online and use services like Amazon Fresh, Bulk Emergency Foods, or Amazon Grocery.
Coronavirus Preparedness Resources:
Please read our article from earlier today about Media Hysteria, Global Panic, and a Rational Look at the Actual Numbers — Some people need to realize this isn’t the end of the world and that panic and hysteria are starting to do more damage than the actual virus!