As of today, the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County can no longer legally congregate with people outside of their immediate family, unless it's for the purposes of outdoor protest or religious gathering. Playgrounds—you know, those places in California's abundantly pleasant outdoors where children, who are disproportionately unlikely to contract, transmit, or suffer from COVID-19, can feel like human beings for brief respites—are once again banned, unless they are attached to schools (which are almost all shut) or day care centers. Restaurants cannot accept even outdoor customers.
All this despite the fact that L.A. County's seven-day positive-test rate for the novel coronavirus is at just 6.9 percent, which would rank around 38th in the country if the County of Angels was a state. The overall positivity rate in California is even lower, though that hasn't stopped Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's largely Democratic political class from enacting some of the harshest clampdowns in the United States.
How did we get here, and how can we get out? Such forms the bulk of the debate on today's Reason Roundtable. Also up for discussion: media hysteria, President-elect Joe Biden's crappy Cabinet picks, and what Unorthodox can teach us about voice, exit, and coronavirus.
Speaking of plagues: Right the hell now is your final opportunity to submit questions for Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward, to be addressed during our annual Webathon, which starts presently. Please email stumpers to firstname.lastname@example.org before December 1. You'll be glad you did!
Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.
Music: "government funded weed" by Black Ant.
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