National Guard called out to block Cherry Blossom crowds from defying Trump and Bowser

Video-scenes near the Tidal Basin on 3-25 after cops, guard called out

Update March 23 early AM:Mayor Bowser orders National Guard as well as MPD to block access by cars AND by bike/pedestrians to cherry blossom areas excluding some parts of Constitution Ave. Cops failed, they send in the Guard. Same pattern as Europe and Middle East.

Update March 22: MPD closes Tidal.Basin streets thinking no cars allowed will make people stay home, not go in on foot and create still denser crowds.

On the 21st of March, substantial crowds defied Donald Trump's demands to stay home and took significant personal risk to see the cherry blossoms. Whether they realized it or not, this is a political act. Every person seeing the blossoms is voting NO to curfews, no to enforced closures elsewhere, and NO to people being arrested for daring to step outside their homes.

Lets get real folks: going to the cherry blossoms was no more exposure coronavirus than going to the grocery store one additional time based on the Friday, March 20 crowd photos.

The cherry blossom tourists join the global wave of resistance to crackdowns and curfews that from Europe to the Middle East have faced enemies ranging from police to soldiers who in desperation have resorted to forcible dispersal tactics only to have people defy them again in the same or another place. The most extreme case was in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands entered a Shiite shrine over the government's objection to practice their religion before being forcibly dispersed by troops. From the shrines of Iraq to the beaches of France and Italy, to the very heart of Washington DC where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, people are defying demands to essentially stop their lives for up to 18 months. People are refusing to submit to being prisoners in their own homes. Whatever it takes, whatever the risk, people are fighting back.

On Twitter, Denis Wirtz reported "Today, the crowds were out in DC. People in close quarters admiring the cherry blossoms, kids playing frisbee and beach volleyball. Business as usual" He appplied a #covidiot hashtag but in reality the whole world is now balanced on the edge of a knife between TWO deadly hazards: the virus and governments that want perpetual curfew and stay-at-home powers they can later use to muzzle dissent, suppress voter turnout in unfriendly areas, etc.

It is likely Donald Trump is hoping to find a way to use the virus to indefinately postpone the 2020 election that could throw him down from power after his incredible bungling destroyed a large part of the US economy.

A Washington Post editorial pointed out that all this "social distancing" will NOT stop the epidemic unless continued until either a vaccine is developed or so many people have already had it that "herd immunity" stops further spread in the manner of an old flu strain that dies out. Either of these is expected to take about 18 months. The Post thus has called for a return to normal living for the bulk of the population while those at special risk and ONLY them seek to isolate themselves from possible sources of the virus for the entire 18 months. The Post did not go into details, but such measures as "Seniors-only" shopping hours already being implemented at some grocery stores are the sort of measures that can make such unilateral defenses effective as well as sustainable.

In the meantime, many are warning that 18 months of stay-at-home orders, curfews, and community wide quarantines would wreck the economy to the point that food can no longer be produced.The resulting hunger and outright starvation could be deadlier than the virus itself. If the political contagion is not stopped soo, the best case estimate some give is sustained 20% unemployment, similar to the Great Depression of the 1930's. Worst case has been compared to "wartime Europe." We had best remember that the economics of Germany in 1930 led directly to the horrific politics of Germany in 1932. Already white supremacists are chomping at the bit, and the FBI reports smne of them want to use the virus as a biological weapon against their foes. Trump for his part is launching racist attacks on all of China and targeting the domestic media as well.

Some very serious stupidity about the virus also exists globally, from crowds of pilgrims in Iran supposedly licking doorknobs at sacred sites to a "trend" among some young folks in the US deliberately coughing on produce or worse, directly at elders. One US megachurch has told their parishoners to report for services (normally packed) claiming God will protect them from the virus. As for the cherry blossoms, it's one thing to go and see what you can, quite another for the crowd to pack in tight. Correct move would have been for the same number of people to turn out, see the trees, and put Trump in his place, but carry out this "mass gathering" without ever getting inside six feet of oneanother. In other words, take necessary risks but not unnecessary risks, don't "give it away" to the virus.

Reports of crimes related to price gouging and exploitation regarding the virus are already spreading too. In North Carolina, some greedhead stole a truck because its cargo was 18,000 pounds of toilet paper. Cops redacted his name from court documents to keep him from being killed if he was doxxed. Elsewhere, some piece of (what you use toilet paper to clean up) was reportedly caught with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer that were to be sold ($$$) on Amazon and "persuaded" to donate them when Amazon delisted his first batch of 300.

Park Police at cherry blossom roadblock on March 22. National Guard to be added to these(Photo by Darcy Spencer via Twitter)

Cherry blossom blockade at night (Darcy Spencer photo via Twitter)

Crowds at the cherry blossoms on March 21, Good thing is people are standing up to Trump's demands to sit at home. Bad thing is people are too close together: six feet minimum safe distance. (Photo Nancy Russell via Twitter)

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