The Navajo Nation Council urges tribal members “not to panic.” Apparently, the Council is panicking for the people, according to the Cortez Journal, as 14 people have tested positive (no deaths).
Although not as draconian as California or Telluride and Rico, the major item of interest is that the Council has ordered that all highways entering Dinetah (the Navajo Reservation) limiting “visitors” to the Nation, including thru traffic. This is a serious concern because of major (and critical) US highways traveling North and South through the Four Corners region.
There is NO interstate highway through western Colorado and New Mexico and eastern Utah and Arizona: a large gap exists between Interstates 25 (Denver-Albuquerque-El Paso) and 15 (Salt Lake City – Las Vegas – Southern California). There is also a large gap between I-40 (Albuquerque-Flagstaff-California) and I-70 (Denver-Cove Fort where it connects to I-15) for east-west traffic.
So critical ground transportation routes hauling millions of tons of supplies, including food, fuel, and medical supplies, are being cut off. Fortunately, as the Council admits, the Navajo Nation Police do not have enough resources to actually erect roadblocks. Yet. As fear grows, I expect that they will find ways to do so, even if all it means is digging up and piling dirt and rocks across the highways. And the Council risks cutting its nose off to spite its face: more than ¾ of a million Navajo and their neighbors (in Farmington, Gallup, and Flagstaff and nearby cities) will also be cut off.
This is probably a sign of things to come, as panic spreads and tinhorn dictators find ways to out-do their neighbors and other governments. Especially those as reported with glowing words by the mainstream media.
Please do not get me wrong: COVID-19, the Beer Flu (or Wuhan Flu or Chinese Flu) can be serious. People ARE dying from it. Just as 63,000 Americans died in the 2017-2018 flu season: a mortality rate far below what we have seen so far. It is very serious for the elderly and those with compromised bodies and immune systems. But for 99%+ who catch it (estimated to be about 40-50% of the total population), it is no worse than a seasonal flu or other illness. It can still be very bad: if we accept the death toll in Italy, we could lose a million people prematurely.
But the proposals and the actions being taken by governments as small as the Town of Rico (265 population) to the 40-million of the Peoples Democrat Republic of California have as much chance of INCREASING the severe illness and death rate. Lockdowns, with people restricted to their homes and to doing “essential” things outside their homes, pose significant issues. For one thing, “essential” is defined by politicians. For another, people unable to work cannot put food on the table – even if their trips to supermarkets (sometimes distant and in other jurisdiction) are “essential.” No food, no money, means hunger. All of the employees (and many owners) of non-essential businesses not only have no income but continue to have costs: taxes and utilities and wasted food and spoiled products.
Which translates to more hunger and poor living conditions: especially for children. And that means MORE stress and therefore MORE susceptibility to the virus (and dozens of other illnesses, many which can be fatal).
Among other things, it seems that virtually every church or religious organization has been determined to be non-essential: they cannot meet, they cannot aid their own members or other people with food and shelter and other necessities. Their worship is disrupted, despite the need for prayers and lessons about faith and endurance and patience.
So too are toilets and rest areas and parking areas and places to eat out of the weather for the tens of thousands of truckers hauling needed supplies. Making them more susceptible not just to illness but to fatigue and therefore more prone to accidents – often leading to closed roads. To say nothing of jurisdictions, like the Navajo, denying use of needed highways. And shortages of workers to produce, load, unload, and distribute the needed supplies. Supermarkets already being stripped bare of almost everything will not be restocked.
Repair crews and companies seem to be deemed non-essential, also. (Rumor has that coffee machine repairmen have been declared essential because medical workers must have their coffee. So they’ll have working machines but the stores won’t be able to provide them the coffee to make in them!) Banks are essential, but apparently postmen and ISP techs are not – how can we communicate to get the money? (If we have any.)
Is it any wonder that we hear that people are getting more and more angry?
As usual, government proves that however bad the situation, the politicians and bureaucrats can make it worse.