Since March 2020, when California, New York, and other states started issuing “stay at home” orders and mandating the closure of “nonessential” businesses and activities, the country has been in an unprecedented period of government-enforced “lockdown” to address the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a deadly pathogen that can cause fatal illness, especially in the elderly and people with serious underlying medical conditions. Fortunately, it appears that COVID-19 is not as deadly as initially feared – indeed less deadly than some previous pandemics – with some researchers finding that the overall fatality rate may not be significantly greater than the flu. This is very good news.
Unfortunately, the “lockdown” itself is causing severe economic and social harm to millions and millions of people. Economically, numerous commentators have compared the current situation to the Great Depression. Socially, everyone’s lives have been completely upended, and many people are suffering from mental health problems, family problems, alcohol and drug problems, and other social pathologies. There is no denying that the “lockdown” strategy is inflicting its own devastating consequences on the country.
People in several states have started protesting the “lockdown,” arguing that it goes too far and infringes on fundamental rights and liberties, for example, the freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment. Perhaps not surprisingly, their actions have been met with harsh criticism from government officials and media spokespersons. At The Warshawsky Law Firm, where civil rights is one of the cornerstones of our practice, we are very concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic may be used as an excuse by the government and powerful private interests to trample on the rights of the American people. History has shown us that it is precisely in periods of great crisis that we must be ever more vigilant in the defense of liberty. We encourage individuals, business owners, and community leaders in New York who believe their rights have been violated under the present “lockdown” to contact us for a free legal consultation.