If we had told you last year that a virus out of China would spread around the world and infect hundreds of thousands (a number that is still growing by the day) and kill tens of thousands (and number that is still growing by the day) around the world, fostering a race for face masks and toilet paper, closing schools, bars, restaurants across the state, leaving places like downtown Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Pier empty and abandoned, and people quarantined in their homes with statewide orders to stay there, you would have said that we’ve been watching too many episodes of The Walking Dead.
And yet that is the world we find ourselves in today. Most recent figures show that over 6,000 of our fellow Californians have been infected by the virus, resulting in deaths in 24 California counties. Recently, even though this crisis seems far from over, and even though the threat to public health and the lives of 40 million Californians has not abated, President Trump began floating the idea of reopening the economy, in a move that would have been counterproductive to the goal of flattening the curve.
Luckily, President Trump has scrapped those plans (for now), announcing that federal guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 are to be extended until at least April 30. But the very fact that the American president seriously considered the option of reopening the economy demonstrates that secession is an entirely viable option given the right circumstances.
Imagine if you will, that President Trump had decided to reopen the US economy. This decision would have naturally spurred human activity, the immediate result of which would have been to foster an environment where more Californians would become infected by COVID-19, many of which dying as a result. The decision, if taken by the president, would have literally killed an unknown number of Californians.
It’s curious because President Trump floated a completely different idea regarding the tri-state region of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Recently he spoke of establishing a federal quarantine of the region, which has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases. The idea, whether good or not, was met by harsh resistance from the New York Governor, who doubted its legality and even compared such a move to a federal “declaration of war” on New York.
Back here in California, President Trump’s decision to keep the economy essentially shut down (for now) is certainly being met with a sigh of relief. People need to stay home to flatten the curve. Now is not the time for bustling city streets. Nevertheless, the idea of that possibility lingers which is why the Calexit Campaign fully agrees with sociology profession Jim Glynn of Madera, who recently suggested in an opinion piece for his local paper that, “On the same date that Trump declares an end to COVID-19 precautions, California announces that the state secedes from the union.”
Again, it is not such a far-fetched idea. Given the right circumstances and the proper motivation, fueled by poor federal leadership or no leadership at all, states such as California, or others, ought to take matters into their own hands. A relevant case is Florida, which has set up checkpoints at its border with Georgia and Alabama, checking motorists arriving from other US states and directing those who had been in the New York or Louisiana regions to self-isolate in quarantine. Texas and Rhode Island are expected to follow suit this week.
If we had told you a year ago that motorists crossing the Florida-Georgia border would be questioned by Florida state troopers on whether they had been in New York, you would not have believed us. Yet that is the world we are living in today. Maybe it is time for California to take back control of its borders, too, as an independent country.