New York Post reports defiant ‘corona potlucks’ and residents visiting ‘speakeasies’

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Prohibition has never worked, neither during the misguided ban on alcohol during the late 1920s and early 1930s, nor during the current coronavirus crisis.

According to an unsurprising report from the New York Post, despite New York City’s coronavirus lockdown and social distancing regulations, some locals are continuing to live their best lives, regardless of the law.

“Lucian Wintrich, a former White House reporter and advertisement hand, is one of them. The 31-year-old contrarian recently hosted a ‘corona potluck’ at his small but chic East Village apartment,” the outlet reported Saturday.

While social distancing zealots would be horrified, there’s some logic to the 31-year-old’s madness.

“They can’t diagnose us all,” a tongue-in-cheek invite to the potluck read. “Don’t wash your hands. … Bring your fav dish!”

“The majority of folks I invited, if they got it, would recover fairly quickly and build up an immunity to the present form of COVID19,” Wintrich said in a statement to the Post.

That’s true, according to President Donald Trump:

“It was relatively inspired by the chickenpox parties that were all the rage in the 90s,” Wintrich added.

Except those parties were designed by parents “to intentionally expose their unvaccinated children to a child with chickenpox in hopes that they would get the disease,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That way their children would develop an immunity to the disease at an early age, thus preventing them from having to suffer the significantly worse chickenpox symptoms experienced by adults who contract the disease.

In Wintrich’s case, he’s hosting potlucks to fight back against rules that have been instituted specifically to prevent people from being exposed to the coronavirus.

Despite this discrepancy, there is indeed logic to what Wintrich and countless other quarantined Americans throughout the states are doing. And to be clear, it’s not just random blokes like Wintrich (though he’s not exactly that random) who’re secretly taking part.

So is Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, the former chief biostatistician and epidemiologist at Rockefeller University Hospital, who openly admitted to the Post that he’s eschewed social distancing and regularly hangs out at one of two underground restaurants.

“Yesterday I went to my favorite speakeasy and had dinner,” he said.

Merriam-Webster defines a “speakeasy” as “a place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold” and notes that such places were common “during the period of prohibition in the U.S.

Wittkowski is among those who believe the proper solution to the current global coronavirus pandemic isn’t social distancing but rather herd immunity.

“All respiratory epidemics end when 80 percent of all people have become immune,” he said. “Then if a new person gets infected, the person doesn’t find anybody else to infect.”

“The best strategy you can do is isolate the old and fragile people — make sure that nobody visits the nursing homes — then let the children go to school and let people go to work. … They have a mild disease. Then they become immune, and after two or three weeks the epidemic is over.”

Meanwhile, life must be allowed to continue, critics of the current lockdown and social distancing policies argue.

“When Britain was being bombed by Nazi Germany during the blitz, they kept the f—king stores open,” one of Wintrich’s potluck pals said to the Post.

“People went about their lives,” another added. “We get a flu … and we shut everything down. … We have completely handed over our civil liberties … and anyone who wants to go out and live a normal life is semi-ostracized.”

He wasn’t wrong. Questions have emerged in recent days over just how many civil liberties the American people are willing to sacrifice on behalf of the greater public good.

Moreover, it’s not just a few residents in New York City who’re bucking lockdown and social distancing policies. This phenomenon is nationwide.

In recent weeks scofflaws have crowded the nation’s beaches, swamped D.C.’s cherry blossoms garden and even defiantly gone out to eat.

“It was delicious,” she tweeted, “and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want,” one scofflaw tweeted about two weeks ago.

Look:

Meanwhile, a whole host of stores have refused to follow orders from local officials demanding that so-called “non-essential businesses” be shuttered.

“Office space-sharing company WeWork is keeping nearly all of its locations open despite the novel coronavirus and mass shutdown orders in New York, Illinois, California and elsewhere,” CBS News reported Thursday.

“It’s even offering a monetary bonus of $100 a day to employees willing to go to the office, according to an internal memo that has been published online. … WeWork, which has struggled of late after once being among the hottest startups in the world, is also refusing to suspend rent for its tenants.”

While such refusals to abide by the status quo have earned companies like WeWork a lot of social media backlash, to non-conforming types like Wintrich and Wittkowski, they’re a signal that they’re not alone in their anti-social-distancing outrage.

Vivek Saxena

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