Beginning last Thursday different states and municipalities began issuing official "Shelter-in-Place" orders, these orders contain essentially the same directives that we have been hearing for the last two weeks (stay home, 6 foot barrier, etc). The difference here is these are "official orders", which mean the powers that be are no longer asking nicely for you to isolate yourself, they are commanding you to do so (AKA double secret quarantine). In addition the orders give the government and police the authority to do things like fine your or throw you in jail if you don't follow the guidelines they've outlined.
To give some context, if you aren't down with social distancing in the most chill state in the union (huh-wahy-ee) you could get hit with a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Not chill.
Outside of what you already know and common sense, there are two important pieces of information in each shelter-in-place order:
- When They Expire: The earliest expiration date of any of the orders i've seen so far (ughm, Dallas) is April 3rd, which means that is the absolute soonest we could even hope for things to start returning to normal.
SIDE NOTE: This possibility jeopardizes the generation-defining-possibility of WrestleMania 36 taking place in an empty arena.
- Which Businesses Are Considered "Essential": Businesses considered "essential" are permitted to remain open during the shelter-in-place period. Some of the businesses on the essential list are no-brainers like hospitals, grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, etc; however some businesses that certain people consider essential but others might not are a bit of a grey area.... Obviously i'm talking about booze stores and weed shops.
Luckily for most of you functional alcoholics & po-theads out there, thus far the majority of states and counties have elected to keep the good-times-rolling during this period in which we are most in need of substances that help us forget where we are in the morning and assist us in thinking about space travel. For some reason however, on Monday the Mayor of the Capital of the second most chill state in the union (kol-uh-rad-oh) did something very un-chill and issued Denver's shelter-in-place order & essential businesses list with liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries noticeably absent.
Being that distilled beverages and chiefing nugs are two of the four pillars of the 'Denver Lifestyle' (the other two being doing-mountain-stuff, and seasonal employment) you could imagine this caused quite a panic. To make matters worse, Mayor Michael Hancock rubbed salt in the wounds of Denver's Wookie and Party Communities in the form of a quote he gave to the Denver Post that makes him sounds like your friend in high school who wouldn't admit he's a virgin,
As much as I might think it’s essential for me, it’s not essential for everyone.” - Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
He then suggested Denver residents should just "buy their supplies on Monday night while they still could." He made this insulting suggestion knowing damn well that Monday night is $1 Grateful Dead tribute night at Sancho's Broken Arrow, a can't miss for the majority of Denver's stoners. Savage.
As rumors of Denver's impending temporary prohibition grew, so did the volume of google searches for "Where is my bus stop?" and "Free Lyft code". The previously quiet sidewalks were suddenly buzzing with the hum of cheap mountain bike tires mixed with the strained breathing of middle aged men with suspended licenses. In an unprecedented display of initiative, within just a couple of hours of the news breaking - liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries alike were overwhelmed with hundreds of agitated Denverites crammed well-within-coughing-range of each other in lines stretching multiple blocks long.
At the Alternative Medicine Weed Shop on Capitol Hill a group of annoyed (but still chill) 420Friendly individuals threw social distancing out the fucking window and lined up to make sure they could still turn up while locked down.
As the crowds grew the Mayor started receiving shots from both folks that put partying above all else…
For the record, I agree with @Nunyobidnessss's conspiracy theory.
…and complete psychos…
It was quickly becoming clear that the Mayor's nerd-ass-nerd plan had completely backfired and most likely caused the virus to spread to more people.
In a rare instance of a politician doing something that wasn't motivated by attempting to please active voters, Mayor Hancock amended the order to include liquor stores and weed shops as essential businesses, putting an end to Denver's prohibition. I hope leaders from other cities and states learn from soon-to-be-impeached Michael Hancocks mistakes and don't try and pull this same shit. This is what democracy looks like.