- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country’s citizens to stay home, stay inside and stay off the streets — else face fines, police roundup and, if necessary, even jail.

Talk about starting a national panic.

Until you take a couple seconds and think about it, that is. Then it’s just, well, stupid.

“You must stay at home,” he told Britains in a televised address. “People will only be allowed to leave their home for … very limited purposes.”

Like?



Like shopping for food and other necessities; providing or obtaining medical services; going to work; or — and this is a bit eye-rolling, as it’s hard to imagining enforcing — “doing one form of exercise a day,” as CNN wrote.

There’s an easy-peasy excuse handed a pedestrian caught by police: Officer, I’m just taking a walk — just getting my exercise. See my running shoes? 

It’s a bit laughable, really.

Not to mention overkill.

“You should not be meeting friends,” Johnson chided. “If your friends ask you to meet, you should say, ‘No.’ You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.”

Do not pass Go. And under no circumstances collect $200.

“If you don’t follow the rules,” Johnson warned, “the police will have the power to enforce them.”

So how come the police get to patrol the streets — but nobody else? Those boys in blue, taking one for the Gipper. Putting themselves in medical harm’s way, so that Britain’s finest don’t have to — yes?

So far, 335 have died in the country.

“To put it simply,” Johnson said, “if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it — meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.”

So stay home — unless you’ve got to work out. Or go to work. Or, umm, shop. That’s the message?

It’s stern governmental warnings like this that fall on even a second grader’s deaf ears because it’s far too easy to point to the holes in the logic.

And you thought coronavirus was too serious a matter to make you laugh.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected]mes.com or on Twitter @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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