Essential Services

Essential Services April 9, 2020

Government has asked businesses to shut down except for some essential services, like grocery stores. Most businesses have complied, with the notable exception of certain churches that claimed their “services” were essential, and that forcing them to close was “persecution” of religion, and even unconstitutional, violating the Free Exercise Clause. Also, gun shops protested that it was “essential” that people should be able to buy guns at all times. I suppose they are claiming that the Second Amendment guarantees them that right. Using that logic, shoe stores should also be open. Shoes are arguably more “essential” than guns.

Of course, all of that is nonsense. Nobody is saying churches can’t have services online, or that gun buyers can’t shop online. Free exercise of religion does not include the right to endanger others. I think most people get that, and don’t have a problem with the government actions to try to stop the spread of the virus. But there are always the nutcases.

I saved the best for last. This is from a friend who lives in the Chicago area part of the year, and has a condo in Cuenca, Ecuador where she spends the winter months. She just sent us this little tidbit about how the virus is affecting life there:

Prostitution Ruled Non-essential

Cuenca officials said Monday that licensed houses of prostitution are not allowed to operate during the health emergency. Owners of two brothels had petitioned the city that their services were essential to the mental and physical well-being of the city’s male population. They also offered assurances that sex workers would wear masks and gloves while performing their duties. In denying the request, a city clerk suggested that men take matters into their own hands while sheltering at home.

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