One of the best-remembered episodes of the TV show Candid Camera came when a sign was held up on our northern boundary proclaiming that “Delaware is closed.”
One memorable response came from a motorist who asked – “Is Jersey open?” The segment became the stuff of legend in Delaware.
Decades later, Candid Camera host and creator Allen Funt worried that the stunt and the show, in general, demonstrated an America that did not question authority.
Funt, who passed away in the late 1990s, would have been interested in the response to Gov. John Carney’s order for visitors to undergo a coronavirus quarantine for two weeks.
In essence, it is an order for visitors and second home occupants to “stay away” as the pandemic intensifies in New York City and northern New Jersey.
The order will be enforced through limited actions that include police having the right to pull over motorists with out of state plates.
On social media, some people lost their minds when learning the news as they worried, about things like traveling from Maryland to Middletown to pick up pre-ordered groceries.
Maryland and Pennsylvania construction workers will also be able to travel to their Delaware jobs, for now declared essential.
Still, others want a complete lockdown, a tough proposition in a state that is between nine and 35 miles wide.
Their view is that a few weeks of pain will quickly “flatten the curve” of infections and get Delaware out of the woods.
A few claim Carney’s action was unconstitutional. This may be the same crowd that believes coronavirus is no more than a form of the flu.
Relax everyone. You can sneak across the border and probably not see the flashing lights on the top of that SUV
The goal is to limit the spread of a virus that left unchecked would overwhelm the state’s hospital system. Tougher action may be needed, but Gov. Carney walks a tightrope between personal liberties and to what can be done to reduce community spread.
If a minority of out of state residents observe the order, it could save lives.
As a columnist for The Atlantic wrote earlier this month, it would be far better to say at some point that Delaware and the nation overreacted than to see a million or more deaths and long-term devastation for the economy. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.