This month marks the fourth anniversary of one of the most disastrous assaults on human rights in American history. It was on March 16, 2020 that the President Trump issued "guidelines" for "15 days to slow the spread" which stated that "Governors of states with evidence of community transmission should close schools in affected and surrounding areas." The administration instructed all members of the public to "listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities."

It was at this time that an American president, for the first time in American history, introduced the idea that it was possible—and perfectly legal—for government institutions to "close down" the economy by forcibly shutting, en masse, countless businesses, schools, and churches. Trump stated repeatedly in press conferences that it was up to government officials to decide "if we open up." It quickly became standard procedure for health bureaucrats, governors, and media figures to casually speak of "closing the economy" or "opening up" as if we were talking about a coffee shop deciding on closing time.