The Wuhan virus continues to challenge governments at every level.
Some countries and even local governments in the United States have taken extreme measures.
And it’s having one dangerous effect on society.
So far, there have been at least 1.93 million cases of the coronavirus and over 120,000 deaths worldwide.
In the United States alone there have been over 580,000 cases and nearly 24,000 deaths.
The hot spot for the virus is New York State with roughly 195,000 cases and over 10,000 dead overall, but the majority of cases have been in New York City with 100,000 cases and over 7,300 deaths confirmed.
One of the unfortunate consequences of this has been a rise in crime.
While major crimes in New York City have dropped by 33%, property crimes have risen significantly.
According to reports, burglaries in East and Central Harlem are up 18%, and burglaries and car thefts in southeast Queens are up 50%.
Donovan Richards, a city councilman from Queens and chair of the Public Safety Committee, says the high rates of infection and skyrocketing unemployment has been a “recipe for disaster.”
The unprecedented shutdown of the U.S. economy is understood as a necessary measure, but people are getting restless.
It doesn’t help that officials in New York City and other jurisdictions announced releasing some criminals in order to limit the spread of the virus in prisons – but in addition, officials have also announced that property crimes won’t be prosecuted.
This has given some criminals free rein to prey on communities, as seen in Harlem and Queens.
And while burglary or car theft doesn’t quite shock the conscience like violent crimes, they still pose devastating ramifications.
For this reason, there’s been a huge spike in gun purchases. Many people, even in blue states like New York and California, are buying guns to protect themselves and their families.
In times of emergency, even those who are naturally averse to guns are exercising their Second Amendment rights.
And in some instances, first-time gun buyers have found themselves frustrated by the many regulations and waiting periods for buying a gun – restrictions they likely voted for.
Until the lockdown procedures are lifted and the economy revs up again, things could get more dangerous as more people become desperate.
And with city resources spread so thin, it underscores the fact that citizens need to be responsible for their own self-defense.