The restrictions are the point.
I’ve suggested repeatedly that the motivation for the heavy government hand on COVID in states like Rhode Island isn’t a practical reaction to the virus so much as an emotional need to know that the government can tell people to do things when it wants. Ben Shapiro has a similar point of view:
So, why pursue useless — no, counterproductive — COVID-19 restrictions?
Because the big-government lie must be maintained. It is an article of faith. And faith requires reason-free sacrifice — it requires skin in the game, demonstration of devotion. To pursue rational policy would evidence no fealty to the notion of government-as-protective-god. To pursue irrational policy and then demand obeisance — this is the mark of the faithful. And if you are not faithful, you are a heretic.
And so regulatory genuflection becomes a test of virtue. Effectuating strict regulations is a sign of moral strength, of belief in the myth of government as catholicon. Pushing back against those restrictions is a sign of heresy.
I think the need for salvation comes first and the faith in government second, but it amounts to the same thing.