You’re always a delight to read, Tom Gregg, and I say this from the bottom of my socialist heart. Exquisitely written and always food for thought.
And the examples you used do not make much sense to me either. Why not keep essential businesses open including hardware stores and garden centers, enforce social distancing rules by only letting a set amount of customers in at a time, and clean your premises better.
This is what Dutch supermarkets have done, reducing their opening hours to make up for extra cleaning while going all out during the day as well. At least one in my city is a little extra and won’t let you in if you don’t use hand sanitizer then put on the gloves they provide. I came home looking like I had had a fight with a bag of flour. There was talcum powder in the gloves.
That particular chain is also obsessive about cleaning carts / baskets. Others just provide cleaning supplies and paper and trust you to clean it if you want to. And of course there’s Plexiglas shields everywhere to protect the workers.
As a whole, people are compliant and reasonable, perhaps because the government trusts us to be…