By Kevin Sieff | The Washington Post |
Around the world, as a consensus has formed around the need for quarantine and social distancing to fight the coronavirus, a more delicate question has emerged: How do you enforce those new rules?
In every region, under all kinds of political systems, governments are turning to increasingly stringent measures — and deploying their armed forces to back them up.
Countries as varied as China, Jordan, El Salvador and Italy have sent service members into the streets. Guatemala has detained more than 1,000 people. In Peru, those who flout government restrictions can be jailed for up to three years. In Saudi Arabia, it’s five.
Much of Europe is now on lockdown. But can authorities actually enforce those rules?
At no time since World War II have so many nations wrestled with what it means to be in a state of emergency and how to impose fundamental and sudden changes in human behavior.