The Virginia Department of Health is encouraging citizens to lodge anonymous complaints against small businesses for violating Gov. Ralph Northam's (D.) coronavirus-related restrictions on public gatherings.
Virginia residents can report alleged violations of Northam's executive orders regarding the use of face masks and capacity requirements in indoor spaces via a portal on the health department's website, a practice commonly known as "snitching." Snitching, a cowardly form of betrayal, is typically frowned upon in a functioning society, particularly when done anonymously.
The webpage gives snitchers several options regarding the "type of establishment" on which they are intending to snitch. These include "indoor gun range" and "religious service," among others. Republican state senator Mark Obenshain expressed concern that churches and gun ranges were "specifically" singled out, noting, "there is nothing to prevent businesses from snitching on competitors, or to prevent the outright fabrication of reports."
Northam, who remains in office despite admitting to wearing either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan robe while in medical school, has not always followed his own rules. The governor was forced to apologize in May, for example, after he was caught mingling and taking selfies with supporters sans face mask in Virginia Beach just moments before announcing an executive order mandating the use of masks in public spaces.
Also of note: Underachieving NBA forward Carmelo Anthony played high school basketball in Virginia before becoming a prominent advocate for the anti-snitching movement.