The Case For Freedom Especially During COVID
COVID is a terrible virus but tyranny is worse
Last time, I wrote how there would be a reckoning over the response to COVID. After all, someone has to pay the price for destroying so many lives and livelihoods.
One of the worst things that have come out of the pandemic is the near-universal assault on freedom that has resulted. As we pointed out on Tuesday, civil liberties around the world have been demolished in the name of fighting the pandemic. The virus and the resulting lockdowns have been used to justify crackdowns on everything from freedom of association to freedom of speech.
Instead of continuing to embrace the heavy hand of government, we should be embracing freedom even now. But many people who, correctly, take the virus seriously sincerely believe that only a heavy-handed response by the government is the only way forward.
I was in that camp myself. Last year, I was an initial supporter of the lockdowns believing that they were necessary to preserve hospital capacity, which is how they were originally sold all around the world. I only changed my position to a more open and light-handed approach towards combating the virus once I realized that the goalposts were moving and the lockdown goals were becoming a futile attempt to try and suppress the virus.
What we need to have our policies backed by science and data. We do not have that right now. Instead, we have policies that are intended by our leaders to show that they are in charge and are actively combating the virus. We have pandemic theater, not science.
Let’s take for example the mask mandates that so many public officials are in love with. Many of our rulers have been telling us that if we just wear our cloth masks, that COVID would not be a problem. The fact that the CDC is now recommending double-masking, that should tell you how effective the cloth masks everyone has been wearing since last year has been.
Since I’m talking about masks, I’m going to interrupt for a second. If a business requires you to wear a mask on their property, just do it. Don’t be a Karen. That goes for people who are known to harass people for not wearing masks outside. Masks should have never been a culture war item but instead should have been a scientific debate.
What about locking down restaurants and bars? There is evidence from contract tracing that they are responsible for very few cases.
In the end, there is only one thing that will get us out of the COVID mess, herd immunity. The only way to achieve that without killing a whole lot of people is through vaccination. As Florida is showing, once you vaccinate your seniors, the case fatality rate plummets to near nothing.
Even more good news on the vaccine front, we hit an average of over 2 million doses a day being administered in the U.S. This should be good news to anyone who wants to end COVID restrictions and get back to normal.
Finally, we need to have something to look forward to. Moving towards an embrace of more freedom would lift everyone’s spirits. It will also encourage compliance with the remaining public health requests in these last few months of the pandemic.
Being smart on COVID and taking this disease seriously does not mean accepting every restriction being proposed. The normal default pattern in the name of freedom that we enjoy in liberal democracies is still relevant and still true even now.
With the vaccine out there, it’s time to start getting back to normal. It’s to embrace freedom again.