The psychological devastation caused by teaching children to fear their own hands, other people, the air they breathe and that their very presence poses a lethal threat to others is but one of the many casualties of COVID.
- While the casualties of government-imposed COVID-19 countermeasures are manifold, the biggest and most tragic of them all is the loss of individual freedoms.
- We either choose freedom, or we choose to live under authoritarian rule. Even if restrictions are lifted, public attitude can place freedom on shaky ground, as public acceptance of overreach will allow for the same to occur again and again at a moment’s notice.
- The freedom to interact with other human beings is a crucial, most basic human need.
- The inevitabilities of life — which include uncertainty, moment-to-moment risk and the surety of death — demand that we not require people to cease living in order to “save” others from the ramifications of ill health.
- The answer, if we really want to protect the masses, is to educate and promote healthy living at all stages of life. Improving your health through a healthy lifestyle, sunshine, fresh air and real food, is the best way to protect the most people.
While the casualties of government-imposed COVID-19 countermeasures are manifold, the biggest and most tragic of them all is the loss of individual freedoms. As noted by Jonathan Sumption in his February 15, 2021, Telegraph commentary:
“What makes us a free society is that, although the state has vast powers, there are conventional limits on what it can do with them. The limits are conventional because they do not depend on our laws but on our attitudes.
“There are islands of human life which are our own, a personal space into which the state should not intrude without some altogether exceptional justification.
“Liberal democracy breaks down when frightened majorities demand mass coercion of their fellow citizens, and call for our personal spaces to be invaded. These demands are invariably based on what people conceive to be the public good. They all assert that despotism is in the public interest.”
A fragile freedom
As Sumption points out, “We cannot switch in and out of totalitarianism at will.” We either choose freedom, or we choose to live under authoritarian rule. Even if (and that’s a big if, at this point) restrictions are lifted, public attitude can place freedom on shaky ground, as public acceptance of overreach will allow for the same to occur again and again at a moment’s notice.
This is a serious problem, as there will always be other epidemics and pandemics. There is always the threat of terrorism and climate change. There will always be a public health calamity, be it obesity or diabetes, that can be used as justification for government intrusion into our private lives.
“A threshold has now been crossed,” Sumption writes. “A big taboo has gone. Other governments will say that the only question that matters is whether it works and whether they can ‘get away with it’ … We already have a striking example. The vaccine, which was supposed to make the lockdown unnecessary, has become a reason for keeping it in force …
“Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are plunging, but millions who are at virtually no risk are being kept in house imprisonment. This is being done mainly because a selective regime of controls would be too difficult for the state to enforce. Coercion quickly becomes an object in itself.”