Knowing what we know now, have you ever thought about what it would have looked like to use freedom as our approach to the coronavirus?
Imagine if we hadn’t closed anything down and left it up to people to make their own decisions.
People could decide whether or not they wanted to keep their business open or go to work. They could decide whether or not they were going to head to the office or work from home (for those to whom that is an option). People could also decide whether or not they wanted to shop at, or patronize, those businesses that chose to stay open.
Imagine if school continued, but parents could decide if their children would attend in person or select the online route. Along with parents, teachers could decide whether or not they wanted to teach through this. If they didn’t, they could be given a percentage of their normal wage or no wage at all. Those who wanted to teach could secure those spots (albeit temporarily, if that makes the most sense).
Sports fields would have been left open, and those who wanted to stay healthy and get some valuable vitamin D could opt to play. Those who wanted to avoid those fields could do so. Likewise, we could open gyms for people who wanted to work out. And if people didn’t want to work in those environments, they could take a leave or quit.
Grocery shoppers could keep going to the store whenever they wanted, or they could find a service or volunteer to do that for them.
All businesses could determine, on their own, if they would prefer patrons to wear masks or not. If they preferred that, they could ask patrons to respect the wishes of the owner. Or the owners could designate times for those who wouldn’t wear a mask.
Buses could run their schedules and pick up those who choose to ride. Those who don’t can avoid it, as could the drivers who didn’t feel safe.
Naturally, now that we understand the at risk groups, we could all work together to take special care among and for them.
Personal responsibility goes two ways. We can all take our own responsibility for not getting the virus by taking the steps we choose. We can wear a mask, or not. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest they don’t work at all, but still seem like they can at least be effective in sneeze blocking.
Likewise, we can all do our part to not get others sick. As I mentioned, there’s plenty of debate about whether or not a mask can stop the spread. But we’re also social distancing, giving us two weapons in our arsenal.
However, the fact is there’s no sure way to stop the spread, and there’s plenty of reason to not want to stop it.
The virus is inevitably going to spread, whether we like it or not. The more testing we do, the more accuracy we have around just how fast and far it spreads. But even that data doesn’t tell us who already had it. It only tells us who has it now.
The more we spread the disease, the faster our bodies build immunity, which means the faster we can get back to, or close to, normal activity. And the more people build immunity, the fewer carriers and the sooner we slow or even stop the spread.
When I hear of all the surges, I only hear good news. The more people who get it, the faster we can all move on. And Summer is the perfect time to get it, before the next strains of flu and pneumonia arrive.
The thing about freedom is that people get to make their own choices. We trust people to do what’s best for them and their families. We take it out of the hands of the government and give the power back to the people for whom government works.
Those who don’t trust people don’t have to participate. They can determine for themselves how they’re going to proceed in a free society.
That’s the miracle and strength of freedom: everyone gets to have some control over their life, and some say in the outcome.
With the possible exception of the initial two weeks of lockdown, I think we’ve handled the coronavirus poorly because we shut down at the expense of all the other diseases that still exist. People avoided critical health screenings or addressing other health needs for fear of getting the virus, or because the hospital was shut to non-COVID patients.
By cooping people up, we also discouraged physical activity, making people more vulnerable to the virus, while encouraging alcoholism, drug use, domestic violence, depression, stress, and a host of other maladies.
Of course, freedom works much better with an informed society. And given what a poor job our mainstream media outlets do giving people the information they need to navigate life, it’s up to people to search for the information and data they need.
For example, while the media continues to report the surges in red states, you have to look hard to find that the death rates have been dropping steadily since early April. People are either asymptomatic or simply getting past it. All as the death rate shrinks to nearly that of the flu death rate.
States like Florida and Georgia are leading the way, and in a few months, we’ll see they’re the first to get to the other side. I understand there are different philosophies and approaches, but I would prefer the freedom to choose mine for myself.