Our system of governing has created a problem in the way that it eats away at personal liberty, or perhaps it is the privilege of doing certain things that are simply no longer there for us to do.
For example, movie theaters are dead. They can’t open, the local governments won’t let them, and even if they did, if a person gets sick from going to the movies, a lawsuit would be the final nail in the coffin of theaters. Reel Cinema Chains announced this week it is staying shut across dozens of cities.
All of this of course is created by the coronavirus. Coronavirus is destroying our personal liberties in ways no one could have ever predicted. The coronavirus has accomplished two major feats: it has given government unlimited power to control movement of anyone, and it has created a human fear in all of us that puts us on edge.
I now prefer to stay away from people. I’m a bit of a hermit workaholic anyway, but now I have a great excuse to stay indoors, and no one questions it. I am sure hundreds of millions of people feel the same way.
It’s the liberty thing that bothers me. It’s watching people like New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo using bad science to control large swaths of human behavior because they are probably worried about costs.
And then there are the masks.
It’s now a cultural decree, almost eerily like the Star of David wrapped around our sleeves in NAZI Germany, that we all submit to wearing them as a show of support for the State, except that this seems like en masse voluntary submission to the State by fear, the fear of dying and the fear of getting ostracized or being infected.
Wearing a mask is essential if you are in close contact with a lot of people and you want to play it safe. But wearing it for show, as in the case of a news reporter giving a newscast staring at a camera that is 10 feet away (and probably behind glass) sends the strong message of compliance and submission.
I have never liked ribbon stickers either, and I am old enough to remember where the stupid custom came from.
You get my drift?
We seem to willing to give up our liberties in the name of safety, and others seem to willing to condemn those who disagree. It is clear people are really, really frightened about COVID, even though, statistically, it is not a very deadly disease.
We confuse cases with deaths.
Cases show us the virus is moving through society, as any bacteria or virus would. The numbers are scary and it is a major feat that all of this data, which we assume is mostly accurate (but probably isn’t), tells us the coronavirus can most certainly take out many vulnerable people.
But so does pneumonia, which kills nearly 900,000 people a year.
Alcoholism kills over 2 million people a year.
If the news media reported on the daily death counts of drinking with the same feverish frequency, what kind of effect do you think it would have on us?
Would we drink less, would we condemn drinkers more and restrict their behavior? would we outlaw bars be open past 9pm?
If we provided a daily update of the number of people who were dying everyday from religious persecution, which is ten times higher than COVID, would that change behavior?
Or how about Muslims murders, which is three times higher than Christian murders, would this fact change our behavior?
The psychological effect of a headcount of death most assuredly makes it easy to control human behavior in media as well as in government, and that is what is happening, and both bring about the slow death of liberty.
The death of liberty comes in many forms.
There is fear which robs us of our life, there is fear which prevents us from moving about freely, there is political tyranny which provides force against our liberty.
And then there is the death of truth and there is death by deception, where facts are withheld or misrepresented which prevents us from the knowing the truth about the real dangers of this virus.
It is my fondest and heartfelt hope that there are still more people wo will wake up to the fact that we are living under soft tyranny, and far too many of us are comfortable with that.
There is also a tsunami coming in the form of economic disaster if we do not get our country working again. And that includes opening up our movie theatres, the metaphor for normalcy in a free and open society.