Two elements of the nation’s COVID-19 reaction are problematic. First, the plurality of poor souls who contract the virus do not suffer long-term, nor do they die. Yet we’ve shut down the world and spoiled our robust economy because of this flu-like virus. If COVID-19 had the ravaging effects of AIDS, then it would be a true public health crisis. But medical officials tell us it’s not that potent.
The economy itself provides plenty of public health benefits — physical, social, psychological, emotional, medical, etc. After weeks of not working, many will be fortunate to have jobs once this panic subsides.
The soon-to-be 70-year-old Lt. Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, said last Monday (3-23-2020) that we need to get back to work. 1 My own hard working mom, who’s over 70, says the same thing. The young, the elderly, and those already ill should indeed self-isolate. This is why I support school districts holding classes online at this time — a forced “self isolation” of minors by adults for their own good. But the rest of us need to go back to work.
Secondly, the notion of government officials issuing stay-at-home orders is truly alarming. These “orders” certainly do not supersede the U.S. Constitution (the 4th Amendment2, among other places) or the God-given rights outlined in the Declaration3, namely liberty.
On nextdoor.com someone recently posted that there’s a non-essential business still opened and asked for a phone number to report this stubborn entrepreneur. I cautioned everyone that we certainly do not want to begin calling “the authorities” on one another for benign offenses. Besides, who’s to say that business does not provide an “essential service” for people with a disorder of some type? The post was taken down a short time after, either because of my suave points … or because someone wants to avoid controversy.
WE THE PEOPLE are supposed to self-govern, not rely on government officials who feel they determine when we can leave home. If we don’t, we’ll slouch an inch closer to what Venezuela is now, with regular stay-at-home orders issued by political leaders, some of whom are sincere and others crafty, all in the name of public health and safety.
Remember the old maxim: Those who give up freedom in order to gain security will have neither.
1. Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick’s comments on 3-23-2020
2. 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
3. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”
Link to the full Declaration