I haven’t stated much on this topic since starting this blog, not because it is a hot topic, but more because I think I suffer from the same problem we all suffer from: I’ve gotten used to it. After more than a year of living with this “new normal”, I’ve slowly move from being angry at the imposition to resigned that there is nothing I can do about it. The general public has come to accept these new restrictions on our lives, and it is unlikely that we will ever truly get back to where we were before this all started.
You might be thinking to yourself that this is paranoid, and that now that the vaccine is being administered it is only a matter of time before businesses reopen and people are allowed to move around freely once again. The problem with this way of thinking isn’t that can’t expect our daily lives to return to most of what they were before. It is highly likely that we will not notice much difference between what our lives were pre-pandemic and what they will be once we declare it over.
The problem I’m addressing today is that we have established a very dangerous precedent with our willingness to comply with such extreme measures. We complied so readily with not only the initial lockdowns, but also with the endless extensions to rules that were only supposed to be in place for a short time to “flatten the curve”. As we look back on the past year, we can see how our fears were manipulated to continue adding more and more time to these draconian measures, and we are still not out of it yet.
This is the problem with things like quarantine. On the surface, it makes a lot of sense because preventing contact with others is a proven way to reduce exposure. It appeals our logical nature and our need to feel like we’re doing something to control the situation. So instead of sticking to the principles of freedom our country was founded on, we laid down like sheep to the oppression of the government.
Where this becomes truly sinister is that we have not only shown our own government that they are free to impose any restrictions they like on us if they can exploit our own fears enough, we have made an even bigger mistake as well. In our readiness to accept confinement to our homes and restrictions to our ability to be free in public spaces, we have shown our enemies abroad that we are much weaker than we used to be. Previous generations would never have tolerated what we have put up with for over a year now.
You might think this is an overreaction, but the problem is that countries like China and Russia have historically shown that their value systems are directly opposed to our own and are seeking ways to establish global dominance. Even something as simple as our citizens accepting new limitations on our own freedoms is viewed by these types of governments as another step toward their goal of bringing America down from its position as the premier nation of the world and their own rise as the next superpowers.
Most of us never think about these complex topics. We tend to be single issue people who are more concerned about our own daily lives than what is going on around us. While there is nothing wrong with this from a moral perspective, it is detrimental to our society that the average person remains almost completely uninformed about not only how our government is changing things, but also how our position in the world is become slowly eroded over time. The sad part is that just like the Roman Empire, most people won’t recognize the problem until the barbarians are climbing over the walls.
How do you feel about the quarantine? Did it make you feel any safer, or was it an infringement on your freedoms? Would you allow it to happen again, or do you think we should reject it? There are vastly differing opinions on this topic, and the discussion surrounding it will be heated for years to come. We should all take some time to think about it without the influence of others and decide if it is something we want to happen again in the future.
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