The only thing more surprising than how many governments went full Mao in shutting down their economies was how docilely most people accepted the restrictions. From businesses shutting down, to stay at home orders, to police enforcement of social distancing suggestions, Americans by and large have taken everything the government has said and declared at face value. Many have even demonstrated what good East Germans they would have been by calling police to complain about non-essential businesses remaining open or people not practicing social distancing. But if we thought this was as far as governments would go, we’re sorely mistaken.
There’s every indication that governments are looking at making restrictions on travel and movement a permanent feature of daily life going forward. There has been talk of “immunity certificates” being issued to those who have recovered from COVID-19 or those who are tested to be immune to COVID-19, allowing them to travel on airlines, open businesses, go to work, etc. In essence, unless you comply with the government’s health requirements, you won’t be able to live your life as you once knew it. And if you never got exposed to COVID-19 and can’t get a certificate? Too bad, so sad.
If something like this actually gets off the ground, and there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t in some way, shape, or form, it would inevitably be expanded to other diseases. Haven’t gotten an MMR booster since you were a teenager? Sorry, you’ll have to forfeit your First Amendment rights. Didn’t get the HPV vaccine? Same deal. Don’t want to get 500 gazillion new vaccines that Big Pharma wants to inject into your bloodstream? Well, forget about being able to make a living.
The precedent that such immunity certificates would have is a dangerous one, premised on the belief that it is somehow possible to stop diseases from spreading by controlling the movement of people. But that isn’t the case. The reality of human existence is that we give and receive bacteria and viruses all the time. And all it takes is one person with a virus to begin spreading it to hundreds or thousands of other people. Do we really want to live in a society that restricts our freedom of movement and way of life for the false promise of a disease-free existence?
Unfortunately, public opinion polls today demonstrate how easily Americans have been conditioned to accept everything they hear from the government. Over 60% of Americans support banning residents of other states from entering their states, as well as fining people who don’t maintain social distancing. We have to face the fact that we’re no longer a nation of freedom-loving individuals but rather a society of safety-seeking socialists who have no problem giving up our rights for the promise of creature comforts. The fight to regain our liberties will be a hard one, but it’s too important for us to give up on.