Editorial: COVID-19 pandemic shows freedom is not affirmation of selfish entitlement
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 -- The ways to deal with controlling the spread of COVID-19 are not about limiting freedom but affirming the notion freedom that inspired our nation's founders. Freedom is "doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, as long as what we do does not harm them," said John Stuart Mill in "On Liberty." It is selfish entitlement that gives anyone license to, by choice or purposeful neglect, ignore and put at risk the liberty and life of others. No society that values freedom can survive on these terms.Posted — Updated
“The next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.” Vaccines and treatments maybe “coming down the pike" but not soon enough to slow the impending jump in cases. “When I was on this show last on Sept. 13, we had 33,000 cases reported that day. You may recall I warned that we were going to see a very dark fall. Friday, we had 70,000 cases, matching the largest number we had seen back during the really serious peak in July. That number, we’re going to blow right through that. And between now and the holidays, we will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases.”
Dr. Osterholm has nothing to gain with his dire outlook – other than the hope that people will heed the warning and take appropriate action.
That same day the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases increased to 59,269 per day, a 34% increase from the average two weeks earlier. More than 8.8 million Americans have been infected and more than 220,000 have died. In North Carolina, the number of cases has exceeded 247,000 and deaths surpassed 4,000. New cases per day are averaging 2,080 – close to the highest rates of this summer.
In North Carolina, somewhat fortunately, Gov. Roy Cooper has been taking his cues from medical and scientific experts like Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state Secretary of Health and Human Services. In the face of misguided notions of freedom and partisanship, misinformed carping from politicians like Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Senate leader Phil Berger, they’ve ignored Trump’s dangerous notions and lack of leadership.
Even as some of our institutions, including schools, seek to phase back to in-person activities it is coming in fits-and-starts as the deadly spread of COVID-19 remains unpredictable and difficult to contain.
Callous and frivolous notions of acceptable casualties, particularly among the old and infirmed ignore the obvious. None of those who die of COVID-19 have been fated to it. Each is loved by someone – as a parent, child, sibling, spouse relative or friend.
The ways to deal with controlling the spread are not about limiting freedom, but rather affirm the notions of freedom that inspired our nation’s founders.
It is selfish entitlement that gives anyone license to, by choice or purposeful neglect, ignore and put at risk the liberty and life of others.
No society that values freedom can survive on these terms.
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