“Give me liberty or give me death!” John Wilkes wrote and cried out in the late 1790s (complaining about the state of the English voting system, but hang in there!).
It’s now 2020 and quite the opposite is true. If our governments allow us our liberty then this will cause more people to die. Our democracy cannot protect us by setting us free. Instead it must do the reverse, forcing us into a strange and surreal existence where we must remain trapped in our homes, only “allowed” out to buy essentials or for a short walk or run each day. Even then human contact with non-immediate family/housemates is forbidden.
This was all ironically much easier in China: it’s much easier to control a pandemic if you can can lock people in their homes or use force to make them to go to hospital. In a democracy you’re much more reliant on people to choose to comply with the rules, which makes it much harder to successfully lockdown the population – and so more likely that this pandemic will continue for much longer in Europe and the USA than it has in China.
More from me on the wider political and socio-economic implications another day I hope – when I don’t have three (wonderful but intense) children climbing on me as I write!