There are two views of politics. In the first the People are born free and the State intervenes to prevent oppression by powerful individuals and groups. The purpose of the State is to protect freedom and the individual. In the second view people are born into service to society and the role of the State is to enrol the population into communitarian activity and behaviour and to permit “rights”. The purpose of the State is to protect “society”.
The release of the population from COVID restrictions is highlighting the difference between these ideas of politics. Public sector workers such as academics and doctors conceive of any avoidable deaths as too many whereas those running businesses and those who desire to lead a full life believe that freedom will always entail a risk of death.
Even after widespread flu vaccination tens of thousands of people die annually from flu. COVID was worse than flu and very dangerous, lockdowns were justified, but now it is less dangerous than flu for those who are vaccinated. We do not and must not shut down our countries to avoid these deaths.
Part of being human is to sometimes suffer with illness and grief, everyone will eventually die. Part of the frisson of any exciting activity is that it could go wrong: you could go broke, you could fall, you could lose your job, you could get lost etc. etc. Risk is an essential ingredient of being brave and free.
If, by July 2022 there have only been 10,000 deaths from COVID over the year the Government will have done the right thing by fully opening up. Not that this will save them from the postmodern BBC which will make headlines out of almost any deaths from COVID whilst suppressing data on deaths in general – something must be done about the BBC.
There are four caveats to opening up fully. The first is that the government should finance vaccines and drugs for variants that are escaping the vaccines and introduce booster shots to deal with these alongside the annual flu vaccination campaign. The second is that if the death rate from COVID is exceeding 100 deaths a day (30,000 a year) special measures may be needed. The third is to issue clear guidance on how to avoid COVID and other respiratory infections for those who wish to protect themselves. The fourth is to closely monitor “long COVID”/postcovid syndrome: is it very serious, does it mean that vaccinating children is essential?
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://pol-check.blogspot.com/2021/07/ending-lockdown-is-political.html