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The Long Tail of Consequences from COVID-19

Do We Realize How Much We Have Given Up During This Crisis?

I’m far from promoting conspiracy theories, but now that we’re talking about emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s time to have a serious discussion about what’s just happened in our culture and how much freedom we’ve given up. Among many other sources, a recent University of Chicago Law School report revealed just how much Democrats and Republicans both have been equally open to enacting measures that could slow the spread of the coronavirus but have also potentially undermined civil liberties.

The report revealed a “remarkable” level of tolerance for restrictions on liberty. But when you add the layer of religious concerns, it opens up even more questions.

But whether you’re religious or not, let’s just look at some of the issues that have happened over the last month or so:

1. In at least 23 states, police are using drones to monitor the public in their effort to keep social distancing limits. And European cities have been just as focused (if not more) on using drones to enforce the rules.

2. A mom was arrested (in front of her children) for bringing her kids to play at a public park.

3. Google and Apple have partnered to create apps that can track users and indicate if they’ve come into the vicinity of an infected person.

4. The BBC reports that companies are also developing tracking wrist-monitors in order to keep people in their homes. Others have promoted using chips embedded in the wrist to track people.

5. People have been arrested for not wearing medical masks.

6. Businesses have been shutdown in record numbers. Simply by the decree of a government official, we’ve been told we can’t work.

7. In some states, we’ve been told what we can buy and can’t buy. Ridiculous rules have been forced on us like not being able to purchase seeds or gardening equipment, or only being able to buy “essential items” in certain stores and nothing else.

8. Along with various “non-essential” businesses, churches have been shut down around the world. Now, as we’re seeing in Italy and other countries, as businesses are re-opening, the church shutdown continues and seems to be the last of their concerns.

9. People have been fined for sitting in their car at a drive-in church service.

10. To enhance surveillance, there’s been a recent explosion of interest by governmental agencies for thermal imaging cameras.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. What started as a positive effort to protect people has quickly escalated to massive government overreach – and the speed is astonishing. So aside from the devastating economic consequences of this lockdown, here’s a few reasons we should all be concerned:

1. In the case of tracking devices, while they are voluntary right now, the technology is there for it to be activated at any time. We know we’ve been tracked by mobile devices for some time, but now it’s been raised to entirely new levels.

2. The vast majority of these restrictions have not been enacted through the normal legal process, but simply through the mandates of political leaders who have suffered no job or salary loss for those decisions. Certainly we want to halt the spread of the virus, but in doing so, have we gone so far that our freedoms have become seriously compromised?

3. What happens if future politicians decide that if this worked for COVID-19, why wouldn’t it work for something else?
How many lives could we save if we restricted driving?
What work is considered essential and non-essential?
If we truly believe climate change will bring the end of civilization as we know it, why not use these draconian tracking and lockdown rules to achieve those goals?
Who gets to decide?

4. Of course these rules are supposed to be temporary, but we all know that they’re setting a precedent, and when precedents are set (particularly by the government) rolling them back is difficult if not impossible.

Let me know your thoughts. This is a conversation whose time has come…

 

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

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12 Comments

  1. Great questions! I know some of the things you listed have been or are being challenged in court. Everyone keeps saying these are “unprecedented” times, that’s literally true – there are few legal precedents that clarify what the president, governors, and local governments can and can’t do.

    1. I imagine most leaders who have doubts about the lockdown strategy haven’t spoken up for fear of being shouted down. But hopefully, now that some light is entering the room, people will be more bold and start asking questions.

  2. It is worrisome. As you mentioned most of this has been done by some form of executive order without any legislation. What will happen come September when the next flu season starts ramping up?

    1. Great question Jon. Although it’s speculation because we don’t know if that will happen, but I do believe we won’t be caught off guard like we were this time. We’ve ramped up medical facilities, equipment like ventilators, and developed new production lines. Plus, we’ll be much further along with research on the treatment and vaccine. I think much of the lockdown hysteria came from highly inaccurate projections from the beginning. The question is – now that we have more accurate data, will politicians admit the strategy needs to change?

  3. By the fall, it will be the damage to our bodies from the roll out of 5G technology across the country (interestingly how much is that happening in lockdown when no one is noticing or able to protest?), that will compromise our systems, yet another wave of ‘the virus’ will only cast blame and solidify these draconian measured that have gone below the radar of most law-abiding citizens…who are being led as sheep to the slaughter.

  4. Well said. I don’t think you can call it a theory if you’re watching it unfold before your eyes. Well you can rightfully say both parties were involved in the original lockdown, that decision was based on faulty models and false information. Now that real-life statistics are available Republican Governors are opening there States, Democrat governors are locking down indefinitely regardless of actual statistics. My “theory” is more of an observation.This is no longer about people getting sick or people dying from C19. This is about the presidential election. Dems have tried everything to get Trump out of office and failed. The DOJ is onto their attempted coup from Comey to Mueller to impeachment and heads are getting ready to roll. They’re in a panic because Trump is still standing and indictments are coming. Possibly for sedition, or treason and justifiably so. I believe fanatical Dems from the media and Congress to Governors and mayors are more interested in opposing Trump, forcing a showdown over opening and attempting to distract and manipulate the voters than they are with their citizens constitutional rights. And why so much Dem opposition to the HDQ treatment? Is it because they really don’t want a treatment because it will end the need for lockdown? Or because it cost less than a dollar and is manufactured all across the country but their new “approved” treatment cost $1,000 a pill and there is only one place making it?
    And why is NBC interviewing the Chinese Communist Party and trying to escalate diplomatic tensions?
    I mean what are they doing interviewing them about anything…EVER? Are they seriously siding with the CCP rather than the US? Thats messed up. Just sayin’…
    Thx!

  5. Jon said flu season. There is always a flu season and there has never been these outrageous measures taken. Politicians aren’t the only ones who need to view the more accurate data and adjust their thinking about the strategy in place. If the public accepts the shutdowns and refuses to listen now that actual data is accumulating, politicians won’t have any reason to change the strategy.

  6. The people (not even the politicians) who are asking questions are only able to ask other like minded people. We who would challenge the blind acceptance of these draconian measures fear retribution from strangers as well as friends and family members who disagree with us.

  7. When you look at all the companies affiliated with this C19 it raises more questions and concerns. The trade aggreement deal between China and the US was signed. Time frame I havent researched. China, WHO, Clinton Foundation, Fucci (sp) two others companies I believe are involved. I’ve not dug into researching all of it. I still belive uts worth digging deeper. Im not into conspiracy theories. I believe there is a deeper issue (s) at the forefront of what is going on and has gone on. Any feed back on this would be appreciated.

  8. The ability to track us by our phones is something we overlook. Last year I shut off all the tracking features on my phone and realized how little I could do. GPS software and using maps and finding directions, or finding the nearest location for a business is all hindered greatly if not impossible.

  9. In Illinois, we’ll probably still be waiting for the governor to lift the shelter in place from March…

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