The reaction to this virus concerns me deeply. We are suddenly hearing far too many shrill calls to listen to Big Brother blindly – meaning debate and healthy questioning is frowned on. This is never good news for society.
We see too many curtain twitchers willing to tattle on neighbours and report others to authorities. This is lamentable and soon leads to a police state rising up. Drones used to spy on people walking in isolation? What is that about? It is certainly an affront to freedom.
And finally we see far too many people refusing to balance the current risk of contagion with the potentially worse future risk of shutting down an economy and causing widespread poverty. How many will die when hospitals cannot function and half a population is out of work?
Social distancing at present is wise. We must protect the vulnerable. BUT as we do what is necessary we must not sleepwalk into an Orwellian future and hand governments power that can then be abused and later used against us. History shows that most dictators are given power in time of crisis that they later refuse to give up.
Therefore let us encourage and champion good choices on behalf of a free democracy NOT champion draconian enforcement from on high. Let us encourage but not force people to comply. Let us do what needs to be done to protect life whilst also insisting that civil liberties be defended.
Otherwise we might just find the baby of freedom is thrown out with the bath water of viral threat.