This Christmas season it would be nice to be thankful for what we have, but the year 2020 will likely be one for the history books, a time when Americans saw many of their liberties either taken away or put in chains while a pandemic with a less than 1% mortality rate shut down the world. Since St. Patrick’s Day, we have had to celebrate holidays like criminals, hiding out with friends and family or isolating ourselves from society. Ironically, even our Independence Day celebrations were taken from us, and now Dr. Anthony Fauci suggests that it’s our very independence that’s aiding in the spread of COVID.
What was only supposed to be a two-week shutdown to get ahead of the curve has turned into nine months – and counting – of closed businesses, curfews, restricted shopping and activities, and joblessness for millions of Americans. Dr. Fauci – the nation’s COVID-19 expert, or so we’re told – said, “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re still in the tunnel.” When asked in an interview with a prominent Washington newspaper if the different outcome was more because of “American individualism” or President Donald Trump and his administration’s refusal to impose nationwide mandates, the good doctor said:
“[I]ndependent spirit in the United States of people not wanting to comply with public health measures has certainly hurt us a bit.”
There is a difference between responsibility and independence. On one side of the coin, those in favor of wearing masks and shutting down mom and pop businesses deem it a responsibility to humankind, to prevent the spread of a disease that is killing people. Flip that coin over, and some feel such encroachment on personal and professional freedom for a virus that has more than a 98% survival rate is a violation of our Constitutional rights. What real responsibilities are being neglected right now? Taxes, mortgages, credit cards, and car payments, to list but a few – and all of them become impossible to take care of when people aren’t allowed to work or keep their businesses open.
Accepting responsibility begets independence, or so we were told as children. If we want more freedom to hang out with friends, we need to take on more responsibilities at home. Still, there is a line to draw in the sand. Every person is responsible for their own lives. At what point does the world become the individual’s responsibility? When is a person liable for their own health and well-being? And how do we know when to separate the two? Should a small business owner lose their company, their financial security, their ability to provide for themselves, and their families, for the needs of others? If so, then who will take care of them after they’ve lost everything?
Citizens across the nation have balked since the beginning against governors issuing closures, lockdowns, and even curfews. But things have only escalated after more rounds of mandates were issued on states, and business owners struggle to keep their companies alive. Add to that the restrictions against families getting together over Thanksgiving – and now Fauci’s current warnings against socializing during Christmas and his suggestion that it’s our independence making COVID worse – and it shouldn’t be difficult to see why many people think there’s a much bigger agenda than trying to protect against a virus.
With less independence, citizens would be forced to rely upon the government for their basic needs. While Americans are often referred to as arrogant by other countries, it is our very independence, our freedom, and our liberties, that draw so many immigrants to our shores.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.