Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, the prevailing mindset has treated one viewpoint as sacred and the other as morally reprehensible. Now, we find ourselves in a “new normal,” where only the health and safety of others is viewed as sacred and inviolable.
Two things can be true at once. Yes, we should dedicate our efforts to protecting members of our population who are vulnerable and at risk from Covid-19, and yes, we should also commit ourselves to safeguarding and asserting our liberties as a free people to speak openly, assemble as we deem suitable for our own situations, and provide for our families free from the growing burden of debt—not to mention the future servitude it necessitates.
I find myself heartbroken to watch our state and our nation willingly and willfully attempt suicide by fear. In a tragic irony, many leaders have chosen to suffocate their communities under draconian lockdowns and stringent regulations. This broad-spectrum, kill-the-host pursuit of ever-changing goals has been conducted in the name of conquering a respiratory illness that specializes in killing the elderly and those with underlying co-morbidities.
As new data comes in, it has become increasingly clear that younger, healthy people face only a modicum of risk of death or disability. In New Hampshire, the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that not a single healthy person under 60 has died of Covid-19. In fact, according to reporting from Michael Graham in NH Journal, 100 of the 133 deaths through Monday came from nursing home residents. Only five of the remaining were under 60, and they all had at least one other serious illness.
New Hampshire is a small state, but the low risk of death among working-age people and younger applies nationwide, according to the CDC’s early May Covid-19 report and recent public data. In fact:
- If you are under 15, you are 70 times more likely to die from drowning, 48 times more likely to die from the flu, and 200 times more likely to die from an at-home injury than from Covid-19.
- If you are under 25, you are 108 times more likely to die of suicide than Covid-19.
- If you are between 25 and 54, you are 30 times more likely to die of a workplace injury or 14 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than Covid-19.
Even if you are 65 and up, you are still 20 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, 1.4 times more likely to die from the flu, and slightly more likely to die from pneumonia. How many times have we shut down the country for these other maladies?
This data should be celebrated as good news! As we learn more about the virus and its effects, it means we can intelligently focus our resources on helping those most at risk, which would actually increase our odds of truly protecting them. So why aren’t we doing that?
I can’t help but think like we are being “voluntold” to forgo our liberties and abandon any chance of making an honest living to protect our leaders’ egos and siphon as much money from the federal budget as possible to cover up their mistakes. But because that’s not something they can say, we’re told it’s necessary to protect “the lives of others.” But if the powers-that-be had demonstrated sufficient competence and a willingness to continually seek and improve on a more targeted, resource-responsible, and sustainable solution to protect our most vulnerable, how much of this bravado and call to “sacrifice” would prove altogether unnecessary?
More troubling, if we don’t obey without question, we’re called irresponsible, selfish, and uninformed—qualities none of us want to be associated with. As usual in politics, this name-calling is effectively wielded as self-righteous virtue signaling. If and when that tactic fails, we see the outright censorship of differing opinions, and perhaps there are worse consequences yet to come.
Have you been willing to “do your part” because “it’s only temporary” or because you’ve been told, “we just need to ride it out a little bit longer?” How many times must the reopening goalposts be pushed into the future before you’re willing to stand up and peacefully remind our public servants of their proper place?
In this time of confusion and uncertainty, let me leave you with a dose of clarity: You understand your own personal balance of livelihood and safety far better than I do. You also know better than the one-size-fits-all government authoritarians who never let a crisis go to waste. You and you alone are the best arbiter of your own situation. And that is why we must not relinquish our individual liberties and natural rights for any cause—for any length of time—no matter what.
Andrew J. Manuse is chairman of ReOpenNH.com, an organization devoted to getting New Hampshire back to work via a petition drive and coordinated demonstrations against arbitrary government power.