Individual and Community Rights

The craziness of CV-19 marches on. Basically, Trump is going to push for an early restart of the economy and a shutdown of social distancing; he’s also looking for someone to blame when we have a second uptake in cases and deaths in states where social distancing was erased. 

Not too many people deny that social distancing and disease mitigation are directly related. Some people are shifting this relationship to the right to carry AK-45s in the street. What can one say to someone who when arguing that the earth is flat shifts to claims about Obama’s birth certificate?

I can at least respect an argument focusing on the link between individual and communal rights, that by passing laws that restricts businesses, freedom of assembly, the states ironically are taking away the constitutional rights of individuals. This argument does not recognize the current circumstances that call for a review of the relationship between individual and community rights. As a former hippie, I am surprised that I now support the right of the state and national government to track individuals’ health records and travel patterns. 

It shouldn’t be extraordinarily difficult to understand that people without masks are a disproportionate threat to those of us who wear masks and gloves. I think that a position ignoring community rights is a danger to the community. A person arguing this position in our current situation seems willing to take the chance of spreading the virus to others, perhaps to me (I’m 75). I have friends who believe this. Relatives. I am trying to listen to them and discover the point they are making. 

Or maybe they don’t believe people are dying. The hype about CV-19 is a hoax, a scam. I have one or two friends who believe this.

When I see unmasked people on the street, I feel like offering them a mask. People who wear masks are thinking of others. People who willfully do not wear masks are thinking only of themselves. They have somehow reframed this family squabble as a testament of democracy.

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