The article “Civil Liberties” discusses the issue of how ‘COVID-pandemic’ limitations curbed civil liberties and freedoms. From the restriction of movement and gathering to surveillance systems used to track down ill people, these limitations threaten civil society and its ideals (Friedersdorf, 2020). However, these limitations have become the new reality nowadays, and few people argue that their fundamental freedoms are restricted. The author asks whether this new transitionary normality will not gradually become permanent normality where people will lose their basic rights.
Criticizing COVID’s limitations, the author does not seem to remember that the restrictions are meant to save people’s life. While stressing the importance of rights and freedoms, he downplays the value of human life, which is invaluable. Another issue that is doubtable is the preferential approach he mentions. When there is not enough medical equipment, the medics provide it for patients who are more likely to die or face grave consequences. According to the author, this approach should be abandoned and equipment used regardless of the patient’s status. This will lead to increased death rates and depreciation of human life.
For me, this article raised the question of how should rights and freedoms be balanced against constraints necessitated by the COVID pandemic. It is essential that some balance should be found not to curb citizens’ rights and stop the spread of the disease. The other question raised for me is what measures could be justified in fighting the disease and what steps would go beyond the acceptable level of limitations of freedom.
Friedersdorf, C. (2020). How to Protect Civil Liberties in a Pandemic. The Atlantic.