White House Washington District of Columbia
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Editorial: We Need to Stop Relying on Government to Take Care of Us

One of the many lessons I am learning from the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic is that those people who are in leadership roles do not have all of the answers on what to do to protect their constituents — and I am not sure that some of them even have the good of the people they serve in mind.

Editorial: We Need to Stop Relying on Government to Take Care of Us

The medical community — including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization — has been perplexed by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus for several reasons, as no one definitively knows:

  • How deadly the disease caused by the virus could potentially be if its spread is left completely uncontrolled, as the prognostications have varied wildly — some forecasts have been in the millions
  • How long the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can live when airborne or on certain surfaces — although more information is becoming available
  • Whether people can become immune to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and if so, how is that possible and to what extent is the immunity effective
  • Whether an effective vaccine can actually be developed for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
  • If and how the 2019 Novel Coronavirus mutates into multiple strains
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Those reasons are generally why comparisons between the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and other microbes are frowned upon — regardless of the number of fatalities.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Became a Sharply Divided Issue in Society

For the most part, people seem to be entrenched in two significantly distinct camps: those who believe that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus should be allowed to run rampant and unfettered in achieving a phenomenon known as herd immunity — some to the point of purposely infecting each other with it without knowing the full consequences of doing so…

…and those who believe that we should go all out in doing everything possible to mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — even if it means:

  • Suddenly leaving tens of millions of people without a way to support themselves or their families through no fault of their own
  • Postponing elective procedures at hospitals which could potentially endanger some of the patients
  • Portending the demise of large corporations and small businesses
  • The almost complete shutdown of travel — especially as many cities, states, and countries have either instituted checkpoints at their borders or closed them off altogether
  • Possibly bankrupting cities, states, and countries
  • Endangering people in situations of domestic violence and sexual abuse
  • Leading to suicides due to such factors as isolation, depression, and despair
  • Requiring people to wear masks and gloves instead of as a suggestion
  • Increasing the possibility of creating more “superbugs” which become immune to the suddenly substantial amount of sanitizers and disinfectants being used
  • Placing the deaths of people from 2019 Novel Coronavirus at a higher priority over other causes of death
  • Suspending the vaccinations of millions of children from other diseases
  • Infringing upon the freedoms and rights of people — whether temporary or permanent
Arlington National Cemetery
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Death is death. Everyone will die one day. No one is immune to it. People who are still living are most adversely affected by the deaths of the ones they love. Death is part of life. We do not have to go so far to embrace it as we need to stop being unrealistic about how many deaths are realistically prevented…

…and locking down an entire planet of billions of people for weeks or months — perhaps even years — is completely unrealistic and to the point of where life is simply not worth living.

Like it or not, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is here to stay. It has already infected virtually the entire planet. It will not go away. It may very well mutate to the point where scientists may have to do everything possible just to keep up with effective vaccines — if one is actually developed, which will not happen for months or possibly years…

…and like myriad other causes of death, thousands — perhaps millions — of people will die over time from 2019 Novel Coronavirus anyway. This will happen regardless of what methods are implemented in terms of attempting to mitigate the number of those deaths — and this does not take into account the deaths and suffering of millions more people primarily due to the ironic attempts of preventing casualties from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.


faucet and soap dispenser
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The wording of the title of this article is Editorial: We Need to Stop Relying on Government to Take Care of Us, which is deliberate. I do not want the government to take care of me. One role of government is to enact sensible and prudent laws to protect us and our quality of life, which is significantly different. Although exceptions exist, the protection is for those situations in which members of the constituency are powerless to protect themselves for whatever reason — such as saving innocent people from the maniacal tendencies of a murderer…

…and even still, that protection provided by the government should not egregiously overstep the bounds of the freedoms and rights of people who elect the leaders who are supposed to run it. To do so is not worth the cost — including during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic. One example is that recommending distancing ourselves from others is one thing; but requiring it as punishable by law is different.

In the extensive amount of articles which I have written pertaining to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle: I have always believed that some attempts to mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus should be employed — but not to the point of practically shutting the world down, which has caused numerous other significant problems and issues.

If given the choice, I have no intention of purposely infecting myself with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, as Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly hypothetically mentioned that he would do in this article in order to travel again. Although a precedent already exists for immunity passports, that does not necessarily mean that I support the concept because then we could need them for other diseases — perhaps even for the more common strain of influenza — and that could set a potentially dangerous precedent, as I am not willing to live in a society which increasingly depends on either requesting more papers to move about or branding towards possible discrimination.

We need to take more responsibility for our own actions — such as properly washing hands on a regular basis, not touching anywhere on our faces and heads unless our hands are absolutely clean, and remaining a safe distance apart from other people — and not have the so-called “leaders” of governments dictate what we should do, as many of them seem to be more concerned about their political careers and future legacy; as well as not knowing enough information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in general to issue definitive orders pertaining to it.

In other words: we need to stop relying on government to take care of us — ironically, for our own good…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

  1. I really don’t mean this to be overly political although I’ll get beat up for it in the comments but the nanny state is what Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and even to some degree Joe Bidden think is the way to go. Although Joe likely just says this to cater to certain voter blocks. They don’t want to wait for critical events like 9/11 or Covid19 to infringe on individual freedoms or to push welfare socialist programs on all of the country. I would imagine those that voted for Brexit could also see this as an EU approach as well.

  2. I love how Gavin Newsome goal shifted from the “flatten the curve” goal shifted to “preventing infection of hi risk people,” using the virus to further his agenda of subsidizing homelessness.

  3. Excellent article! I agree. I’ve always thought that we as a society should be doing more ourselves in general. You’re correct that this situation has highlighted that even more.

    I understand there is a lot of uncertainty about the virus and this can tend to create fear. The news media has done much to stoke the fear and anxiety – as they always do (“if it bleeds, it leads”). But we need to stop and apply some logic and critical thinking to what is happening.

    As a whole society doesn’t do well with risk assessment and management, which is another part of the problem.

  4. Somewhere along the lines all of this got lost. It originally started out to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system. How many healthcare systems have been “overwhelmed”? Try to find out how many patients are at the Javits Center or the naval ship in New York. Good luck.

  5. It’s nice to see more and more commentary like this publicly. I am glad these viewpoints aren’t being actively silenced anymore.

    It’s also really sad that for the last 4 months, if you dared to contradict the party line – you were called a heartless and horrible person.

    The fact of the matter is, the non-sense response to this virus will go down in history as one of the most embarrassing overreactions ever.

    I firmly believe that
    A) 24/7 media that makes money off of eyeballs (advertising)
    B) Social media mob effect makes it too easy to ‘DEMAND THINGS’
    C) Politicians, leaders and doctors avert liability by promoting the most extreme responses now.

    All of these, combined with a populace that has had no challenges, no difficulties for 50 years – means we’re soft.

    We can’t tolerate different opinions.
    We can’t stand other view points.
    And we can’t handle reality – we demand safety at any cost.

    My hope, as someone who has traveled every week since this began, and changed, effectively, nothing about my own life.

    Is this is a warning shot.
    A true and deep wake up call to keyboard warriors, people in power, and the sad state of affairs in our country where the masses demand to be coddled and taken care of, even if it means the destruction of everything around them.

  6. Ugh. Well at least I know you’re one of those people now and can plan to adjust my readership of your blog accordingly.

    1. I assure you Darin that you represent the fearful of America and I will adjust my lifestyle accordingly so that I am further emboldened to stand up against tyranny and all the “Karens” of the world out there.

  7. Agree. Since America’s founding 1776, the establishment of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in the 1780s, we have seen the wholesale disconnect from the uniqueness of that time. The golden era of America, its promise that it would – and indeed was – different from all other previous societies and governments in the world is gone. Mssr. B. Franklin was oh so right when he said ‘If you can keep it.’

    Too few today have much, if any, understanding of what has been lost. We are now just another country among many. Americans long ago dropped their guard in caring for and protecting the singular most important aspect which once allowed them to be special people in a special country: It’s founding system and beliefs in that system, over 240 years ago.

    When have we seen presidents the past 40 years in America invoke American patriotism in any real sense. When have we seen these past presidents of 40 years make a visit to Bunker Hill, to the places where the battle for America was fought. When have presidents really last championed our own country, our own society, our own principles and traditions? Instead they have championed, along with most politician sellouts, the Balkanization of America, to deconstruct the foundations of our home.

    The rabid leftist movement in America over the course of 140 years – yes one hundred forty, starting with mass migration out of Eastern Europe carrying the virus of political Marxism – along with the imposition of contrary laws, growth of government, social handouts (welfare, medical, housing, education tuition) and so forth has built up a millstone around the necks of people that the weight of which has stooped them into submission. Never mind the insidious racket in the K-12 and university education systems which has transformed minds into mush from the Frankfurt School of indoctrination.

    Unless America ends all immigration, takes a pause and looks backward to the foundations, rejects leftism, big government, and embraces the independence of the self, understands the reasons for why the country became at one point the best country on earth, then it will only continue to stumble forward into the abyss and fade forever into a dystopia office park, housing development and consumer junket. It’s close to that already.

  8. This is a highly disturbing editorial and you clearly are not aware of the negative externalities that would come about from individuals willing to expose themselves on others that do not, especially the high-risk individuals. I am a liberterian but acknowledge that governments play a role when such externalities do exist.

  9. I find your lack of empathy saddening. Even with the measures you complain about, this illness is about to kill more US citizens in a couple of months than the entire Vietnam War. If these measures hadn’t been taken, you could add one or two zeros to the death toll domestically. Why don’t you ask your doctor about this? I did, and he was extremely concerned. If you’d like to see what happens when well meaning people stop self-isolation too quickly, read the article below.


  10. Kudos!!! This post makes my Libertarian heart so very happy.

    We, as a society, were never meant to lock away and run from life. We have nothing without personal responsibility and freedom.

  11. Finally some sense. The issue isn’t that some people want to rely on the government to take care of them but that people who want no part of it are forced to take part and forced to pay into a system they detest and oppose wholeheartedly. If people want big government bureaucracy and want their lives run by others let them but don’t force that on people who want to make decisions for their own bodies and property whether it is deciding to smoke, do drugs, get an abortion, not wear a seat belt, practice Christianity, get a tattoo, play poker with friends for money, bear arms, sell N95s for whatever price you decide is fair or decide to voluntarily and consensually interact with others on your own property during Coronavirus. It’s about freedom to decide how you want to live your lives and freedom not to pay for the programs and decisions of others.

  12. Brian…
    Do your fingers tired of always typing in “2019 Novel Coronavirus” instead of just the virus or Covid-19? Or maybe you have a copy and paste handy all the time? 😉

  13. I think it’s important to understand that the precautions put in place early on bought time for the healthcare system in many locations. Yes we avoided a massive surge like what happened in New York but that doesn’t mean healthcare systems are running empty. I work at a major teaching hospital in Massachusetts, and we’ve had to double our ICU capacity to handle the number of patients; preparations that take time. Yes overall hospital occupancy is down but the number of intubated patients are definitely more than we would have been able to handle If they all arrived on days 1-21. Our additional ventilators are arriving the day before patients are needing them. The social distancing measures bought us days to weeks of extra time to prepare; without them many more people would have died and we would have had to ration care. The government wouldn’t have been able to “take care of you” even if they wanted.

  14. Another great article Brian, and I agree with you. For the record, I am following the advice of our Rabbis and staying at home, as long as they tell us to do so.

    The thought of having to wear a mask on a long international flight, encouraged by a scared governor and flight attendant unions, when an IATA doctor has said it probably doesn’t help, is troubling.

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