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The Coronavirus Diaries - Day 9 - The Turning Point

Yesterday I wrote about 'the new normal' - wondered about it, rather. But it turns out that wasn't it and the new normal is something that is evolving and getting worse by the day. While yesterday's updated emergency measures, announced on Saturday, limited movement between the hours of 10 PM and 6 PM we are now, starting at midnight tonight, all quarantined. This means we have to stay indoors except for grocery shopping, urgent medical appointments, going to work, or exercise/walking the dog nearby (and alone). All of this, of course, provided you have filled out/printed a form containing your personal information with your intentions clearly stated. First of all, who the hell has personal printers anymore?

The other aspect, which makes these measures sound particularly draconian, is the fact that people over 65 are forbidden from leaving home, period. Now, it sounds sensible to do the social distancing thing and to acknowledge that seniors are more at risk, but in what world are all retired people deemed unable to decide on their own whether they're willing to take a risk and go outdoors -at all?

And while all of this is happening, people are losing jobs and the economy is collapsing all around us, to such an extent we can't even imagine - because it's never happened before. The Great Depression will look like a small recession compared to this. Because, think about it, there is always going to be a patient 0 for the Coronavirus. This is the flu - a flu - which you do not simply eradicate and then carry on your merry way. It will mutate, it will continue to infect and to kill for months and probably years. But, I've already said it, after it's done killing the economy - which is, in effect, the way the world works (worked) and all that we know about it - we're going to have a hard time saying it was worth it. (It won't be)

I don't like knowing the army is on the streets when there isn't an enemy outside our borders. I don't like governments taking emergency measures for the benefit of 'the people' because 99% of the time it means 'the people' are about to get screwed. And, I admit, it's probably because I grew up under a totalitarian system, and I absorbed the undertones of that defeatist and downtrodden demeanor in everybody around me as the government made decisions for 'the people', that this rubs me the wrong way.

Not long ago I was watching a documentary about North Korea and I thought, it's not that difficult to institute tyranny. It's entirely straightforward to crush an entire nation's will and to lock 'the people' into a new reality where their mental prisons have thicker walls than any dungeon. Just give them something to fear and the change can happen virtually overnight. But, here's where I was really going with that thought about North Korea: how many years - generations - does it take before 'the people' break free and are able to breathe the air of human dignity and to enjoy individual freedoms again? Look at any of the authoritarian systems throughout history and you'll see that they've always lasted longer than they took to set up, and you'll also see that the vast majority of people living in these tyrannies lived the lives of dogs - well, that's probably no longer a good analogy because modern dogs fare much better than many humans. But you get the point. At the very least, there's a leash.

Let me be very clear here, I'm not saying Romania -or any place in the world - is on the brink of becoming North Korea. But I am saying that we, the people, have a solemn duty to uphold our God-given freedoms. We can only do that through vigilance and through the determined taking to task of the same leaders on whom we've bestowed our trust. Blind acquiescence is as dangerous as anarchy, especially in times like these.



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  1. Update: People 65 and older may leave their homes between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

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