Approximately a third of the planet’s populace is in the so-called lockdown on account of this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In Europe, that is a lot of this continent and almost all of its citizens.
Individuals are limited in how often they could go outdoors. They’re advised to work at home rather than to socialize.
Our areas of amusement and collecting closed, from restaurants to pubs, coffee shops to cinemas – closed until further notice. Even Mass was canceled.
When we awakened into a new decade only a few weeks ago, nobody expected that we’d see the greatest limits to our freedoms because of World War II.
But that is just the 2nd most astonishing thing.
Certainly what could have amazed us if we’d been informed on 1 January of that which was to come, is that nearly everybody is in favor of it.
Obviously, given the danger of life, the danger of the vulnerable in our societies, even provided that the simple actuality that remaining inside could save lives, it sounds not just sensible and proper but the correct thing to do.
And nearly all of the people who do agree believe people who don’t need to be fined or even detained if they do not comply with the rules.
To be able to enforce these draconian steps, virtually every nation has needed to introduce emergency legislation to modify legislation and restrict freedoms that the majority of us see as inalienable.
These states state that these measures are temporary and will be discharged when the crisis has passed though given the prospect of re-emergence of the virus, and also the time required to create and distribute pathogens, this might take several decades.
But not anywhere. These are imposed prison sentences on journalists deemed by the authorities to be dispersing fake news.
Hungary is currently under investigation over rule of law problems. Many Hungarian citizens doubt that the liberty and liberty of its media and dread the principle of Viktor Orbán.
Can these laws be simple to repeal? Are they repurposed while the crisis is over?
And it isn’t only Hungary. Elsewhere on the planet, authoritarian leaders are introducing new laws, curbing liberty and final borders, formally to help fight the spread of this virus, but also since the present crisis has given them forces they could only dream about.
History has taught us time and again, that many of such leaders just will not give up their newfound control without a struggle.
The immediate effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will be measured in weeks – but the effects of the catastrophe on our markets, governance, freedoms, and culture are going to be measured in years.
And it may not be for the better.
So although it’s excellent to see authorities and people behave together to avoid the deaths of a few of the most vulnerable in our society.
Citizens of western democracies understand the sacrifices many are eager to create will conclude.
But everywhere on the planet, in certain areas of Europe, a very different future may be forged.