I trusted the system two years ago when the pandemic reality started to unfold.
I knew it may not be perfect, but my whole life, I’d been taught and observed myself that this country pulls together in times of need. I trusted my fellow humans, community members, and citizens to care about their neighbor.
Today, I don’t feel I have that same assurance.
You probably don’t either. Maybe this test of our resolve was too much.
I recently saw author Peter Manseau compare our COVID-19 response to school shootings.
“Once we decided unimaginable loss was a price worth paying for our imagined ideal of freedom, the deaths ceased to matter,” he Tweeted. “We’d trade a million lives for our need to do exactly what we want.”
“Patriots” they call themselves. If you’ve wrapped yourself in the American flag, holding onto the idea that freedom is doing anything you want, you’re the furthest thing from a patriot.
Americans make sacrifices for one another. We always have, not because we want to, but because we recognize it’s for the greater good.
Wear a seatbelt? You’re not free.
Go through security at the airport? You’re not free.
Walk on the sidewalks instead of the middle of the road? You’re not free.
These are common-sense rules we adhere to in our society. We all do it––not because we want to, but because we know for a fact that it’s safe for us and safe for others. Sound like something in the news today?
Don’t like governments mandating the vaccine? During World War II, the government mandated how much people could buy cars, tires, gas, firewood, shoes, meat, milk, and coffee.
That’s not freedom––but it’s the price of freedom.
And faced with a deadly, potent adversary once again, America failed spectacularly. Our medical community developed safe and effective vaccines in record time. Those vaccines were the tanks and planes and ships we needed to defeat COVID.
Maybe the loss of agreement on what is the “common good” is the biggest loss. This one seemed pretty clear cut to me: Wear the mask, get the vaccine, and normalcy is within reach. Look at us now.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Dale Lykins: What is the price of freedom.