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Individual freedoms and rights during the COVID-19 pandemic: it is time to become aware of what happened

Carlos Sabino

Individual freedoms of free movement, the right to protest, freedom of the press and property were thus violated by the provisions of governments that acted in a way that ancient satraps or absolute kings could envy. They have done so shielded by a mandate to protect health that was interpreted without the possibility of discussion, arbitrarily, without even allowing citizen scrutiny. Because those who, from the medical profession or outside it, disagreed with the way the pandemic was being faced were prevented from expressing their opinions, because some medications were vetoed and others were imposed, because no type of dissidence was allowed. The WHO and the health ministries dominated the scene for a long time, imposing their ideas as religious dogmas. They still refuse to abandon that role of implacable tyrants.

The right to freedom is inconceivable without its counterpart, individual responsibility. And it is logical that, in the face of a pandemic, this responsibility leads to extreme personal care: using protective elements, distancing oneself from possible contagion situations, taking preventive measures of various kinds. It is natural that people do it, some more, others less, according to the information available and their own convictions.

That's not the problem. A person can confine themselves to their home, and perhaps this is the most convenient for them in certain circumstances, but this is very different from being forced by the state to remain locked up. In relation to individual rights, it is essential to distinguish between what is convenient and what is obligatory. Something may be convenient or recommendable, and it is legitimate to try to convince people to accept it, but something else, absolutely different from a moral and political point of view, is

force her to proceed in a certain way.

Sabino Covid 19, Libertades y derechos individuales 2024
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Carlos Sabino studied a bachelor's degree in Sociology at the National University of Buenos Aires and has a doctorate in Social Sciences from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He is a professor at the Francisco Marroquín University, a member of the Mont Pèlerin Society.

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