The Covid-19 pandemic is a something new and world-changing. There has been and there is controversy around the science, the medical care, the best national and international responses, the merits of various interventions, etc. Many counties have imposed fairly severe lock-downs and restrictions of various sorts. People have looked to governments for strong effective leadership in this unprecedented time of crisis. But it may be that one key point has been missed or overlooked somewhat…
You are in charge of you – this seemingly-obvious statement warrants some consideration. Whatever regulations we live under, there is still a large element of personal choice that remains to us. This is especially and increasingly-so, as lock-downs ease. We have choices about how much we isolate ourselves, how much we travel, how careful we are about sanitising (hands, homes, packages, etc.), how sociable we are, how we shop, etc. The virus will remain with us for a long time, perhaps indefinitely, and so we will be faced with these choices for quite some time to come. Each of us needs to weigh our need for freedom, interaction, work, travel, leisure, etc., against our willingness to risk contracting or spreading the virus. Each of us is different and each of has different levels of risk, so we each have to make our own choices here. There is really no “one decision and one choice, for all” even if the more tyrannical governments might try to suggest there is.
The “decide for yourself” idea is a reminder that there are real personal choices to be made here. The government and various authorities will make recommendations and offer advice, but will not make these choices for us (once we pass the severe lock-down levels at least). We must make choices about what level of risk we are willing to take in living our lives. We must think this through carefully. We must respect the choices of others.
We should all try to be sensible and balanced in our thinking, remembering that this is all about compromises: 100% freedom is high risk and zero risk is all but impossible to achieve, so it all comes down to choices and compromises, which we must each make.