Letters to the Editor

Freedom and safety amid the pandemic

COVID-19 and China have not caused our plummeting employment and social distancing. Our response has. Nevertheless, I applaud President Donald Trump’s early orders to ban flights from Asia and Europe, restrict immigration, and involve public, private, and medical industries to produce guidelines for wise governors like Kim Reynolds to apply incrementally. However, the fear of death is killing quality of life, institutions, industries and life itself with no end in sight.

How painful seeing my masked pastor livestreaming in an empty sanctuary, or envisioning empty stadiums, arenas, schools and mostly vacant workplaces, restaurants and hospital cutbacks as new norms. Worse, there is relentless, unmitigated, counterproductive criticism by the media, Hollywood and Democrats against our duly elected president and reasonable efforts to restore our freedoms and norms. Then there are governors whose overreach take the life out of living.

Do we want this new reality? I don’t. Death is not the worst thing. “Liberty or death” was the American Revolution rallying cry and since thousands bled to maintain our liberties. Are we so willing to give up freedoms of assembly, speech, religion, and endure endless testing and tracking during quests for prevention and cures, and become a police state?

Yes, we must protect our most vulnerable, the elderly and unborn while heeding trustworthy medical advice. But finally, we must respect and trust one another while living with the relative risk of getting sick or dying of whatever. Those willing to sacrifice freedoms for safety will usually end up with neither!

Tim Bickel

Cedar Rapids

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