Conceptualized Freedom and the mismanagement of Covid 19

In the reading we were afforded the interesting perspective of Mr. Peter Hessler, who served as a teacher in the pandemic. Through his article, “How china controlled the coronavirus”, we got to see the management of the virus by the Chinese government. This point of view brings his American readership less biased insight to the way that the novel pandemic has been controlled in china. China’s actions in response to the spread of the pandemic was considerably stricter and more serious than that of the United States. In his article, he cites one of his students saying that the Chinese prioritize life over freedom. I found this statement intriguing, because in my mind, I do not see lock down and quarantine measures as an attack on my freedom. The concept of freedom is per individual interpretation, and is largely influenced by the society which one grows in. In America, the conceptuality of basic inalienable rights is carried by most of its constituents. We saw that in response to covid regulations, many Americans had issues with a mask mandate, business closing, and other implications of the lockdown. I believe this to be centered in a sense of individuality over unity that coincides with the spirit of free market capitalism. From my understanding, the prioritization of self over the communal health and well being of Americans is the root cause behind the conflict associated with mask wearing and quarantine advisories. Personally, I view these perspectives as a warped sense of freedom and have qualms with the mentality of self-interest over the health and wellness of the whole. We see the same trends translate over into the Governing of our nation, with many governing officials downplaying the effects, range, and legitimacy of concerns regarding the corona virus. It is the job of the governing body to enact plans to protect its citizenship, but at the same time, to preserve the livelihood of its people. In America, we see how the priority of the nation is much different from a country like china, who deployed many resources to condense and converge on the pandemic’s spread. Conceptualized freedom has much to do with the pushback associated with the arrangements made to battle the pandemic in this country. It brings into question the legitimacy of an American Paternalist government

One thought on “Conceptualized Freedom and the mismanagement of Covid 19

  1. Kaeli Thompson

    Robel’s commentary on Peter Hessler’s article highlights the pervasive sense of individuality American’s possess that led to people prioritizing their own conceptualized sense of “freedoms” over communal health with Covid-19, and how this individualism relates to Hessler’s statement that the Chinese prioritize life over freedom, while in the US people prioritize freedom over health. As we discussed in class, Hessler’s statement is a bit black and white because not all Americans or all Chinese value one thing over the other. However, I agree with Robel in his idea that a majority of people in our culture here do place an extreme emphasis on their own personal freedom and that has caused many to become sick or die as a result of behaviors around Covid-19. This calls into question, is a society that places a greater emphasis on communism or individualism “better” for the people that constitute said society? I would have to disagree with Aristotle, who argued that “habits” and “character” (which would hopefully be beneficial for all those in the population) are the result of a “good” social upbringing because this would imply that in order for people to change and cease negative habits and character traits, society would need to change. Instead, in order for society to change we need people to change. This then raises the larger question of through what way do people actually change?


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