Virus and Leviathan

Symposium on Public Health and Policy in a Free Society

Originally published in The Independent Review

In early 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was unleashed on the world. What began as an outbreak in China quickly spread and was declared a pandemic in March 2020. In response, governments around the world activated their regulatory machinery, adopting a wide range of activities, including but not limited to detainment, surveillance, lockdowns, the shuttering of schools and “nonessential” businesses, travel restrictions, and the banning of certain events. The consequences include but are not limited to economic hardship, massive spikes in national debt, increases in the prevalence of mental-health issues, and spikes in substance abuse, suicide, and domestic violence.

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