by Ryan McMaken
This year’s stay-at-home orders and lockdowns imposed by governments on their populations represent a watershed moment in the history of the modern state.
Before March 2020, it is unlikely that many politicians—let alone many ordinary people—thought it would be feasible or likely for government officials to force hundreds of millions of human beings to “self-isolate.”
But it turns out governments were indeed able to force a sizable portion of the population to abandon jobs, religious practices, extended families, and community life in the name of “flattening the curve.”
Whether through fear manufactured by the news media or through outright threats of punishment, business owners shuttered their shops and offices, churches closed down, and schools abandoned their students.