Personal freedom

Being on a ventilator just might limit it...

I recently read a story about a woman who objected to social distancing and here’s what she had to say about it: “I’m a Libertarian…I don’t really like being told what to do.”

Stop lights must be torture.

The same woman admitted to being an Ayn Rand devotee, which as near as I can figure, means you believe in a philosophy that says it’s OK to be a self-centered jerk.

If I’ve got it right, Rand believed that our own happiness is the moral purpose of our lives, so you probably wouldn’t want to share a lifeboat with any of her fans. “Screw everybody else, I’m only worried about me.”

Now here’s a different point of view:

Back in high school I had a teacher (and Mr. Browning, if you’re still out there, thanks) who once said his freedom to swing his fist ended where my nose began. Literally, the only thing I remember Mr. Browning saying in four years, but if you’re going to remember just one thing from a teacher, that’s a good one.

Bottom line: in order for us to get along with others we have to accept some limits to our personal freedom. We limit our fist-swinging so we don’t hit someone else’s nose, we stop at red lights so we don’t run into someone else’s car (at least that’s the theory) and right now we’re being asked to stay at home so we don’t get someone else sick.

My behavior affects your health; your behavior affects mine.

I recently heard an excellent analogy from a nurse (one of those people risking their lives every day for the good of others) and here it is: having some of us follow social distancing rules while others ignore them is the equivalent of having a “no pee zone” in a swimming pool.

So even if it limits your personal freedom, were all in this together; try not to pee in the pool.