FILE- This Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, file photo shows the cameras on the back of the Google Pixel 3 XL, left, and Google Pixel 3 smartphones in New York. Google’s new Pixel 3 phone plays catch-up with Apple and Samsung on hardware. It’s really designed to showcase Google’s advances in software, particularly in artificial intelligence. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
With COVID-19 rates trending down, it seems a lot of local government surveillance and monitoring of citizens is trending up.
New Jersey has started using to drones to harass citizens not obeying social distancing orders. In Brighten, CO a father and his young daughter were approached by police after someone reported them for playing soccer in an open field.
As Americans get more and more anxious to get on with their lives, the mayor of Boise has joined the Comrade Chorus and released a video this week asking Boise residents to call the non-emergency dispatch to report anyone who may be flouting social distancing guidelines.
Mayor Lauren McLean’s Facebook video began with thanking Boise for staying home to stay healthy, and for all the economic sacrifices people are making to comply. She went 0n to explain that while it makes sense that people stuck at home would like to be able to at least use public parks and spaces, the “mobility data” shows that even those activities could be aiding in the spreading of the virus. McLean says use of public parks in Idaho has gone up 33% since quarantine measures took effect.
She later went on to demonstrate the necessity for social distancing with the help of her daughters, and then included the phone number to call to report fellow residents who don’t seem to be complying properly.
Most commenters on the post seemed supportive but some Boise viewers were less than impressed with the mayor’s surveillance plans.
While social distancing does seem to be working to flatten the curve, it is important to remember that giving up freedom in the name of safety is completely counter-intuitive to the American spirit and to what makes this country great. Freedom has a downside at times. Our right to free speech sometimes means people are offended. Our right of association means that sometimes individuals and organizations may take on positions or employees we don’t like. Our right to move about freely means in times like these we may be endangering each other. It isn’t optimal, admittedly. But as President Trump says, we can’t let the cure be worse than the disease.