Nick Comilla

The Tyranny of the Risk Averse

by Nick Comilla Confusing being mortal with being threatened can occur in any realm. The fact that something could go wrong does not mean that we are in danger. It means we are alive. Mortality is the sign of life ... Experiencing anxiety does not mean that anyone is doing anything to us that is unjust.Sarah Schulman, Conflict is Not Abuse The subject of this essay is the question of whether people and governments are overreacting to the threat of Covid – yes, obviously – and what the psychological motivations are for that overreaction. Before discussing that, it’s important to define some terms and deal with some possible objections. By overreaction, I mean things like ongoing restrictions, lockdowns, curfews, mask mandates, etc. For instance, in Quebec, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the entire world, they are going into a second curfew with restrictions that are more stringent than the first lockdowns. They are the only area in North America to enforce a literal government ‘curfew’ to try and (once again) slow the spread of the virus. People are not allowed to leave their homes after 10pm – not even to walk their dogs. The reasoning for this – which seems to be one of two justifications left for people who are in favour of restrictions –...

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