Any major crisis affecting broad population of humans is a breeding ground for the rumors and fantasies about the possibility of controlling people and about the violation of personal freedom. I would like to write some ideas that I came up with on my way from being careless to being involved to being concerned and, finally, to being rational about it.
First of all, let's look at the examples of freedoms we currently have and how they are limited in democratic societies.
- We are free to coexist and cooperate with other people (we need to get vaccinated from the deadly diseases to maintain safe coexistence in densely populated environments even though we expose our bodies to harmful chemicals and bioactive agents; we need to learn to control our instinctual impulses to make living with others comfortable and safe; we need to keep a certain physical and emotional distance based on the type of relationships; we need to conform to the laws to ensure the state of safety; we need to get educated to not be a burden on a society, etc.).
- We are free to travel around the world (we submit our biometrics, such as fingerprints, sometimes a retina scan, to the governments; we have restrictions on how long we can stay in a foreign country for; we have to report the purpose of a trip and an approximate plan when visiting countries on visa; we cannot work abroad without special authorization, etc.).
- We are free to express and discuss our ideas (we are limited by the law of not harming others; we can choose to be limited by self-censorship to be accepted in a society; if we choose to hold to any strong point of view and express it we limit the circle of people that can be our friends; we need to take into account the circumstance in which we are saying the things, etc.).
- We are free to run businesses (we need to obtain permits and licenses that meet specific regulations and criteria established by an authority; we are ultimately limited by the customers' demand and interests and need to prioritize them over ours to be successful; we have to pay income taxes to the government; we need to compete with other businesses sometimes choosing to sacrifice either some profit or morals; the richer and more influential we become the more we are responsible for others, etc.).
- We are free to communicate across the continents, send money, work from any point on the map (we submit our personal info to the companies that provide us those useful platforms for realization of our personal and professional goals; we trust the security of our finances to some third party; there is a potential for our information to be stolen and appropriated by someone; as well as it can be easily traced and used for someone's, perhaps malevolent, interests, etc.).
...these are a few examples to illustrate my point. And the point is:
In a humanistic society, a person receives more and more individual freedoms that serve the purpose of self-realization and each aspect of this freedom is (ideally) equally weighted by the aspect of responsibility or inconvenience. The later can be interpreted simply as a bill you need to pay to enjoy your freedom or it can be treated as an invasive, overwhelming experience that impedes our own goals and happiness in life.
Basically, in order to be able to do things we LOVE we sometimes need to get accustomed to doing things we DON'T LIKE.
Any progress, growth, and crises are always uncomfortable and introduce new rules to the game. Those who take advantage of riding the new coming waves become the winners and those who resist the flow of events quickly get swept away. Whenever you are in a crisis and it seems that the whole world is falling apart, and "rich get richer and poor get poorer", etc., observe what YOU CAN DO on the way to your dream and self-realization. When we travel, we cheerfully pack our luggage, leave all worries behind, and enjoy our beautiful experiences on the other side of the world. We do not reflect on how we were struggling to buy the tickets, how long the flight was, how customs officer was rude asking us why we came to the tropical paradise. We leave it all behind because we know that our purpose is to enjoy and get happier. Whatever the resolution of the crisis will be, remember to keep focus on your own inner freedom and the sense of life which is walking your way and realizing your full creative potential. Weigh all hazards and benefits of the situation as much as you can to liberate your mind from solving the problems that might have never existed. The later is especially important to keep in mind in a situation that has so many unknowns and when it seems that everybody is going crazy.
Finally, remember that you are responsible for any outcome in your life by making conscious choices. If your energy goes to fight the windmills it does not go towards achieving your creative goals. You decide.