Letter: Americans are allowing rights, freedoms to be taken during outbreak

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It is not the coronavirus that scares me but what is happening in this country that does. I understand the virus is dangerous and can be deadly to some. But the way Americans are so easily and readily allowing rights and freedoms to be taken is shocking.

I get that these actions like social distancing, self-isolation and limiting the number of people allowed to gather in one spot are to lessen the spread of the virus. My fear is that some of these will become the new norm once the crisis is over. Will the narrative be we should maintain these precautions to help lessen the spread of other diseases, and we will be better prepared if a pandemic strikes again? If so, how will it affect things people enjoy doing, like going to high school football games, movies, fun parks, etc?

Another fear I have is if this crisis continues and we have to shelter in place like other cities have done, how far it will go. It starts with allowing travel for necessities, like food, but what if that doesn’t lessen the spread? Will it go to now you have to order and have food delivered? Will it be based on the number of people in your house to prevent a food shortage? And who would decide that?

You may call me crazy and say things like that will never happen, and you may be right. But all it takes is a crisis or national movement to change people’s behaviors. Just like people thought that Jews would never be rounded up, put into concentration camps and murdered by the millions. Or that Japanese-American citizens would be rounded up and put into internment camps. How about a state governor or a county sheriff who wants to close gun stores or a state A.G. telling people to report individuals to the police who don’t follow shelter-in-place rules (all three which recently happened). And so it begins.

DEAN PLUTE

Sumter