To the Editor:
Regardless of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and strict quarantine measures there, China’s authorities have, overall, handled the pandemic in their nation pointedly.
Watching the little amount of news feed allowed to leave the nation in autumn 2019, I was somewhat amused by TV images of some citizens being literally dragged — a few even invertedly by their legs! — back into their residences to help contain viral transmission.
As the months passed and COVID-19 became a global pandemic, I couldn’t help but notice how China’s strict handling of its own outbreak, while allowing little rights and freedoms to its people (and maybe even internal/external big business), likely enabled a relatively short duration of its initial crisis.
Albeit, many Chinese citizens have tasted and enjoyed samples of freedom’s sweetness, either through trans-Pacific travel or Western images missed by China’s internet censors.
Potentially problematic for China’s authoritarian government, those samples cannot be un-experienced.
Perhaps with greater democratic freedom can come weaker national security, and vice versa.
While I wouldn’t exchange my (Western) freedom for such national security, it is still foolish to pretend a national-security sacrifice isn’t being made in exchange.
Frank Sterle Jr.,
White Rock, B.C.
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