Stay-at-Home Orders in the Empire of Liberty

On December 24, the Central Hospital of Wuhan sent a fluid sample from an unresolved clinical case to be sequenced by Vision Medicals, a private company specializing in sequencing analysis. Three days later, the company came back to the hospital with news of a new kind of coronavirus.1 Over the new year and into January, the world began to prepare for the possibility of an epidemic in China.

It was not until January 20 that President Xi Jinping would make his first official statement on the matter.

On March 11, with 114 countries reporting 118,000 cases of the virus and nearly 4,300 deaths, the World Health Organization officially declared the world was in the midst of a global pandemic.

Patrick Semansky, AP / Xinhua

While the early mishandling of the virus by China is a topic that warrants an examination all its own, the mishandling of the coronavirus in the United States is in a separate league of complete and total ineptitude. But rather than retread the details and politics of this colossal screw-up (how big a role partisan politics played in the scale of this pandemic cannot be overstated), I would instead like to focus on how the unique American perspective on individual freedom and personal liberty made the visceral anger towards stay-at-home ordinances and mask mandates by the American public entirely predictable.

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