Results of the autopsy of intrusive and overreaching government policies related to the COVID -19 global pandemic are beginning to emerge – and they paint a disturbing and disastrous picture.
A just released Johns Hopkins study concluded lockdowns weren’t effective in reducing mortality rates – and in fact did great damage to the economy along with children’s mental, emotional and academic health. For far too many adults, forced isolation exacerbated loneliness, increased anxiety and drastically diminished quality of life.
These tragic findings are just the tip of the iceberg, I believe. In fact, I think it’s almost impossible to overstate just how detrimental the heavy-hand of Big Government will prove to be. I talk with lots of moms and dads, and they regularly lament how closed churches, schools and other shuttered programs fundamentally changed the way their sons and daughters worshiped, learned and socialized. Sadly, some of the changes could be permanent.
Surveys suggest there was a 70% increase in internet and screen time usage for kids – children who were already buried in their digital devices prior to the beginning of the pandemic. It only got worse – and many of the shifts have stuck. Instead of interacting in a classroom, kids were put in little boxes on a screen. Many tuned out altogether, playing Minecraft or watching another mindless YouTube video.
The great lesson, though, isn’t just that lockdowns don’t work – it’s that our freedoms are fragile, and they must be preserved and protected at great cost.
History demonstrates that freedoms are often lost little by little – and then all at once. Ironically, though, history also shows that human nature sometimes invites enslavement in the interest of “safety” and “security.”
In the book of Samuel, an account of ancient Israel, we read about the people asking for – even demanding – a king. They rejected their Heavenly King but wanted someone to tell them what to do, thinking such an arrangement would be easier and safer.
In reality, there is no true security or safety this side of eternal life. I’m not suggesting we act recklessly. Of course, we’re to take reasonable precautions – but fundamentally changing the way you live out of fear is almost always the wrong approach. More importantly, we should be turning to God, not government for counsel and direction.
Trading freedom for security is a fool’s wager. You never get what you pay for – and you’ll always regret what you get.
Let’s hope we’ve learned our lesson, especially since it has come at such a steep cost. Our hearts break for those who have lost loved ones to this wicked virus, and we remain heavily burdened for those who continue to pay a price for man-made decisions that have made a bad situation much, much worse.
Responsible freedom is the pathway out of this quagmire. But to all elected and appointed officials, allow me to be perfectly clear: As Americans, we don’t want a King. We already have one and His name is Jesus Christ.