I am writing this article on 4/20, which has come to be a sort of holiday celebration in the United States the past few years due to marijuana legalization. When this wave first began, Libertarians were like, “It’s about darn time the rest of y’all started listening to us.” This is because ending the drug war has been a pillar of the Libertarian Party platform since its creation in 1971.

Another Libertarian party platform stance that took more than four decades for the two main parties to start supporting was same sex marriage. That too was one of our original party platform stances, but one that Democrats and Republicans did not begin supporting until polls showed it was gaining popularity among voters.

Some people may assume we are nothing but a bunch of gay potsmokers but that is far from the truth. Most of our members are heterosexual and do not take any recreational drugs. We simply believe in freedom of choice. People should be free to make their own choices so long as it does not deprive others of life, liberty or property.

Such is the case of the recent COVID-19 quarantine. There is danger for some people who contract the disease. It could lead to death or long-term health problems. However, for most, they come out fine.

As of today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there are 770,564 cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Of these cases, 70,799 recovered, and 41,114 have perished. These numbers are scary and the major media outlets have been broadcasting these numbers daily. However, when put into context, they become less scary.

The population of the United States is 328.2 million people. Using this number, 770,564 cases comes to .2% of the population. This means that 99.8% of the U.S. population does not have COVID-19. As for deaths, the disease has claimed .01% of the country’s lives. This means 99.99% of the U.S. population has not died from COVID-19.

Closer to home, Guadalupe County reports 59 cases of COVID-19 with no death as of yet. Guadalupe County has a population of 166,847 people. Using this number, a total of about .03% of Guadalupe County has contracted COVID-19. That means 99.97% of the population has not caught the virus.

Given these numbers, many people would choose returning to work but take precautions. It should be up to them to decide and not the government.

What is an essential job? Any job that puts food on the table, keeps a roof over your head, and pays your bills IS an essential job. Small businesses are suffering badly and in danger of closing permanently. This leaves only large, corporate entities monopolizing our purchasing power. This quarantine added $2.2 trillion to a $22 trillion deficit. Farmers and ranchers are losing money as prices drop due to loss of restaurant revenue.

If you don’t feel safe, then stay home. Keep yourself locked in and don’t let anyone come close to you. As for the rest of the population, they should decide for themselves whether or not to take the risk. We will respect your decision to remain secluded and locked away, but you should also respect our decision to make our own choice whether to work or not.

When Americans start sacrificing freedom to the government in order to feel a sense of security, then we are no longer free.

Anthony Cristo is a high school English teacher in San Antonio, husband and Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in district 34 of Texas.

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(2) comments

Shepard

While I do not share the enthusiastic view of Mr. Cristo for same sex marriage, I do agree in principle with his view on an individuals choice to returning to work.

While the authors details are correct, let's not gloss over a couple of details within that noted.

The morality rate, know mortality rate, hovers between 2.5 and 5.5% for those infected with other possible complication for those infected. The problem with truly understanding the data is the inability to have all of the required information at this stage.

1) Preliminary studies are surfacing which indicate many more have been infected than tested, this possibly changing the overall mortality rate.

2) Age is a known factor, which can be used to both determine who should go back to work and who should not choose to do so.

3) Preexisting health conditions are certainly a risk factor and should be calculated when determining when / how to return to work.

At this time, we do know that an individual who is 85, is asthmatic and suffers from some type of pulmonary condition is at high risk and should avoid contact with anyone who is ill or tests positive for the virus.

Let's hope that Washington DC, the home of incompetency and special interests, can get their act together and make some decent decisions on getting the country back to work and in recovery. Part of that effort will be both to rescind some of these restrictions and place safeguards to protect those that are vulnerable.

Shepard

And by the way Mr. Christopher, the use of marijuana by the youth of this country will be, if it were to be widespread and habitual, extremely detrimental. It is obvious that, as with other ‘drugs’ such as tobacco, alcohol, etc., regular use of marijuana by persons younger than 25 will impede higher learning functions and net us a less intelligent population.

I hope that you marijuana advocates put that in your ‘freedom to drug ourselves’ computations.

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