So this year has been crazy, right? But I realize that the we always had more of a chance for this year to have more batty things than usual.
Bear with me, and you’ll see why.
This year is a leap year. Remember that February 29th thing we had some months ago? I went to a Leap Day party to celebrate. Weird flex, I know, but also it was the last legitimate party I’ve attended. (I miss being comfortable near people.)
Now, leap years are quadrennial occurrences. And they line up with the years of the general election.
If you are reading this with prior deep knowledge of leap years, you’re probably ready to point out that a leap year isn’t actually every four years. We have leap centuries. While 2000 was a leap year, 1900 was not a leap year, and 2100 will not be a leap year. Same goes for 2200 and 2300. But we’re back on track with 2400. We’ll all be long dead by 2400, so those of you who were alive on February 29, 2000 got to experience a leap century. Those who were born since then may experience the eight years between leap days. I’ll be long dead before 2100 comes around. (I hope my fiancee does not read this post because she gets all misty-eyed when I talk about how I won’t reach the age of 112. I mean I get her point, but still.)
So effectively every general election year is a leap year. So you take the chaos of a general election year, add an extra day to it, usually throw in the Olympics, and it’s going to be messy.
Did we expect to have Covid, murder bees, a billion animals dying in the fires in Australia, the Executive Branch taking away our freedoms by pretending to allow for our freedoms to be protected (I mention this in reference to Coronavirus specifically)? No, but it happened.
Fellow Mirman alum Eugene Volokh’s wrote about the idea of mandatory vaccinations from a libertarian perspective. While he writes this in terms of vaccines, it is no stretch to apply his message to wearing a mask. My insertions [ARE LIKE THIS].
It is a sad fact of biology that we can spread communicable diseases without any conscious decision on our parts, even without knowing that we are infected. Any time we do this, we are causing physical harm to someone else, and indirectly causing physical harm to many others; and we do that without choosing to cause such harm.
So I think that a libertarian may reasonably conclude, I think, that refusing to get immunized [OR REFUSING TO WEAR A MASK] is wrongful behavior. Such refusal may lead to one’s becoming a vehicle for transmitting a dangerous and sometimes deadly disease to third parties, and thus harming those third parties (in a way that an “assumption of risk” argument would not excuse). And while a vaccine [OR WEARING A MASK] will step in before the harm is inflicted, rather than as punishment for inflicting harm, it doesn’t make sense to take a punishment model: Again, the harm of spreading communicable disease generally isn’t inflicted through deliberate choice to do something unusually dangerous (other than the deliberate choice not to get vaccinated [OR TO WEAR A MASK]).
The full thing is here: https://reason.com/2020/08/10/libertarianism-and-communicable-disease/
Also I am among those who for a long time didn’t understand that the phrase All Lives Matter isn’t what it sounds like it is. I had taken it at face value. Then I started to see a trend in the groups that were using that phrase. I’m for equality, so when I realized that BLM is Black Lives Matter (too) and that it was the people who had co-opted All Lives Matter to be used to imply that BLM means (Only) Black Lives Matter, I was annoyed that it had taken me so long, but at least I got there.
A lot has gone wrong with 2020. But we had more of a chance for it to go wrong to this point. We had a full extra day. No matter the year, there are always 136 days to December 31 from August 17. [Inspirational finish here.]