Do Public Health Policies Supersede Civil Liberties?

As the coronavirus quarantine continues into another week, some people have grown discontented with the restrictive measures imposed on individuals by various state governments. Specifically, there are growing calls to loosen the restrictions on attending church and on assemblies of people.

Those who argue that public health policies supersede civil liberties argue that allowing assemblies would lead to a spread of coronavirus. This side tends to believe that limiting some rights like assembly and worship is necessary during this health crisis in order to minimize the number of Americans who die from the virus. They also argue that there are ways for individuals to assemble and worship virtually.

Those who oppose the number of restrictions on assemblies argue that they violate fundamental freedoms that should never be trampled on. This side tends to believe that individual rights like the freedom to worship and the freedom to assemble should take precedent over any health and safety concerns in a community. They also fear that precedents for restricting basic liberties during a crisis will be used later to justify further limitations on freedoms.

What do you think? Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Students can answer Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties; No, they do not supersede civil liberties; or something in between!

Current Standings:
Yes: 72%
No: 28%
  • Lara from Ohio

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? I’m not sure about all that honestly, the question is a whole lot more complicated but so is the reality we live in right now. Although it’s a lot simpler when you think about it this way, do people’s lives matter more than wanting to go out to the beach? Yes, but is the question that simple, no? Nothing is ever black and white, especially now when things are more gray than ever. When deciding, I’m sure attempts to promote public safety while also protecting individual rights were considered. But this proves harder in this case. At other times, I see the support for the extension of individual rights, while right now, it has to be allowed for individual rights to not just be the same for the sake of promoting public safety. But you also have to remember this uncertainty really is only for a short period of time. It’s not the end of the world, unless the precautions are not taken. And the stay at home measures being obliged are showing to be working and if we just hang on a little longer, we can go back to a sense of normal. We are blessed to do things virtually, that is where the world is going, and this is forcing us to see a different light, learn how to be kind online. It’s turned into this thing of Coronavirus vs. Constitution. But how can it really come down to just that? The constitution doesn’t have a section for COVID-19, it is to be interpreted, and has been to its ability by experts for the safety of America. According to multiple constitutional scholars STAT spoke to, the mandatory social distancing orders are constitutional and not only for the time being, it is ethical too. Really when it comes down to what is written, you do have the right to assemble, right to protest, and all your amendment rights, but what are you using those rights for, your own personal wants? What about those on the front line, the most vulnerable, you who could be carrying it home to your immediate loved ones. But please go on, it’s your rights isn’t it? To really be thinking about liberties at such a devastating time like this shows how privileged we are. While many are dying, running out of toilet paper, food, missing church, most countries do not even know what freedoms are like, and we’re resisting at a time like this? How do you think they are surviving? And to the other side that fears that restricting these liberties during a crisis can be used to justify further limitations on our freedom, trust America to know when enough is enough and use our freedoms to fight back. But at that time. We have got to stop worrying over the future, that’s what’s really killing us. I understand and in some ways agree with the no, we all just want to live life to fullest because we only have one short one. But what if we could use yours, in the time being, knowing you’d saved another? Wouldn’t that be amazing! It’s not our civil liberties that’ll bring fulfillment. We have to have hope, keep peace, simile, and pray because in the end, that’s all we can really do to make a difference!

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? I’m not sure about all that honestly, the question is a whole lot more complicated but so is th…

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    • John from South Carolina

      I agree with the statement as we live in a weird time today we should limit some of our rights to protect other citizens well being of not being expose. A lot of people are mad at the government response of being to strict and the response time. I think they are doing the best that they can of think of 331,000,000 million people that can possibles well being of health, responded the right way because this generation of people who are considered young, middle age and government leader have never been through this before, so this experience is all new to everyone. I know that I have stayed inside my house and have only left for work/pick up supplies. I have on seen my friends 3 times since the pandemic not because someones telling me not to, i’m doing because im worried about the safety/future of my community, family, friends and people that o’ve known most of my life.

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      I agree with the statement as we live in a weird time today we should limit some of our rights to protect other citizens well being of not being expos…

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    • Luis from Texas

      I think that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. Supersede means something is replacing an authority, so the prompt is asking if policies are replacing our civil liberties, which means our rights and freedoms are protected from any third parties. A current third party is the current pandemic, the coronavirus, that is appearing globally. This pandemic has limited our civil liberties for the good of our health so the virus does not spread. Some civil liberties that are affected by the pandemic are assembly and religion as these have large gatherings where physical contact is present. Physical contact is what causes the spread of the coronavirus, so assembly or religious gatherings are not to be permitted for the safety of people. The Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia is almost completely empty this time of year when usually it would be the fullest due to the current Islamic event happening, Ramadan. The Kaaba is a very religious site especially to the Islamic people, yet it is empty due to the coronavirus. It is empty so that people do not get infected. This is a good example of why our civil liberties should be limited so the virus does not further spread than it already has. A good way to supplement assembly and physical religious gathering could be doing it virtually. This could easily limit physical contact while also at the same time, offering religious service and limiting large assembly of people.

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      I think that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. Supersede means something is replacing an authority, so the prompt is asking if poli…

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  • Samantha from Minnesota

    When problems arise in our world that do not have obvious solutions, there are always a few different responses.
    First, the people who will not agree with any decision, and only want to live their lives as they have with every degree of normalcy they expect.
    Next, the people who will take too many precautions, and listen to too many decisions in order to keep themselves safe from problems they likely never would have had.
    Then, the people in the middle. The ones who listen to science rather than politics.
    We have found ourselves in one of these situations. In 2019, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus- or COVID-19- was discovered in Wuhan, China, and kept under wraps by the government. Since then, it’s spread to almost every country, state, province, and municipality in the world. In the United States, people are asking an important question: should we listen to the government at risk of giving up our rights? That is- does public health supersede civil liberties?
    The answer is undoubtedly yes.
    The 2019 Novel Coronavirus spread to the U.S. swiftly and efficiently, and caused some public panic. Among other things, you may have problems finding toilet paper on your weekly shopping trips because of this. When the first few deaths from the virus began to be reported, regulation rolled out across the country, and almost immediately people were mad.
    It could be considered unavoidable, really. No matter your political affiliation, if someone from the other side says anything, you’re almost guaranteed to hate it. People decided that this regulation forced them to give up their freedom in the self-proclaimed most free country in the world, and they wouldn’t stand for that.
    So, who is in the right? The regulations are made to protect people whether they like it or not. By staying home, you protect everyone around you, even if you don’t have the virus. People with compromised immune systems can be especially vulnerable to diseases like this, and cannot risk being in public with protesters all about. It really comes to a basic question in the end; do you want to risk causing more deaths in your own city by going out to large public gatherings, or stay home and be a little uncomfortable for the sake of the many? I know what I would pick.
    The economy can recover, you can go to church later, but lives? People cannot be revived, no matter how much you want it. Question is, are you ready to live with the fact that your toilet paper cost a life?

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    When problems arise in our world that do not have obvious solutions, there are always a few different responses.
    First, the people who will not agree…

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  • Tiffany from California

    Yes. Public health policies supersede civil liberties. The rapid spread of corona cases has been devastating worldwide, and especially in the US. It has created a great strain in the healthcare system, economy, and families alike. It is an unprecedented event that needs to be solved together with a collective effort, and that is what the government was made for. The good news is that Covid19 can be solved by working together as studies have shown that it can be controlled by limiting contact and movement and thus exposure. However, this creates tension with the government overstepping on the rights of the people it serves. Although government officials have the public health interest to incentivize restricted movement and thus a limitation in civil liberties such as the freedom to worship and the freedom to assemble, it is important to note that this restricted movement is only done with a majority of the public’s consent. Without the people’s consent, the government’s orders would not be followed. The people must allow for these rights to be limited and this action is only brought on because the government has made clear with compelling reasoning the sheer magnitude of the issue at hand. I would consider the explanation of a contagious and deadly respiratory disease that has put the nation into a national public health emergency with a weakness to social distancing, a very good reason to temporarily give up some rights for the well-being of the community, city, state, and country. The faster this issue is quelled and controlled the faster these limitations on our rights can be lifted and a sense of normalcy achieved.I know it’s hard, sacrifices will have to be made, and it’s easy to be tempted by the instant-gratification of reopening the country, but the long term damage would be so much more devastating and unsustainable–for both human rights and human lives. That’s why the government must place public health policies ahead as this crisis demands both leadership and a long term plan where once reopened, America can stay opened and rights can be reclaimed. Additionally, some may argue that precedents for restricting basic liberties during a crisis will be used later to justify further limitations on freedoms and this is a justifiable concern. However, there are safeguards to note from a government run by and for the people. Safeguards such as the government’s need to explain with compelling reasoning the need to limit certain rights as well as the people’s vigilance of obstruction of their basic rights and their willingness or unwillingness to agree with the actions and policies of government.
    I hope this was helpful, feel free to respond!

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    Yes. Public health policies supersede civil liberties. The rapid spread of corona cases has been devastating worldwide, and especially in the US. It h…

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  • Juhi from Ohio

    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties, and for good reason. For example, using the freedom of speech as an excuse for shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded area, without any evidence, is invalid. They would receive appropriate punishment because there are limits to such a liberty. The same way, the freedom of going outside and coming in contact with others is one with limits, such as self-isolating and following directions of the government because this is a national emergency!

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties, and for good reason. For example, using the freedom of speech as an excuse for shouting “FIR…

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  • Cassandra from California

    “Civil liberty” has recently become something of a catch-all term in conversations about state and federal public health policy. An “infringement” on civil liberties is often conflated with minor inconveniences or loosely-imposed restrictions in public spaces that are not much different than the traffic laws we follow voluntarily, only the verbiage has been synonymized with party polarization, and the meaning lost. We regularly forfeit certain modes of expression to exist in public places (e.g dress codes in school/at work), or hold the certain legal, moral, or behavioural standards above personal liberties (e.g. breach of peace laws). Context is imperative; if some liberty must be sacrificed for order or wellbeing, a give-and-take cycle that America has practiced since its conception, then it could be argued that public health policy is in league with the law. Considering the severity of the regulations (or lack thereof), I don’t think “civil liberties” is really applicable here. Knowingly endangering others is, in a sense, infringing upon their right to live. If the expression of one’s civil liberties unregulated causes harm to others, those liberties are regulated. It’s not really a new concept, just a hot-button one.

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    “Civil liberty” has recently become something of a catch-all term in conversations about state and federal public health policy. An “infringemen…

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  • Mia from California

    Do public healthy policies supersede civil liberties?
    We are currently living in the middle of a global pandemic in which hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives. The United States is currently number one in the world in COVID-19 deaths and our infection rate is climbing with every passing day. I live in California and our number of cases and deaths continues to rise. Under these circumstances I believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties because you are doing what is best in the long run. Right now it is not important that one gets their hair cut or goes out to dinner, it is important to protect those who have this disease and prevent others from contracting it. Before we talk about civil liberties, we need to get the infection rate under control and pass legislation that will set us on the right path. Frankly, I believe it is selfish to discuss your own mediocre needs during a global pandemic where people around the world are dying or losing loved ones rapidly. The “normal” that we lived before COVID-19 can be achieved again, but only if we sacrifice our civil liberties now for the greater good.

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    Do public healthy policies supersede civil liberties?
    We are currently living in the middle of a global pandemic in which hundreds of thousands of pe…

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  • Ashley from California

    I believe that public health policies supersedes civil liberties because these responses to the Covid-19 pandemic are meant to ultimately serve the people and benefit the community collectively. Rather than limiting people’s freedom and rights, these policies are working to preserve the health and humanity. Overall, I strongly believe that there should be a unified agreement that health takes precedent over everything else. There are many repercussions to our society and country if we do not address the health issues first. While many believe that these policies are trying to limit the rights of the people, they are trying to contain the spread so that, in the future, things can return to how they once were. I believe that if there is a unified policy for people to help decrease the mortality rate and keep others safe, that should be priority. I feel like the debate over this issue stems from peoples strong opinions on their political standpoint and supporting their sides, ignoring the health aspect of it.

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    I believe that public health policies supersedes civil liberties because these responses to the Covid-19 pandemic are meant to ultimately serve the pe…

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  • Jacob from California

    I think that yes, public health takes priorities in civil liberties. This may not hold true in every circumstance, but especially in times of emergency (like those we are experiencing now) the public health must be considered above the individual’s liberties. That said I do understand the contention over this argument, and do realize the validity of the other side as well. Some feel that if they give an inch to the government, it’ll take a mile. What people don’t seem to realize that an inch in these circumstances could potentially save thousands upon thousands of lives. Since there is no cure for the coronavirus, as well as a vaccine as of yet, the best we can do to stop the spread of the pandemic is act preventatively. Unfortunately, acting prevantatively means sacrificing ones own liberties to better protect the public. An upshot of this situation is that the sooner and more completely we commit to wearing masks and social distancing, the sooner and more completely we can return to some sense of normalcy. It’s also important to realize that the actions of individuals here do make a difference. I’ve seen so many people acting selfishly, thinking that their actions don’t count in the grand scheme of things. Even a single person stepping up and taking the proper measures against this pandemic could potentially save many others.

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    I think that yes, public health takes priorities in civil liberties. This may not hold true in every circumstance, but especially in times of emergenc…

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  • Ellie from California

    Public Health Policies absolutely supersede Civil Liberties.

    As of right now, the US has the most COVID-19 cases in the entire world, at 4 million cases and 150,000 deaths. These devastatingly large numbers are a direct result of the mentality of many in this country. Not only has the government failed to do anything that will stop or lessen the spreading of this disease, many citizens refuse to abide by regulations put in place for their safety and the safety of others, such as not wearing a mask or gathering in large crowds.

    The fact of the matter is that this shouldn’t even be a debate. When lives are on the line, public health mandates need to be followed. Period. Yes, it is important to protect the rights of citizens, particularly the rights to assembly and religion, but the regulations put in place still allow those rights. Thanks to technology, people are able to hold virtual religious services. While I myself am not religious, my family is, and they tune in every Sunday to hear our pastor’s sermon over Zoom. Even in-person assemblies are possible, if every person wears a mask and social distances.

    Additionally, constitutional rights are put in place to protect not only the freedom of citizens, but also their safety. Freedom of speech protects a person’s right to say what they want – unless there is a clear and present danger, for example, a death threat, in which case, the speech is illegal. The second amendment protects any citizen’s rights to bear arms – but it doesn’t protect their right to shoot someone for any reason other than self defense, because that would be illegal. As US citizens, our rights are always protected – unless our acting on those rights can endanger someone. By hanging out with friends, protesting, going to church, or a myriad of other activities without the proper safety precautions, we are endangering the lives of others and therefore breaking the law.

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    Public Health Policies absolutely supersede Civil Liberties.

    As of right now, the US has the most COVID-19 cases in the entire world, at 4 million…

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  • Alex from California

    Yes. I believe that Public Health Policies supersede Civil Liberties. Because of the murky waters surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens believe that some state/local governments’ rulings such as wearing face masks or a mandated quarantine violate their Civil Liberties. For example, where I live in Southern California, there have been many anti-Governor Newsom protests because of his mandates of a stay-at-home order and a statewide requirement to wear PPE in public. While I believe that these protesters’ sentiments are valid (they shouldn’t have to give up their personal freedoms to comply with a government regulation), the health of a state (or nation) as a whole trumps one’s personal feelings. Even though it is inconvenient to live in a pandemic and to follow all recommendations and requirements to keep everyone safe, the laws are put in place for that exact reason: to be able to live. If everyone has their civil liberties but is sick and dying because they failed to realize their actions catalyzed the further spread of a virus that is deadly to a large chunk of people, are they even considered liberties? Even if you have freedom, is it considered freedom, even if it kills you? While I understand what people are feeling during these unprecedented times, it is of utmost importance that we, as a society, band together for the prolonged freedom of everyone forever, rather than of certain unaffected people temporarily.

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    Yes. I believe that Public Health Policies supersede Civil Liberties. Because of the murky waters surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens bel…

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  • Sara from California

    Currently, many individuals view restrictions due to coronavirus as infringements on rights protected by the Constitution. They fear government control and see these restrictions as the federal government overstepping their bounds. However, I do not believe this is the case.
    The argument has been made that social distancing guidelines that prohibit churches from congregating are an example of government infringement on both freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I view this as a vast oversimplification. Many churches have viable alternatives such as virtual online services that serve the same purpose as in-person services, without the risk of spreading COVID-19 and worsening the epidemic. It is an unprecedented time where people must look to find alternatives to traditional in-person meetups and activities. But, because of the consequences of these in-person congregations, it seems completely reasonable and right to prioritize public health. Churches are not being discouraged from congregating (which could be considered an infringement on rights) they are being prohibited from congregating IN PERSON. Citizens are discouraged from meeting with each other in person, dining out. They are not at all being discouraged from meeting virtually, getting takeout from their favorite local restaurants. Because all of these in-person interactions cause transmission of COVID-19 and facilitate the spread of this novel disease, which has already taken the lives of thousands of Americans and overwhelmed our hospitals. With the lives of Americans at stake, it seems nothing but reasonable to prioritize public health and safety. These restrictions are not permanent, they are temporary and taken in order to save as many lives as possible. Freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights have been interpreted differently over time and very little is actually set in stone. Time, place, and circumstance play a very important role. For instance, freedom of speech was called into question in the Schenck v. United States case, and the Court ruled that in cases of “clear and present danger,” free speech could be limited. This is simply to show that our civil liberties, though protected, are up to interpretation in extreme cases and under extreme or unusual circumstances: a global pandemic certainly is an extreme and unusual circumstance. Those who blankly protest that they are “losing civil liberties” are turning a blind eye to the devastation of the pandemic- a legitimate health crisis. The restrictions that are “taking away rights” are, additionally, temporary. It is important to save as many lives as possible: if this means that people are prohibited from assembling for a period of time, so be it.
    I believe the issue becomes more complicated regarding the reopening of businesses: determining where and when businesses can reopen, which businesses can reopen, and which safety precautions must be taken while still allowing enough of a “return to normalcy” to allow the economy to stabilize and for people to retain their businesses, jobs, and livelihoods.

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    Currently, many individuals view restrictions due to coronavirus as infringements on rights protected by the Constitution. They fear government contro…

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  • Kaylee from California

    While yes, our civil liberties are important and a major building block from which our country was formed, it is also important to recognize that these liberties have certain limitations to protect the nation as a whole. If you think about the first amendment, freedom of speech, it gives us the right to speak our minds as long as the things that we say are not threatening. Similarly, the right to assemble has its limitations seeing as an assembly can be broken up if it presents a clear and/or present danger. With the current pandemic, which is arguably both a clear and present danger, I believe it is safe to say that this right can be restricted in order to protect the masses. Morally, it should be obvious that some sacrifices need to be made in an effort to stop the spread, meaning that these regulations shouldn’t have to be enforced so thoroughly. However, many people continue to be disillusioned by the fact that they have not yet been infected and so they continue to gather. It is this ignorance that needs to be regulated and held accountable to save those who are much less fortunate which is why public health supersedes civil liberties.

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    While yes, our civil liberties are important and a major building block from which our country was formed, it is also important to recognize that thes…

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  • Sydney from California

    I believe that Public Health Policies do supersede civil liberties in some cases. Obviously, the Constitution does not have a footnote for a deadly pandemic killing thousands of Americans. So it comes down to how we interpret the situation and what we deem necessary and unnecessary to the health of our nation as a whole. I agree that our civil liberties should not be thrown out the window in the case of Covid-19, but I don’t believe that they have been in the first place. Religious gatherings are at the forefront of many of the debates. People want to attend church and gather in a familiar place in this uncertain time. But these gatherings, often filled with members of the older population, are hot spots for the coronavirus to infect thousands of people. This virus grows at an alarmingly exponential rate, and since church can always be streamed online, it feels insane to me that people would rather risk infecting hundreds of people when there are other options available. I also note the lack of accessibility to the internet in rural areas and in poorer neighborhoods, often where religion has a strong presence as well. But churches around the country have proved that they can hold drive in sermons and work to keep social distancing in place while still holding their ceremonies. It doesn’t make sense to me to endanger the greater population when there is a compromise available. Social distancing restrictions do not infringe upon the exercising of religion, as it is still possible to worship from home.

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    I believe that Public Health Policies do supersede civil liberties in some cases. Obviously, the Constitution does not have a footnote for a deadly pa…

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  • Elsa from South Carolina

    Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many public health policies have been put in place to ensure the safety of all U.S citizens. I believe that these rights should be followed whenever any individual is in a public area to ensure not only the safety of the said individual, but also others around them. Within the article ” “COVID-19.” AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, American Public Health Association, 2020, http://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/communicable-disease/coronavirus.”, the article provides numerous links to sources that discuss why it is imperative that we all as U.S citizens need to follow the social distancing guidelines as well as making sure we wear masks in public at the bare minimum. The COVID-19 virus extremely deadly and communicable, so following the guidelines to stay 6 feet apart from people and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while in public is not an attack on our civil liberties. If there aren’t any citizens to have civil liberties to protect, then the fact that they have those liberties will not matter if they are on their death bed because they chose not to follow public health policies. Doctors are also on the front lines fighting the disease by caring for patients who have fallen victim to COVID-19 and crating new vaccines and drugs to combat the disease. It is our job as citizens to make their job easier on them and their families by following the public health guidelines and putting our safety at the forefront instead of our pride. The article “Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Policy for COVID-19 Tests During the Public Health Emergency (Revised).” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, May 2020, http://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/policy-coronavirus-disease-2019-tests-during-public-health-emergency-revised.”, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health also discuss how the public health policies are only for the duration of the outbreak. Due to these factors, public health policies supersede out civil liberties as citizens of the U.S.

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    Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many public health policies have been put in place to ensure the safety of all U.S citizens. I believe that these rights…

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  • Gabe from South Carolina

    I believe that in fight for the security and well being for the people of the United States, then yes; public health policies should supersede our civil liberties in public, but not in the privacy of our own homes.

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    I believe that in fight for the security and well being for the people of the United States, then yes; public health policies should supersede our civ…

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  • Cayla from South Carolina

    Yes, public health policies do supersede a few civil liberties but for a good reason. For example, freedom of religion and closed churches, due to COVID-19 churches and other religious places have been closed to help provide a safer environment for us so that we won’t give COVID-19 an opportunity to spread as quickly. Although the physical building is closed there are alternatives such as virtual church. Another civil liberty that was affected by COVID-19 is the ability to travel freely, due to the coronavirus a travel ban was issued, of course, to limit the spread of the virus from state to state and country to country, and so on. While a few of our civil liberties are being superseded, it is only being done to help us protect our citizens and help control the virus so that we can go back to our normal lives.

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede a few civil liberties but for a good reason. For example, freedom of religion and closed churches, due to COV…

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  • Madeleine from South Carolina

    This is an unprecedented time and the world is currently experiencing a global pandemic. Although personal worship and mass gathering is essential to some individuals’ lives, it’s not necessary. Public health takes jurisdiction over our civil liberties during this time. The CDC has already confirmed 82,246 American lives lost because of the CoronaVirus. Public health has placed these restrictions to not only protect ourselves, but to also prevent the spread of the virus to those around us. The restrictions placed on social gatherings is for the greater good and is in place to keep us safe. In other words, pushing for large social gatherings of any kind (religious or not) put everyones lives in danger. With all the negativity in the world right now, communities have stepped up and rallied together to support each other. If people choose to follow the stay-at-home order, many lives will be saved. Thomas Jefferson argued for the pursuit of unalienable rights that cannot be taken away from the government, but this is no deliberate choice to target communities’ freedoms. This is a global pandemic and we’ve got to support each other and follow the public health restrictions. Our health comes before our civil liberties if it means it will keep us safe and save many lives. Let’s make the effort to protect each other from this virus and follow the stay-at-home orders until it is safe.

    “Cases in the U.S.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 May 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html.

    “Natural Rights.” Constitutional Rights Foundation, 2001, http://www.crf-usa.org/foundations-of-our-constitution/natural-rights.html.

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    This is an unprecedented time and the world is currently experiencing a global pandemic. Although personal worship and mass gathering is essential to …

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  • Ehrial from South Carolina

    Yes, Public health policies supersede civil liberties, because the Coronavirus is seen as a threat to all of mankind. Public health put these rules in place to help reduce the problem until wee find a vaccine or cure for it. People believe there civil liberties are threatened because they can not go where they please. Just imagine, if they could the amount of deaths would rise and more people would get it. I believe that people can give up their civil liberties for a greater cause. For instance, if those people who feel threaten by these public health rules, go out and enjoy their civil liberties they will just increase the time we have under these public health rules and worse get sick. You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you are sick, or even worse dead.

    “Cases in the U.S.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 May 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html.

    “The Latest on the Coronavirus.” News, 13 May 2020, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-latest-on-the-coronavirus/

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    Yes, Public health policies supersede civil liberties, because the Coronavirus is seen as a threat to all of mankind. Public health put these rules in…

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  • Hayden from South Carolina

    Pubic health policies do in fact supersede civil liberties. Covid-19 is a very real and scary situation we have to face at the moment. I hold this view because we as a world won’t get better, until everyone follows the rules set in place by our government. Our government is trying to stop the spread, but when people don’t do their part it’s like the government is fighting an uphill battle. In the Article, “The US churches and pastors ignoring ‘stay-at-home’ orders”, in it a Florida pastor complained he was a “victim of a tyrannical government”. The government is not being tyrannical they are trying to stop the spread. There have been a total of 1.42M cases and 84,705 deaths in the US. In South Carolina there are a total of 7,792 cases and 392 deaths. This further proves the need for people to stay in and let time take its course or for the doctors and scientist find a solution.

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    Pubic health policies do in fact supersede civil liberties. Covid-19 is a very real and scary situation we have to face at the moment. I hold this v…

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  • Jenna from South Carolina

    Yes Public health supersedes our civil liberties. I believe this due to the uprising of cases and deaths that have occurred and have been reported. As someone who works in the fast food industry, and seeing the reopening of our dinning halls I can confirm that it is not a good idea. As seen in the article by the Washington Post “As the death toll from the corona virus pandemic neared 300,000 worldwide and 85,000 in the United States, officials explored ways to loosen pandemic restrictions with no clear path forward.” With reopening stores and public places can boost the pandemic rates. We also need to take in account that this virus can affect anyone and kill us if we are weak enough. Public health policies in place to help us. The CDC has official rates for the corona virus and as of current, the total cases in the US are 1,364,061 and current death toll is 82,246. We need to take in account that this virus is deadly and we need to do what we can to protect ourselves.
    Teo Armus, Antonia Farzan. “Live Updates: Countries Reimpose Lockdowns after Coronavirus Infections Spike; Fauci Warns of Avoidable ‘Suffering and Death’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 May 2020, http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/13/coronavirus-update-us/.
    “Cases in the U.S.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 May 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html.

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    Yes Public health supersedes our civil liberties. I believe this due to the uprising of cases and deaths that have occurred and have been reported. As…

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  • Zoe from South Carolina

    Although people clearly think that civil liberties are more important, health policies do supersede civil liberties at the moment. It’s important that they do because if health policies hadn’t been set people would still continue to carry on like life is normal when it’s far from it which would’ve resulted in many more deaths then there have been. Even though their are a handful of people that don’t listen to the health policies, it’s still important that they were out into place. So that while they are trying to find a cure things can continue to get better so that life can go back to normal sooner rather than much later.

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    Although people clearly think that civil liberties are more important, health policies do supersede civil liberties at the moment. It’s important tha…

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  • Nicholas from South Carolina

    I do think public health policies supersede civil liberties. People are very upset with the current stay-at-home orders, and want to go back to their normal ways of life. The people of the United States have the right to protest, but are at a great risk of catching the coronavirus during this time. (Independent, 2020) In these protests, people are clearly not practicing social distancing policies, and are endangering themselves and others.

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    I do think public health policies supersede civil liberties. People are very upset with the current stay-at-home orders, and want to go back to their …

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  • Gisele from South Carolina

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties, This is stopping most of us for going out into the public. this is a complicated topic because i am only 18, so my view is different yes, but at this point of time, I believe this is stopping us from having an everyday life. I think that this has gone on too long, our president isn’t even doing his job, hes just bragging at this point, they health officials are trying their best to make everything safe, but they really dont have power over the president. he controls the law, and everything around it, and at this pint the disease had hit the curb.

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties, This is stopping most of us for going out into the public. this is a complicated topic because i …

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  • lorynn from South Carolina

    Through uncertain times like these, it is highly encouraged that we stick to our beliefs and gather with our peers to support one another, or to pray for the reassurance and well being of those around us. These are our civil liberties after all, but when it conflicts with the general health of the public; there is no question as to whether or not these meetings should come to a halt. Reports from http://www.cdc.gov explain “the virus is spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets from an infected sneeze or cough” the source also explains the virus is transmitted through touch. While essential stores such as Walmart, doctors offices and grocery stores must remain open. It is simply impractical to keep churches and other service building open when the same practices can be performed at home. while it may not eliminate the chances of infection, it still produces a major decrease. If Every person outside is susceptible to the virus, then our civil liberties should be regulated by a much higher educated power. such as the government in collaboration with the CDC, not us opinionated, emotional communities. The organization Edge.org, explains that “sociability is a dominant force that shapes thoughts, behaviors, physiology and neural activity.” So humans, by nature, want social interaction, leading us to be more susceptible to agreeing to less social distancing measures, against our best interest.

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    Through uncertain times like these, it is highly encouraged that we stick to our beliefs and gather with our peers to support one another, or to pray …

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  • Dorian from North Carolina

    I think any decision made to slow the spread of COVID-19 is for the greater good. We should all listen and take this seriously. This is not the flu so stop treating it as such. The restrictions are being made to protect the lives of the American people, so you should not act like they are taking away your right when they are trying to protect you.

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    I think any decision made to slow the spread of COVID-19 is for the greater good. We should all listen and take this seriously. This is not the flu so…

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  • Nicholas from Missouri

    I believe that the public health is more important than civil liberties in a temporary scenario like the one we have been put in. If this where to be an enduring and long lasting case then our rights would be violated; many people are dying right now due to the virus and it could be taken care of a lot quicker if people actually listened to the recommendations given to stay inside and social distance. In a long term layout-yes rights would be violated to no avail.

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    I believe that the public health is more important than civil liberties in a temporary scenario like the one we have been put in. If this where to be …

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  • Alexis from South Carolina

    It is clear that despite health officials saying that vast restrictions and lockdowns save lives it is clear that policies are in fact infringing on civil liberties. For many, staying home and locking down is the best way to stay safe and healthy as this virus ravages the country. However, for the single moms who need to work to feed their children, the weekly churchgoers, and for the physically able kids who are now suffering mentally the policy is ridiculous. The lock downs are cruel to peoples rights to freedom and their pursuit of happiness. In line with that understanding that individual Americans and families know what is best for them better than anyone else. The country was designed on the idea that the American people can weigh risk and rewards and take care of themselves. Government is there to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they are protecting the natural rights first described by John Locke. When parents cannot provide for their children liberty is lost. . A government that cannot trust its citizens to make decisions about their lives will not be one that is very successful and it will not be a promoter of freedom.

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    It is clear that despite health officials saying that vast restrictions and lockdowns save lives it is clear that policies are in fact infringing on c…

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  • cody from Missouri

    even though I do not like this time but my answer is yes because all the states and governments have been doing have been for your safety and you still have your liberties at this time I’ve been able to assemble, getting to see people sense the stay at home order even if its not the people I want to I got to do it, freedom of religion I get that even if you can’t go the church personal you can still practice your religion and you can always go to church online its still the same just with less people. then if you think about it the government is doing everything by the law, everything thats about quarantine thats in the law they are doing, the not being able to without reasoning they have the reasoning even if you not like it, and as you see people are holding assemblies to protest this witch is also a civil right, so no matter how much you hate this and want it to be over the government is allow to do this because its supersedes civil liberties even if you still have them if you know how you can use them during this time.

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    even though I do not like this time but my answer is yes because all the states and governments have been doing have been for your safety and you stil…

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  • Candace from South Carolina

    I believe we should be cautious under the circumstances. Therefore, I believe that yes, public health policies should supersede civil liberties. However, I would re-word the question. Maybe I would say that public health policies put in place are interceding with our civil liberties for the circumstances and not taking the place of civil liberties. We still have our civil liberties. For example, freedom of speech and religion. Many religions may have strict rituals, but we have to be creative and worship alternatively via technology or drive through accommodations, or using your own resources, etcetera. No one is restricted from believing what they want to believe. The rights of being provided life liberty and property without “due process of law” (meaning without proper application of law) is pertaining to decisions made in court, but is a great comparison to what’s going on right now, policies put in place. Again, I would say we have to be considerate of the circumstances. The economy wouldn’t otherwise be disrupted and negatively affected, and everyone is making efforts to help people retain their possessions.

    Some may think It’s only a small percentage of deaths, but the percentage is becoming higher each day. The goal is NO percentage. Analyzing data can just mean prediction. It’s about being flexible. I also believe it should always be life and well being over money. Lastly, I just had a thought, that many people are protesting when someone wants to keep them alive, so used to the normal flow of life, when others, like minorities, Blacks, rally to stay alive. YES, you have the right to protest and I don’t mean any disrespect, or I don’t want anyone to gain a sense that I’m telling people what to protest for, but my opinion… not the best idea right now. (Just be safe, wear masks, social distance, all those things as you’ve heard!) People urging stay at home orders have the best interest of everyone. When I look at the news, I see people expressing their views and opinions and I respect that. I respect that some protests to lift restrictions were done without hateful intentions. And genuine protests with issues/concerns sparked as a result of the virus. (There are always safer options/protocol). I would just say, think of healthcare workers speaking up on their experiences, to give everyone a taste of their struggles and crying, pleading everyone to stay home as they risk their lives. Nothing is certain. You never know whether or not the virus could hit home. That is why public health policies are definitely necessary, even if civil liberties are in a sense transformed.

    Nelson, Jeremy. “The Bill of Rights (Amendments 1 – 10).” National Center for
    Constitutional Studies, © 2020 National Center for Constitutional Studies | Powered by Shopify, 1 Jan. 2018, https://nccs.net/blogs/americas-founding-documents/bill-of-rights-amendments-1-10

    Smokeball Inc. “Due Process Definition: What Does Due Process Mean?” Smokeball, ©
    Copyright 2020 Smokeball, Inc. , 20 Sept. 2018, http://www.smokeball.com/blog/what-does-due-process-mean/.

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    I believe we should be cautious under the circumstances. Therefore, I believe that yes, public health policies should supersede civil liberties. Howev…

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  • Josh from South Carolina

    Civil liberties can be restricted in times of extreme need, such as the current pandemic. This kind of necessary restriction has been done many times in history. For example, Abraham Lincoln temporarily suspended the writ of habeas corpus in order to silence opposition to the union. He claimed his actions were justified as the constitution states that habeas corpus can be suspended if the public safety may require it (US Const. Art I, Sec. 9). While this example may not be directly applicable to the current situation, it does prove that times of extreme need justify curbing the rights of citizens. Furthermore, quarantine and social distancing appears to be working. While the virus is still spreading, it’s “not at the pace previously seen”(Renken). The measures currently in place are starting to stagnate the growth of the deadly virus. Therefore the effective measures are justified in such extreme circumstances, even if it does affect our civil liberties.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lincolns-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-is-challenged

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/16/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s

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    Civil liberties can be restricted in times of extreme need, such as the current pandemic. This kind of necessary restriction has been done many times …

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  • Mateo from Massachusetts

    Its just common sense guys.

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  • Caylin from South Carolina

    While civil liberties are important to protect the individual from unjust governmental actions, quarantine is not an unjust action made by the government. The government is taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the people and to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Religion is important and I do see why people want churches to be open, but interacting with others will cause further spread and a good amount of older people, which have a higher risk, go to church. Nowadays, you can go online and plenty of churches have a virtual service you can listen to while at home. It’s obviously not the same experience, but the quarantine won’t last forever, so the online services are just temporary.

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    While civil liberties are important to protect the individual from unjust governmental actions, quarantine is not an unjust action made by the governm…

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  • Trista Lynn from South Carolina

    As we see plenty of times in history, whenever there is something that is of public concern and threat, whether it is a war or a disease it is perfectly viable to suspend civil liberties temporarily for the greater good. Civil liberties and rights are part of a contract with the government to keep us safe and protected, but if something is threatening us it is viable for the government to suspend a couple as long as they are reasonable, to protect our health and safety. Thus I think it is just for them to suspend some rights and put up some limitations for the greater good. Otherwise, we’d have to rely on things such as herd immunity which would be infringing on the right of a good amount of the populous anyways. So a temporary limitation to prevent that is the best measure

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    As we see plenty of times in history, whenever there is something that is of public concern and threat, whether it is a war or a disease it is perfect…

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  • megan from South Carolina

    Yes I feel as though drive up church with windows up is the best way to do it because people will be able to still partake in the services but also stay safe while doing it although they wont experience the same vibe they would receive during a regular service but it will still be held.

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    Yes I feel as though drive up church with windows up is the best way to do it because people will be able to still partake in the services but also s…

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  • cam from Massachusetts

    i think that health is better there

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  • Holden from South Carolina

    Public health policies do supersede civil liberties. These public health policies are being imposed to preserve the health and well being of all US citizens, and if that means cancelling group events and meetups, then so be it. The Coronavirus is still an unknown quantity, and with over a million confirmed cases and tens of thousands of deaths, it is absolutely reasonable to issue the shutdown of church meetings or restaurants to keep those numbers from growing exponentially. And even still, virtual meetups allow church gatherings and other activities to continue without the risk of spreading the virus, so there is even less reason to hold them in person.
    “ United States.” Worldometer, http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/.

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    Public health policies do supersede civil liberties. These public health policies are being imposed to preserve the health and well being of all US ci…

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  • Sofia from Hawaii

    Public health policies supersede civil liberties because of the safety of citizens during this corona virus. If we want this to stop, and keep people safe and help doctors and nurses out then we have to obey these restrictions because the urge to go ton vacation is not as valuable as lives including your own that you may be risking

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    Public health policies supersede civil liberties because of the safety of citizens during this corona virus. If we want this to stop, and keep people …

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  • Ryan from Massachusetts

    This problem is not just in the United States, it is all over the world. If you don’t follow the rules like everyone else, it would be similar to throwing sand at someone who just took a shower after the beach.

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    This problem is not just in the United States, it is all over the world. If you don’t follow the rules like everyone else, it would be similar to thr…

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  • Derek from Massachusetts

    I believe that Public Health Policies do supersede Civil Liberties because while others may argue that being allowed to pray at their church would prevent others from getting the coronavirus, there are still other ways to do so. You may request your priest to come to your house with the bread, or the wine, and you may pray at home. Others may argue that the amendments allow us to peacefully assemble, but you have to know the scenario of when to do so, and when to not. The Coronavirus is a deadly disease that is killing millions of people everyday, and it just comes down to logic to know that these are not the times to be assembling with others who do not reside in your household. In times like these, we need to listen to the people who know what is actually going on, and that is why I believe that Public Health Policies do supersede civil liberties

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    I believe that Public Health Policies do supersede Civil Liberties because while others may argue that being allowed to pray at their church would pre…

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  • Alyssa from Massachusetts

    Public health policies could help save lives

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  • Logan from South Carolina

    The matter of public health policies superseding civil liberties is a bit of a grey area, but I lean towards yes. There is a current debate over the closing of churches and how this encroaches on our religious freedom. However, this pandemic is not something that should be made into a fight for our religious freedom, but we should focus on the overall health of our country and world. Public health laws should supersede civil liberties during this time and this has already occurred before. Take the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts where a law allowed cities to require residents to be vaccinated for smallpox due to the growing epidemic, but Jacobson refused and was fined (Oyez.) The Supreme Court ruled that the law was a “legitimate exercise of the state’s police power to protect the public health and safety of its citizens” (Oyez.) This ruling shows that health polices can supersede civil liberties. Going back to the church and religious freedom debate, there are more ways to worship than only in a church and some benefits occur from self isolation too. According to an article from PBS.org, Christ Church is holding virtual prayers and giving sermons through Skype. The Church of the Latter-day Saints said in a video message that ‘temporary changes in our normal routine may allow additional time to experience how precious home-centered gospel study can be’ (PBS.) This shows that during this uncertain time you can still worship your faith and self isolation can prove beneficial to your faith as well.

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    The matter of public health policies superseding civil liberties is a bit of a grey area, but I lean towards yes. There is a current debate over the …

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  • Paige from Missouri

    The health and wellbeing of all people should be the priority during a pandemic.

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  • josie from South Carolina

    Due to the Corona Virus, the government has to take control of what is causing the spread of the Virus and try to deal with it as best they can. Because the virus is new to the U.S and there is so much to question and still figure out. The actions taken by the government for the protection of people who are most likely to get the virus is necessary, though the people may not like the restrictions and limitations as of right now, the nation shut down is only temporary. But, if the action is not taken now then the amounts of deaths and cases could increase drastically and eventually lead to worse. As of now, there are 1,152,372 cases and 67,456 deaths in the U.S now. Eventually, everyone in the U.S. will most likely be exposed to the virus. But until then, the government must do what they can to prevent that until they find more out about the virus to help with solutions to the problem. Until then the people of the U.S must do their part to help others who are more susceptible to the virus by staying away from big crowds and avoiding contact with lots of people.

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    Due to the Corona Virus, the government has to take control of what is causing the spread of the Virus and try to deal with it as best they can. Becau…

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  • Jabari from South Carolina

    Lock said that men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, being the first and foremost, so why would those who argue against the right to congregation argue against the very rights Locke described? Yes, in tunnel vision liberties are stripped away, and we are forced into our homes, living lives through our computers and phones as most of us have for quite some time now, yet only when something is taken away do we realize we as humans took it for granted. Although we long for the outside for our very sanity, amassing in groups robs .

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    Lock said that men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, being the first and foremost, so why would those who argue aga…

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  • Ben from South Carolina

    Does the current health policies against the corona virus intrude on our civil liberties? In short i believe no, the government as an elected body, is given the responsibility to protect our freedoms and our people, as stated in the Constitution along with the bill of rights. enforcing guidelines to our citizens to slow the spread of this deadly virus is a no brainier. No matter what the issue is the health of our population is the most important. A high death toll from this virus would drastically effect our way of life. Up until this point the social distancing and stay-at-home orders have keep the the new cases down by 15-25 percent versus predicted models, per New York Times.

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    Does the current health policies against the corona virus intrude on our civil liberties? In short i believe no, the government as an elected body, i…

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  • Deshun from Texas

    People who protest the quarantine laws are only setting themselves up to be infected and/or killed by the Coronavirus, and they feel as though their liberties are being taken away because the U.S. is trying to help everyone stay healthy so the virus can be contained better. People who feel limited or oppressed because of these laws aren’t taking into account how their lives are trying to be protected, but they feel getting a haircut and shouting at law enforcement is the way to go during this worldwide pandemic where thousands of people are dying.

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    People who protest the quarantine laws are only setting themselves up to be infected and/or killed by the Coronavirus, and they feel as though their l…

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  • David from Texas

    When it comes to pandemics, we have to take them very seriously and do everything in our power to stop the spread from exponentially rising. that includes canceling any group activities such as worship assemblies. It’s not that the government is trying to tell people to stop worshipping and are taking away their freedom of religion, They just want everybody to worship separately so the coronavirus doesn’t spread and kill people as a result. That’s why we have things like zoom and video chat so people who want to worship during this difficult time can still do it virtually while not causing harm to anybody.If the government did let people keep on worshipping, the coronavirus could end up spreading and kill a lot of people. For example, there was a similar pandemic in Philadelphia that people were careless about and decided to have a festival with over 200,000 people grouped up there. In a matter of two weeks, multiple people were getting sick filling every hospital room with patients to the point where there wasn’t even enough room to take care of everybody who had the virus. If we don’t want to end up like them, we have to make our safety our first priority above anything else. We need to stay together on this and not have pointless protests about whether or not we should lower restrictions on people because obviously the best thing to do is just staying inside and quarantining ourselves until a cure is found.

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    When it comes to pandemics, we have to take them very seriously and do everything in our power to stop the spread from exponentially rising. that incl…

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  • Ivan from Texas

    Yes, I believe that public health overrides our civil liberties. The NYTimes artiles says that there have been more than 30,000 deaths from coronavirus. It also states that the spread might speed up if we open. The best we can do right now is to stay isolated and wait it out. The faster it ends the faster we can get back to our normal lives. Nothing can be so important that we need to risk the lives of tens of thousands. These protests are causing more harm than helping, by putting people in more danger than they need.

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    Yes, I believe that public health overrides our civil liberties. The NYTimes artiles says that there have been more than 30,000 deaths from coronaviru…

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  • Janie from North Carolina

    In my opinion, public health policies certainly supersede civil liberties in times like these. The limitations put on common recreational activities are set for the general safety of the public. The Preamble to the U.S. constitution declares the promotion of the general welfare, which allows the government to purpose laws to protect the welfare of citizens, as a strong American value. While new laws have not been established within the US in response to the pandemic, the general welfare clause states that the government has the right to do so, along with safety orders, to protect and support the health and safety of its citizens. According to the Centers for disease control and prevention there have been 1,122,486 cases of COVID-19 within the US as of May 3rd, 2020. This high number will only rise if opportunities of exposure grow which is why the public safety orders are so critical. Although common activities of assembly such as church being put to a halt is unpleasant, it is necessary in this time. The churchhouse or other place of gathering for people of religion is not mandatory for worship, therefore their is no violation of freedom of religion in place. For the matter of freedom of assembly, this should not be considered a direct violation either because the health and safety of America as a whole overrides these simple priviledges. This is a situation of saving lives over simple activities that can still be done in modification. If an organization feels they have been cheated in this there are many efforts they can make such as offering online services. At this time, many unpleasant adjustments have to be made but they are essential to move forward safely and effectively.

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    In my opinion, public health policies certainly supersede civil liberties in times like these. The limitations put on common recreational activities a…

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  • Trevour from Texas

    yes because if you are dead because of a virus than civil liberties wouldn’t help you much which is why public health policies supersede civil liberties because they don’t mean anything if you’re dead or in a hospital where you can’t leave so you’re stuck either way.

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    yes because if you are dead because of a virus than civil liberties wouldn’t help you much which is why public health policies supersede civil liberti…

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  • Lexi from North Carolina

    The preamble to the United States Constitution establishes some of the main goals of the new form of government and young nation. It states that “We the People of the United States, in Order to … promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    Under the current global pandemic, many states have sought to prioritize health policies and enforce social distancing orders. To some, the idea of staying at home and limiting social interaction violates their personal liberties. What many fail to understand is that personal liberties are not the same thing as uncontrolled freedom, which it is often confused for.

    Though citizens enjoy liberties such as the right to speech and to bear arms, there are limits on all liberties, as they are under a certain scope. Under complete freedom, which more closely resembles pure anarchy, one would be able to shoot someone without repercussion. However, under our politically-established liberties, laws are in place to penalize those who disrupt safety and endanger the general populous.

    In relation to the COVID-19, promoting “the general Welfare” rightfully supersedes conventional civil liberties, such as the right to assemble together. If too many individuals actively disregard laws in the name of their civil liberties, collective safety and order diminishes, leaving every party involved vulnerable. As citizens continue to socialize in large groups, the entire United States grows in its susceptibility to COVID-19, hence why stay-at-home orders have continued for months whereas other countries, such as Spain and France, were able to “flatten the curve” — lower the spread rate of COVID-19 — within weeks of their lockdowns.

    Placing personal liberties ahead of the health of an entire nation is, quite frankly, unnecessarily selfish. It is still possible to stay connected with large groups of friends, churches, and businesses without endangering everyone you wish to be in contact with. For example, there are plenty of video chat services, such as Skype and Zoom, that allow people to interact with one another while not spreading COVID-19. Religious institutions are also able to take advantage of technology to remain connected. Many churches in my region have opted to do live streams of services, as opposed to having a large assembly of people in close proximity to one another. Thus, citizens’ right to worship still exists, just in a new form.

    Civil liberties are not under attack, but they have had to take a new form to adapt to necessary health concerns. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders may limit the scope of freedoms many once enjoyed, but prioritizing personal liberties right now only limits how soon the United States can flatten its curve and lift restrictions for all. One cannot truly enjoy personal liberties if they are not healthy and safe first.

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    The preamble to the United States Constitution establishes some of the main goals of the new form of government and young nation. It states that “We…

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  • Chloe from South Carolina

    Yes, I think that public health policies supersede civil liberties. The quick spread of corona cases has been devastating worldwide, and especially in the US. It has created a huge impact in the healthcare system, economy, and families. The health and safety of American citizens is much more significant in terms of saving millions of lives and also would help to slow the spread of the pandemic.

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    Yes, I think that public health policies supersede civil liberties. The quick spread of corona cases has been devastating worldwide, and especially in…

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  • Margaret from Texas

    Yes. In the current state of our nation, I believe that public health overrides our civil liberties. In the NYTimes article, it says if the nation opens up too soon could accelerate the spread of the virus. They also report more than 30,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S. alone. I believe that the people protesting are not being considerate of the health and safety of others. The faster we contain the virus, the faster your civil liberties will return. The protests are dangerous to people’s health and mentality of the virus. Although I do agree it is unfortunate that many people are filing for unemployment and can not receive internet access for service, we must put others before ourselves. I must also cite that individuals encouraging these protests, believe that the Sandyhook shooting was fake, so that shows how unreliable they are.

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    Yes. In the current state of our nation, I believe that public health overrides our civil liberties. In the NYTimes article, it says if the nation ope…

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  • Murphy from North Carolina

    Yes, I believe that in the midst of a global pandemic, the United States public health policies should supersede certain human liberties. Although some of these liberties may include a temporary infringement upon a citizen’s “right to peaceably assemble” as guaranteed by the First Amendment, precautions such as these must be instituted to prevent the spread of disease.
    According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the United States has adopted, every citizen has a right “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Especially in the midst of the extremity of a global pandemic, this right must be protected. The United States government holds a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and in this situation that includes the implications of effective “social distancing.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “The application of all four social distancing interventions: school closure, workplace non-attendance, increased case isolation, and community contact reduction is highly effective in flattening the epidemic curve, reducing the maximum daily case numbers, and lengthening outbreak duration.” However, community contact reduction does include the ceasing of face-to-face religious gatherings, which some may believe to be a violation of “freedom of religion.” However, the extreme situation of a global pandemic calls for the sacrifice of certain liberties for the protection of public safety.
    Along with this, virtual interaction online through Zoom or other initiatives allows for the expression of these certain human liberties, even if the social distancing deters face-to-face interaction. Rather than resorting to ceasing worship, many religious institutions have instead turned to online sites to communicate with members, which still serves to protect these precious American freedoms. Although the coronavirus pandemic poses new challenges in regards to maintaining civil liberties, the widespread use of technology has allowed for citizens in many cases to maintain these freedoms expressed in the First Amendment.
    Considering this, the public health policies of the United States should supersede human liberties in the midst of a global pandemic.

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    Yes, I believe that in the midst of a global pandemic, the United States public health policies should supersede certain human liberties. Although som…

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  • Jaden from Colorado

    If you run into a crowded city center and tell “fire!” when no such danger exists, you’ll be promptly arrested. If you were to publish classified government information that left a military operation in jeopardy, the same would be true. These examples show that the safety of American People has, through Supreme Court precedence, been placed about constitutionally assured rights in the past, and this should be no exception.

    First, why exactly should such stringent restrictions be placed? Movement is difficult to contain and the spread of a pandemic is unpredictable. In my town, we have one of the biggest hospitals for miles, we have respirators. There are people who due to necessity cannot stay at home, they must travel to different towns for medical treatment. If your business was open, it only takes one person having come into contact with someone at home who carried the virus unknowingly from a friend or loved one, to come to your business and you, your employees, and many other customers are now at risk. The average time frame for a carrier to be asymptomatic is 5 days, and with the uncertainty that comes with that, it’s imperative that we keep as many people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 as possible, we don’t have the resources to do anything else.

    But not only are these restrictions warranted, resistance brings more harms than benefits. When protestors took to the streets to urge everyone to liberate Michigan, they were doing more harm than many of them knew- their “parade” through the streets in their vehicles blocked the commute route that many hospital employees used to get to work. This demonstration obscured employees from getting to their posts for shift changes by hours, further hurting the already overworked hospital staff to protest something to assure their safety.

    Examples of these acts of civil disobedience backfiring are all around. On April 14th, a priest was pronounced dead of Coronavirus, following a service he conducted in the prior weeks against the instruction of state officials and the CDC to limit gatherings to 10 people or less. This loss is tragic, however, it was avoidable and ultimately in vain. This resistance to the warnings from Public Health Officials isn’t a brave and admirable protest, it is a denial of facts that is costing lives day in, and day out.

    This issue shouldn’t be political. If the CDC told you not to come in to contact with blood if it’s avoidable, not to consume unsafe food, or avoid prolonged exposure to the Sun, you would listen. This is no different. We’re not Democrats and Republicans, we’re Americans, and if we can’t even stay in doors for a few weeks or months to save the lives of ourselves, our family members, our community members, and our fellow countrymen, then we have no chance of solving this problem anytime soon.
    Stay home, stay safe, and stay happy everyone.

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  • Charlie from North Carolina

    We are currently in America dealing with situations that are unprecedented in our relatively short history as a country. Lawmakers and health officials are scrambling to set forth policies that are in the best interest of the people in this country. As decisions have been made to shut down businesses, schools, and athletic events, orders have also been made to social distance and to stay home while only allowing essential trips. These mandates and its requirements set forth issues that boil down to a controlling situation where communities and services are being told what to do. These types of policies on top of being untested can be viewed as a violation of American civil liberties that are stated in the constitution. CIvil liberties are the “freedom of a citizen to exercise customary rights, as of speech or assembly, without unwarranted or arbitrary interference by the government” (dictionary.com). According to LA Times and constitutional law scholars “During an infectious disease pandemic, government officials have a public health interest in restricting people’s movements, which can clash with constitutional rights such as freedom of religion, speech and assembly”. Knowing this I believe that public health policies do in fact supercede civil liberties. In times similar to our current predicament, the lives and well beings of not only everyone more susceptible to the disease should be taken into account, but also the people on the front lives risking their lives to help society keep moving forward and to still perform live saving operations. While I do see counter arguments where some individuals are unable to receive online religious services and the reasons behind the many protest such as the skyrocketing unemployment rate being performed across the country, none of the these things that are being for argued for will ever be brought back or return to normal level if people do not abide to the public health policies set forth. Saying this I do also believe in a middle-ground for some of these conterpoints. Drive-ins for religious services and online communication are great resources to use or perform while still taking necessary precautions. Once these precautions are made and patience is practiced, these civil liberties will be restored.

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  • Zach from North Carolina

    In 1918, the Spanish Flu swept throughout the world, infecting a third of the world’s population and killing an estimated 50 million people. Families were picked off as the flu ravaged communities and ripped parents from their children and sons and daughters from their parents. There weren’t enough nurses, there weren’t enough ventilators, there wasn’t enough of anything to be properly prepared for an event of this magnitude. People weren’t aware of social distancing, and they weren’t aware of how to best avoid the virus. That’s what made it so deadly. People went about their daily lives because there wasn’t a clear idea that staying away could solve this problem. 50 million people died, 675,000 alone in the United States, solely because we didn’t have the knowledge of how to prevent it.

    But with Coronavirus, we do.

    Public health policies outweigh civil liberties, and here’s why.

    The Coronavirus is a virus that feeds on interaction and human contact. It spreads through mucus, the air, metal, unclean surfaces, and just about every other object, including animals. We know this because we have made advancements in science to the point that we are able to identify how viruses and diseases spread, and we know how to use this knowledge to help prevent it from spreading further. But in order to make sure that we can stop the spread and flatten the curve, we have to make sure everyone does their part. And especially as Americans, it’s time we stop being self-centered and consider that this virus isn’t necessarily about us.

    Doing our part is what prevents us from another Spanish Flu. Doing our part is how we protect the elderly and give back to those who have already given us so much. We should not, in our ignorance, jeopardize those who have spent their lives forming the world we are growing up in. Regardless of how much you want to believe that the older generations are responsible for the horrible conditions we are in now, the point is, we still have a world, and we still have our country, which isn’t an easy job to manage. But instead of recognizing this, we still have people wanting to go to the beach and hangout with friends, putting others at risk due to their inability to spend a few months inside.

    While others may argue that they are unable to go to church or gather together as a result of this virus, there are alternatives to these concerns. Churches host livestreams, zoom meetings are taking the place of get togethers, and this is all in an effort to prevent further issues with this virus. Yes, some may argue that it infringes on their basic rights; however, the reality is that the government has upheld and stated that our rights can be taken away in times of War and crises. The Sedition Act of 1917, Executive Order 9066, and the September 11th, 2001 Terrorist Attacks are all examples of the U.S. removing rights from its citizens in order to protect both its interests and their citizens in the best way they saw possible at the time. This same concept can be applied to the current situation now in order to protect the nation’s citizens and to keep them safe.

    While it may be nice to see friends and get your hair cut or nails painted, staying inside is for a greater cause. Social distancing and virus prevention only works if we as people do our part for a greater whole. Preventing gatherings and certain services is vital to making sure we can flatten the curve. What we choose today determines if we have another Spanish Flu size event. Coronavirus only spreads if we let it. By staying inside and taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread, we can hope to flatten the curve and eventually all of us can go back outside. Now is not the time to make a fit because you are unable to go outside. Now is the time to do your part so everyone can go outside together. Be safe y’all.

    1918 Pandemic (H1N1 virus). (2019, March 20). Retrieved May 01, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-h1n1.html
    Ernst, J. L. (2013). THE CONSTITUTION IN TIMES OF NATIONAL CRISIS: CONTEXTUALIZING POST-SEPTEMBER 11 CONSTITUTIONAL RAMIFICATIONS (Doctoral dissertation, University of North Dakota School of Law) (pp. 52-94). Grand Forks, North Dakota: University of North Dakota.

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  • Eyad from North Carolina

    Yes, Health policies supersede civil liberties as long as its purpose is to protect the public. With the situation going on in the United States regarding COVID-19, it is important that the government tries to limit the spread and infections of the virus. Although many nations around the world are suffering from the COVID-19 virus, the United States has suffered immensely with it peaking in the number of total cases daily, almost as much as having one-third of COVID-19 cases in the world. Large metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles California, have led in most cases out of the fifty states, and it all originates from poor health policies from early 2020. Worship seems to be an argument for most as an excuse to disobey rules posted by the government, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Louisville, Kentucky. A Washington post article from April 11th of this year reads “A federal judge has blocked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer from forbidding drive-in church services on Easter to slow the spread of coronavirus”. Despite a local mayor trying to ban church members from coming to church on Easter, there are government officials who still see it that church members should attend with the correct precautions of course. Although many argue that the government is forcing us to stay inside and be bored out of our minds, it is the sacrifice the Americans need to take to put an end to the spread of the corona virus in the United States. Rather than going out and helping extend shutdowns for weeks on end, we need to stay in our homes and allow health officials to clear current cases, instead of having to deal with new ones. So let us please ignore the slight civil liberties that may be at risk from COVID-19 and just stay inside.

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    Yes, Health policies supersede civil liberties as long as its purpose is to protect the public. With the situation going on in the United States regar…

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  • Landon from North Carolina

    Public health policies in the case of a pandemic should supersede civil liberties. This is simply the best way to keep everyone safe during this time of crisis. Social distancing is an important principle to uphold, and in order to do that, some civil liberties must be violated. One of the main civil liberties being violated by public health policies is the freedom of assembly. The freedom of assembly is one of the founding principles of democracy. In fact, it is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution. However, the act of assembling goes against the principles of social distancing that make up the backbone of the current public health policies. Therefore, in order for the policies to be effective, the people’s right to assembly must be infringed.

    Many people are also concerned about their right to work and make a living. Those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic make up a large portion of the social distancing protesters. They argue that the government should be leaving them without any means to make money for themselves. While I agree that this is true, I believe that the energy that these protesters are putting towards protesting social distancing could be better spent rallying for better government compensation for their lost jobs, in order for families and individuals to feel more financially secure during the pandemic. Violating social distancing now will most likely mean that the very people protesting for their jobs will be unable to return to them for longer.

    Lastly, there have been instances in American history where civil liberties were suspended in times of crisis. In the case of Schenck v. United States, Charles Schenck and Elizabeth Baer were convicted under the Espionage Act for printing and distributing anti-draft pamphlets during World War I. Schenck argued that their conviction was against the First Amendment for violating their freedom of speech. The Supreme Court ruled that the United States was not violating the First Amendment because it was a time of war. We are not in a time of war right now; however, we are experiencing a world wide crisis in which lives are being lost, and it poses the question: Should the United States be capable of taking action comparable to that of the outcome of the Schenck v. United States case because of the pandemic? I believe if exceptions were made for the worldwide crisis that was World War I, they can be made for this one.

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  • Grayson from North Carolina

    It is obvious that with health authorities claiming that massive limitations and lockdowns are protecting lives, it is evident that measures are in general violating civil liberties. For many, staying at home and lock-up is the best way to stay safe and healthy because this virus is devastating the country. Nevertheless, for single mothers who continue to struggle to support their babies, for weekly churchgoers, and for emotionally competent babies who are still psychologically disabled, the program is unfair. Lockdowns infringe people’s freedoms to independence. The federalist structure was built to recognize that citizens and their democracy are incomplete. Your freedoms may not come from the country, but rather from the privilege of being born and possessing what we term “inalienable privileges”. The nation was built to assume that the people of the United States should balance the costs and benefits and take care of themselves. Government is there to ensure that everyone has fair opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to uphold the human rights first defined by John Locke. Just because certain people believe they have the freedom to go outside and meet with others, that doesn’t imply they have the right to place others at danger. Restrictions can not be imposed over civil rights, as they rely on the welfare of everyone, rather than placing people first. In these days, it is more important to defend the whole community than to preserve the freedoms of everyone and to endanger people’s lives. The simple response is that a range of efforts are being introduced to civil rights, although very little is being done to keep people secure. The American citizens will understand that they decide what is best for their safety, and that they have the ability to feel accountable for their lives. A nation who can not trust its people to make choices for their life will not be a rather effective one and would not be an advocate of democracy.

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  • Paige from North Carolina

    I do believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties. While this is a frustrating time for people all around the globe as certain areas have completely banned leaving the house except for essential purposes, it is not a valid reason to lift these orders right now. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are around one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, which is about a third of the cases worldwide. The amount of cases in the US are drastically increasing every day, so easing restrictions on stay-at-home orders now will only make the situation worse- especially if we continue to have testing and PPE shortages. Once the cases begin to decrease and the curve starts to flatten, it would be perfectly logical to lift certain public health orders, but the US has not reached that point yet. Those protesting these policies are right in the sense that the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, are supposed to grant us the civil right to gather in groups for educational, religious, recreational, or other reasons under all circumstances. But this is not a normal time for America, and these rights need to be infringed upon to keep people safe. There are also alternatives to traditional gatherings which would keep people safe, but also allow citizens to participate in normal activities. For example, The Washington Post stated that a drive-in church service with no one leaving their cars would be acceptable under certain state laws. Lastly, the First Amendment is not always followed: the “imminent lawless action” doctrine issues that freedom of speech is not protected when the speech puts someone, or something, in danger. So, if the First Amendment is not followed in this way to keep us safe, the stay-at-home orders are not defiant to the Constitution as well. Because of these reasons, I think that public health policies trump civil liberties.

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    I do believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties. While this is a frustrating time for people all around the globe as certain areas …

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  • Tierney from North Carolina

    Each individual has certain rights that they must give up in order to live in a functional society. In exchange for those rights, they gain protection under the government through services such as the police force, and access to hospitals and schools. Due to the spread of COVID-19, some changes have been made to put additional protections in place for the safety of the public. Public health policies do supersede civil liberties.

    Without the restrictions that have been put in place, the number of cases of COVID-19 would skyrocket and become impossible to control. The only option would be to let the pandemic run its course. According to the New York Times, in the U.S. alone, over 30,000 deaths have been caused by COVID-19 so far. While some areas of the U.S. seemed to have reached their peaks, others have yet to do so. With no treatment or vaccine for the disease, little can be done but wait and follow instructions to stay home. While some are forced to continue going to work, going out without reason is simply putting people at an unnecessary risk of infection. Yet, as more and more people disobey instructions to protest, the risk of causing COVID-19 to spread further multiplies. According to BBC News, protests have occurred in 18 states so far, some of which have had thousands of people in attendance. While many have lost their jobs as a result of stay-at-home orders and are understandably upset, protesting by gathering in crowds will only serve to further harm those individuals. If they have concerns about their finances, contacting their government officials to request that they vote for further aid to be given out or apply for the aid available to them so far will be much more beneficial. There is no logic behind disobeying rules that have been put in place to save lives.

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    Each individual has certain rights that they must give up in order to live in a functional society. In exchange for those rights, they gain protection…

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  • McKyrah from North Carolina

    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. During this global pandemic, I feel as if the government is in the right place to govern citizens to practice social distancing. There are so many people in society who are very weak in health such as the elder, those with underlying health conditions, and also small children. Although it is very upsetting that we are not able to see our friends and family, it keeps our loved ones safe from catching this horrible virus. When people decide that they want to protest the orders that have been put out by the government, they are putting themselves and others in harm. They are increasing the number of cases in the United States and they are adding to the number of deaths that healthcare workers have to deal with on a daily bases. The restrictions that have been put out are here to better the communities and everyone living in them, so going against them is a waste of time and energy. This April I have had several family members and friends who have caught the virus due to not practicing safe social distancing. They now know that it was the wrong choice to go out when it was not needed and be around too many people at once. According to the New York Times, many protested how with saying restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus were dooming small businesses. I understand that these people may be frustrated with being in the house at all times, and it may be driving them a little crazy but it helps lower the curve of cases in the United States when we stay home. I too have been frustrated with being home and not being able to see my friends at school, see my grandparents, go on vacation, sit in restaurants and eat, but I know that me being home helps save many lives in the country and that makes me glad.

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. During this global pandemic, I feel as if the government is in the right place to govern cit…

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  • Owen from North Carolina

    Public Health policies supersede civil liberties but only on certain occasions such as an international crisis like today. Currently, there have been 3.25 million confirmed cases, 1.01 million recovered, and 231 thousand deaths. Now the ratio of death to cases may seem good but there is another fact that is alarming. There is no cure for this disease no vaccine no nothing. This has caused the entire world to go into shutdown mode. Health policies should supersede civil liberties because they know what is best for preventing disease and it is a fact that over time disease will naturally be overcome by the human population. The people that create these policies are appointed on a federal level. This means they are the best of the best. If you have been watching ESPN’s “The Last Dance” they are the Michael Jordan’s of Public Health officials. These public health policies are not made to put out a political statement they are there to better improve the way of life for all people. By following these policies even if they supersede civil liberties are made to better protect the American people and preventing natural disasters or suppressing them. Many people believe that it is their right to be to church and worship in their place of a religious ordeal and no Public health Policies should supersede that. This is incorrect though because there are other ways of worship other than going to a physical building. It is also a fact that when people stay away from each other and social distance the number of cases immediately drops. This is an issue that has been resolved in many other cases before like the swine flu outbreak in 2009 or the ebola outbreak in the early 2010s. These policies should supersede civil liberties because it is proven that through social distancing and following these policies the issues are resolved faster than when they are not followed.

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    Public Health policies supersede civil liberties but only on certain occasions such as an international crisis like today. Currently, there have been …

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  • Brooke from North Carolina

    As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 increase across the nation, citizens grow impatient with stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Since a number of businesses are beginning to reopen, the line drawn between what can resume and what should stay closed comes into question, particularly, affairs involving religious gatherings. However, because of how unprecedented this virus is, government interests in public health should take priority over civil liberties.
    Experts warn that allowing mass assemblies could lead to a more rapid spread of the coronavirus. As reported by CNN, health officials have discovered that over 70 people linked to a single church near Sacramento, California, have been infected with the virus. US District Judge Cynthia Bashant claims, “The right to freedom of religion does not include the right to expose the community to communicable disease.” Others might argue that spiritual guidance is essential; we need something to depend on during these frightening times. Although religion is an important aspect of life for many, churches should seek alternative methods of worship, such as drive-throughs or virtual meetings. Churches and other organizations must communicate by other means in order to safeguard the lives of the public.
    Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution states, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Typically, martial law, which is closely tied with the writ of habeas corpus, is declared during war or natural disasters. In the unlikely event that the president would declare martial law during this time, the Constitution does allow the government to do so in order to protect the public. This proves how the Constitution recognizes that government orders are superior and must be implemented and followed in times like this.
    Flattening the curve is of utmost importance. Extraordinary measures are being put into place by countries across the globe with the intent to protect public health, not to infringe on citizens’ rights. By slowing the virus’ growth rate, we can hope to return to normal life as soon as possible.

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  • Olivia from North Carolina

    Like many pandemics, the coronavirus is spreading dramatically throughout the world. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus”, which means “stay at home as much as possible.” Although it may be a hard thing to adapt to, especially those growing up in a religious environment where it is a priority to worship every week, I believe that the health of someone is far more concerning than civil liberties. Ultimately, if the public health threat is factual and has been substantiated then it benefits the public more to stay alive and temporarily lose some civil liberties. The world we live in today has adjusted to technological innovations and evolving technologies, that make telehealth the next logical step. It ensures social distancing, lowers the transmission of disease if not all, and meets most of the patient’s medical needs. According to Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, “It’s not that we don’t have time for First Amendments interests, it’s that we must act fast.” If necessary precautions are not followed and set rules are not put in place for the public, it could lead to an outburst bigger than hospitals can handle. It is important to take into consideration all people during this pandemic including babies, elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions. However there are necessities that require people to go out during this time such as the grocery store, but people can still take the extra step to protect themselves by wearing a mask and gloves. If people practice social distancing and staying home, the virus will eventually fade out much quicker and the faster business can open back up. For these reasons and more, I believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties.

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    Like many pandemics, the coronavirus is spreading dramatically throughout the world. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “th…

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  • Phillip from North Carolina

    It is often seen throughout American history that citizens will be denied certain rights during times of war or states of emergency. For example, in the Civil War, President Lincoln held prisoners of war in cells and suspended habeas corpus. These rights are given up during wartime because of the court case Schenck v. United States. In this case, the final decision was unanimous, saying that words that are said in peacetime can have a different meaning in wartime, and words that present a clear and present danger to society can be restricted by the government (oyez.org). Similarly, in times of crisis, civil liberties should also be able to be restricted to promote the general welfare. COVID-19 is very contagious, and people roaming around, being exposed to contaminants and potentially putting others in danger can and should be stopped. When the general welfare is at risk, the government has a right and a responsibility to stop those who put it at risk. In both The New York and Los Angeles Times, people are protesting the enactment of state laws that are restricting aspects of daily life. Many religious community leaders are protesting for their first amendment rights as well, claiming that the government does not have the right to hinder religious freedom. In a way, that is true due to the separation of church and state. However, 126,0000 people have died from coronavirus already (Los Angeles Times), and so far, the only way to stop the spreading and resulting deaths is to keep away from others. Large congregations have increased chances of spreading the coronavirus, and it can be very hard to tell if someone has the virus. Just like you wouldn’t want someone coming into your home if they were sick, the government wants to limit the spread of the virus to reduce the death toll on the country and the world. It is selfish to disobey the government because it “hurts your lifestyle”, when it really puts many more people at risk of catching the virus. As the New York Times says, “for many not directly touched by the virus, patience has a limit” (The New York Times). This explains that for people who are not affected, it is easy to see how the rules can seem “unjust”. But for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, they know the real weight of the situation. The government has a right and a duty to protect its citizens, especially when a virus is on the loose.

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    It is often seen throughout American history that citizens will be denied certain rights during times of war or states of emergency. For example, in t…

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  • Jackson from North Carolina

    We the citizens of the world are in an unprecedented time. This is a circumstance that has never happened before, and we are learning day by day how to function and continue to grow as a society in such a limited way with the recent outspread of Covid-19, and the social distancing restrictions that have been out into place for the safety of everyone in the world and to quickly put an end to this pandemic. I think in this case Health Policies wholeheartedly supersede civil liberties. There are so many ways to connect with one another socially, without interacting in person. Every sunday morning my family wakes up and goes on their separate group chat calls for sunday school, and then we come together in the living room for the livestream of church service, and it is nicer and more comfortable in my opinion to approach that way in the quarters of your own home in a more comfortable environment. Every night me and my buddies get on playstation and talk and interact that way, and we don’t feel the lack of social interaction since we can talk normally through that way. Usually I am a strong advocate for making sure through all ordinary scenarios, but this outbreak is anything but ordinary. Maintaining all civil liberties in this scenario, and the government not mandating any restrictions would impose the safety of all citizens, and would be a disgrace to the world. In an article by Embo Reports, it says “the often abysmal health situations in the rapidly growing cities of the USA and Europe required drastic measures, and public health officials were given the freedom to meet the problems” and “US courts have almost always deferred to public health authorities that have deprived individuals of their liberty in the name of public health”, which just confirms the idea that civil liberties are always priority, but in a scenario where there are absurdly large health risks that come with these rights, there have to be restrictions.

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    We the citizens of the world are in an unprecedented time. This is a circumstance that has never happened before, and we are learning day by day how t…

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  • Annie from North Carolina

    In my opinion, public health policies do supersede civil liberties, but for very good reasons. Public health policies are meant to protect our nation and the citizens who reside in the United States. Although the recent health policies are restraining some civil liberties such as the right to worship and gather, the policies are protecting the people. According to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nations leading infectious disease expert stated that the estimated death rate, if the US did not implement any social distancing and restriction orders, would reach 2.2 million deaths. In my opinion, the loss of loved ones is beyond more detrimental to the nation that a few months of not being able to worship or gather. In a recent article by the New York Times, the writer discussed a Pew Research study that stated that 66% of respondents were worried about state restrictions being lifted. This survey proves a large population is worried about their lives as thousands of first responders are risking their lives to protect our nation. If orders were lifted too quickly more lives will be lost, the economy would fail, and our country would be in ruins. The most responsible action in a pandemic is to follow the actions of a good samaritan to ensure the safety of millions of people. If more citizens abide by the stay out home orders the sooner we can all return to normalcy, and yes these orders do violate civil liberties but this is to only protect the lives of the American people. The first duty of government is to protect its citizens and by implementing stay at home orders all citizens are being protected. The government also ensures its people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Through government intervention in the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States government is fulfilling its promise to the people of the nation by protecting their lives.

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    In my opinion, public health policies do supersede civil liberties, but for very good reasons. Public health policies are meant to protect our nation …

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  • Angelina from North Carolina

    Yes, I believe public health policies have every right to supersede civil liberties during this time of health crisis. The Covid-19 virus is a threat to us all, and not following the procedures put in place by government health officials is putting yourself at risk not to mention others in your immediate surroundings. The reason social distancing is so important is because it can lower the possibility of contracting the Coronavirus and stop the spread overall. According to the CDC’s official website, “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person./Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)./Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks./These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs./Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.” And the only way to prevent this from happening is to limit contact with other people; infected or otherwise. Not to mention, social distancing not only protects you from getting Covid-19, but it also protects people who are 65 or older as well as others with serious underlying health conditions such as “chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma”(CDC official website). People in these risk groups lack the immune strength to fight off the virus and have a high chance of death if they do contract the virus, and by not practicing social distancing, while you may not catch the virus, you could the pathway that infects anyone you may come into contact with that is in that risk group. Another thing to think about is how many people fall into those risk groups, anyone with underlying health problems are at risk. That includes young infants, asthmatic people, smokers, cancer patients, diabetics, people with liver disease, and many more that people might not consider to be at risk of Covid-19. If you chose to ignore public health officials and gather into large crowds with people, you could become a carrier that puts the community of immunocompromised at risk of death just so you can see some of your friends or meet with people. In the argument of religious freedom, you do not have to meet in large crowds for you to practice your religion, as long as you believe in your faith and you live out your faith, you do not need to meet with others to prove your faith. Furthermore, if you must meet with people to practice your faith, there are ways to do so virtually so you can protect yourself and others from Covid-19. Finally, during these time, you must put the well being and life of others before yourself and your religion because other people should not have to suffer because of your beliefs.

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    Yes, I believe public health policies have every right to supersede civil liberties during this time of health crisis. The Covid-19 virus is a threat …

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  • Erika from Texas

    The entire world is going through a life-changing pandemic and is severely being impacted by the CoronaVirus. As a result, the United States government has decided to close a large majority of America for the benefit and health of its people. However, this leads to things like religious gatherings to be restricted. For example, Cindy Chang stated in a LA Times article “During an infectious disease pandemic, government officials have a public health interest in restricting people’s movements, which can clash with constitutional rights such as freedom of religion, speech, and assembly.” This shows that in order to protect the people of American that some rights have been restricted. With that, I believe that public health policies do supersede civil liberties.
    Some civil liberties that the health policies are restricting are gatherings. I believe that even though these things may be civil liberties, it is not just if it can result in casualties. If people go out of their way to have a huge gathering and one person has the Coronavirus, then everyone there could have the risk of also getting it. In addition, with the technology of our time, there are many ways that we could connect with our peers without the risks of the global pandemic. For example, schools all across America have had to close; however, to use the most of what we have, schools have transferred online. People can still do what they want to do, they just have to find ways to adjust to make sure others are not being harmed in the process.
    Those who believe that public health policies don’t supersede civil liberties, may believe that their unalienable rights like freedom of religion are being restricted and is not just. First off, there have been many alternatives to gatherings, like drive-in and Zoom call churches. These alternatives may not be the same as an actual church service, but what can we do when people’s lives are on the line. Second, is it really worth the lives of others to have gatherings? Even though in our constitution it states that everyone has the right to the freedom of religion, speech, and assembly, it is not worth the risk if people are dying because of it. Therefore, public health policies do supersede civil liberties.

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  • Davis from North Carolina

    With the coronavirus pandemic still raging throughout the world, and as the United States just hit the 1 million mark in cases, many are getting restless quarantined inside their homes. But, some businesses have been able to stay open under federal regulations because they are considered essential businesses. As these essential businesses have been able to continue, the question over whether civil liberties should be able to be regulated by public health policies has been a pertinent debate topic over the past few weeks. In my opinion, I believe that public health policies should supersede civil liberties because of all the data showing that large group gatherings are potential hotzones for the virus to spread.
    According to the Los Angeles Times, people gathered for an Easter church service in Fontana, California, blatantly disregarding the quarantine and the social distancing guidelines given by health officials. According to the pastor of the church, he believes that the stay at home orders are a violation of the first amendment, the right to freedom of religion. Many churches around the country are fighting to obtain the right to hold in-person church services because they believe online meeting groups do not do justice in worshiping. But, many others including myself believe that these churches are endangering the public’s health by allowing mass gatherings to occur. Many public health and safety experts believe that these pastors should be fined and face jail time for violating the regulations put in place by the president because even though it is violating the first amendment, it is what’s best for the country as of right now. As well, the New York Times stated that people in Michigan gathered to protest the stay at home order given by the governor. Even though people continue to gather, whether for worship or protest, nothing is going to get better until social distancing is rigorously followed and medical experts get a hold of the virus. So in conclusion, I believe that the public health policies being put into place supersede civil liberties because it will keep the public safe until the pandemic has died down or passed completely.

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    With the coronavirus pandemic still raging throughout the world, and as the United States just hit the 1 million mark in cases, many are getting restl…

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  • Parker from North Carolina

    I believe that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I believe this because if we want to stop the coronavirus, you would have to act fast, it’s for the good of the country, and it’s temporary.
    If we want to flatten the curve effectively, we have to act fast before it’s too late, due to the fact of how contagious this virus is. If students were still in schools and people were still at work when it hit, it would have already been too late. This is why North Carolina stated a state of emergency so quickly, so that we would already be prepared with quarantine in place before the virus got here, seriously hurting how contagious the virus is, according The Sacramento Bee. We had to act fast to be prepared before it was too late.
    The only reason that we don’t have as much rights as of right now is because of the people around us. More people would be dying if we hadn’t done this, and our healthcare system would be flooded with so many patients that some just wouldn’t get treated. The coronavirus would have taken many more lives if we hadn’t put quarantine into effect.
    Lastly, the situation that we are in right now is only temporary. Although we don’t have as many rights as we usually would, this won’t last forever. We are only doing this because it is what is best for everyone right now, and once this situation has come and gone, everything will be back to how it should be. Yes, we do not have as many rights as of now to do whatever we please, but if we did, coronavirus would have already wiped out so many people. If we had all of our rights and just acted as we normally would, people who already had illnesses, the elderly, they would all be at an extremely high risk. If you’re not going to follow what the government has told us to do for your own safety, at least do it for theirs.

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    I believe that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I believe this because if we want to stop the coronavirus, you would have to act f…

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  • Jessica from North Carolina

    Now is not the time to be selfish. Now is not the time to complain about the government “violating freedoms” and whatnot. Given today’s circumstances, public health policies definitely supersede civil liberties.

    The United States is going through a health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus has killed more than 30,000 people in America alone. This is not something that can be simply brushed aside. Thousands, even millions, of doctors and nurses are working their tails off for several hours a day by helping the infected and trying to find a vaccine. We would only be hindering their progress by putting ourselves and others at risk by not staying at home.

    Those people that are protesting are basically saying that they do not care that thousands are dying and that they only care about their personal interests. Those people protesting complain about their lives being so hard by not being able to go out, but fail to realize the suffering of the people that are actually infected, thanks to people like them.

    Yes, I understand that religion is extremely important to some people, but, it is not like the government is taking away people’s religious freedoms forever. There are still ways for people to worship and practice their faith while still social distancing. The quicker everyone can get their act together and follow the law, the quicker our lives can return back to normal.

    Sometimes, change is necessary for the betterment of the country. While it may not be ideal in the short run, it definitely will be in the long run. Therefore, if those people protesting truly want their “stolen freedom” back so badly, then they, if anyone, should help slow down the spread of the virus by following orders and practice social distancing. If all of the other countries that are shut down can bear through it, then so can we.

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    Now is not the time to be selfish. Now is not the time to complain about the government “violating freedoms” and whatnot. Given today’s circumst…

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  • Jackson from North Carolina

    I believe that public health policies should supersede civil liberties because these civil liberties may put other people at risk and because civil liberties have been restricted in past crises in United States history.
    During the current pandemic caused by COVID-19, a lot of United State citizens have pledged to stay at home, but not all. There is still a large group of people continuing their social lives just as they were before. Some people feel so strongly against the forced nature of staying home that there have been numerous amounts of small protests against stay-at-home orders implemented through the states. But, although these people’s intentions are good, protesting in public spaces against stay-at-home orders is, in reality, just making it that much harder to flatten the curve. Spreading the ideals that the stay-at-home orders are unnecessary and restricting powers to the people is a mindset that should not be encouraged, because as reported by journalists Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Jeremy W. Peters (2020), lifting the stay-at-home orders too soon could greatly intensify COVID-19. Due to these people willingly publicly protesting and making it much easier to spread the coronavirus, it would be a great idea to restrict the civil liberties of all to prevent these kinds of protests which are threatening the safety of the nation as a whole.
    Another reason as to why civil liberties should be overridden by public health policies is because the United States has used the practice of restricting civil liberties in the past. During World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered through the Executive Order 9066 that all Japanese-Americans would be sent to internment camps to ensure the safety of the rest of the country and eliminate all threats of espionage because Japan was the United States’s number one enemy at the time (History.com, 2020). Because civil liberties have been restricted during past crises which were not nearly as important as the current pandemic, there is no reason that this similar idea of keeping people locked up should not be enacted on the American public currently.

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    I believe that public health policies should supersede civil liberties because these civil liberties may put other people at risk and because civil li…

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  • Terri from Texas

    Americans have the liberty to have freedom and travel whenever they want and can go wherever they want to go. However, in our world currently containing a deadly disease, certain health policies to stop the spread of diseased are more important than civil liberties.

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    Americans have the liberty to have freedom and travel whenever they want and can go wherever they want to go. However, in our world currently containi…

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  • Andrew from Texas

    Health policies supersede civil liberties. I understand that people want to feel like they can go to an upper power to help cure this epidemic, but the problem is that you aren’t going to fix anything with your worship. Assembling is only going to help spread the virus quicker than before. With the reported cases in the U.S. reaching the millions now, we should not encourage the spread of the virus through any form of assembly. Of course it is not the young people we are worried about but the older people that are at risk, and generally when it comes to church assembly there are older people attending. If we do not take every chance we can get to prevent the spread of Covid-19 we are only going to extend quarantine making it take even longer before people can attend church and other assemblies again. If you really want to be a part of an assembly you can do so virtually instead of risking the chance of spreading the virus. With everything that is occurring people should also try not to argue with the government’s decisions. This is the time to come together (metaphorically) and not try and rebel against the health policies inflicted.

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    Health policies supersede civil liberties. I understand that people want to feel like they can go to an upper power to help cure this epidemic, but th…

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  • Hannah from Oklahoma

    during this time of of crisis, it’s important to not put ourselves in a big risk and to be considerate of other people because someone out their might of have covid-19 and don’t know it and there’s a chance that you can be that person

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    during this time of of crisis, it’s important to not put ourselves in a big risk and to be considerate of other people because someone out their might…

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  • Caden from Illinois

    Health policies supersede civil liberties. Now I understand that many people may feel like they need to attend a worship event or an assembly event. But the problem is, now is not the time. You may believe that if you don’t go to church then God won’t cure the coronavirus. But I’m sorry but that is not the case. This is simple science, and simple science shows that when people social distance and stay away from other people, the number of cases drops. This is not only for religious groups though, this is for the angry protestors who want their rights to be “normal” again and reopen the economy, these people need to relax and once again, look at the statistics. If we do not slow COVID-19 now, then I’m afraid it will lead into the summer and even further, making the coronavirus a recurring theme. Many young people like myself are obviously not at risk as some elders may be. This does not mean that young people have their civil liberties and elders don’t, this means that everyone is in the same boat because this virus can be easily transmitted and it can be detrimental to some groups of people. So at this time, health policies should overrule civil liberties because cases are still rapidly increasing and worst of all, deaths are too. This is not the time for people to disagree with each other, we need to come together and let the people who are smarter than us tell us what to do. Don’t worry, if we all stick together and work through this, we can slowly start creeping our heads out the rabbit hole and return to life as it should be.

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    Health policies supersede civil liberties. Now I understand that many people may feel like they need to attend a worship event or an assembly event. B…

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    • mya from South Carolina

      Public health policies do supersede civil liberties, for all the right reasons. Though it is concerning and scary knowing that we as Americans can no longer do things we once could do for the time being, it is very necessary to stay at home as much as possible during this time. Italy, among a few other countries, had got hit the worst with COVID -19 before the US had it bad. But, unlike the US, Italy enforced strict Stay-at-Home Orders and now they have been steadily improving, only having 992 confirmed cases compared to the US having 26,768 confirmed cases as of May 14. When looking at the charts of the increase in cases for the US theirs no type of improvements noticeable, but yet many US states have opened up their states. Many people have protested and complained because they feel like the protocols is taking away their freedoms but in reality it is saving them from death. So far, 86,607 COVID deaths have been recorded, the number for that could have possibly been lower if protocol was followed as it was suppose to be. And now that the cases keep going up, now 1.45 million cases in the US, the death toll will go up. Many people are inconsiderate to the repercussions of the pandemic because it hasn’t affected someone they loved. The nationalism that many Americans have, saying they are proud of their country, value people’s rights, enforce the idea of an American dream, and willing to sacrifice things to ensure that their country is at the top are failing to stand by these morals and values because they are upset that the malls are closed, the amusement parks are temporarily shut down, and restaurants won’t let us eat inside. It’s incredibly selfish, the ideals that this country is built on is bigger than consumerism and attractions, yet many Americans are willing to risk their lives and others because of boredom. Even though the people who we put in charge are failing to enforce these protocols, us as American citizens know the risk and the solution but we are doing nothing. These health policies and the limitations of our freedoms are important during this time. If we decide to implement them accordingly we won’t have to suffer the long lasting effects and have to overcome other aftershocks of this. All of us are going through the same things now, we are not alone in this.

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      Public health policies do supersede civil liberties, for all the right reasons. Though it is concerning and scary knowing that we as Americans can no …

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  • Allison from Kentucky

    Yes, the safety and wellbeing of the american people is of the utmost importance and the need to regulate and restrict the gathering of people during times of sickness is both necessary and proper. The creation of certain government agencies like the FDC and the CDC to help look over United States citzen’s health and safety, the food we eat is regulated, the medication we take is regulated. We are constantly being watched over and the fact of the matter is it is for our own health. We do not live in the dark ages where the black death ravages our families; we live in an age where we know that to limit the spread of illness speeds up when in close proximity to each other. To protect our society and our future we suffer the loss of some civil liberties for an uncertain amount of time.

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    Yes, the safety and wellbeing of the american people is of the utmost importance and the need to regulate and restrict the gathering of people during …

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  • Vidar from New York

    It is clear that despite health officials saying that vast restrictions and lockdowns save lives it is clear that policies are in fact infringing on civil liberties. For many, staying home and locking down is the best way to stay safe and healthy as this virus ravages the country. However, for the single moms who need to work to feed their children, the weekly churchgoers, and for the physically able kids who are now suffering mentally the policy is cruel. The lockdowns infringe on people’s rights to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The federalist system was designed with the understanding that people and their government are imperfect. In line with that understanding that individual Americans and families know what is best for them better than anyone else. The country was designed on the idea that the American people can weigh risk and rewards and take care of themselves. Government is there to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they are protecting the natural rights first described by John Locke. Your rights don’t come from your government but come by the fortune of being born and having what we describe as “inalienable rights”. When parents cannot provide for their children liberty is lost. When’s people’s ability to worship their creator is infringed upon liberty is lost. Being outside in the sun is one of the best places to be to avoid infection from the virus according to health experts. So why are parks and outdoor facilities being closed by the 100s? If mental health declines and people relapse on other habits such as addiction that is government causing people not to pursue their happiness and live to their potential. When health and government officials say this is the name of public health, there are a few questions you must ask. How does shutting down drive-by church services protect public health? How does the government get to decide who gets to work by saying a podcaster is essential but a manufacturing job is not? How does filling in skate parks and arresting people to bring their kids to the park protect public health? How does police harassing people about the furniture they use in a park or how long they loiter protect public health? The clear answer is there are several measures being taken that cut against civil liberties while they do very little to keep anyone safe. The American people must realize that they know what is best for their health and they have the right to be responsible for their lives. A government that cannot trust its citizens to make decisions about their lives will not be one that is very successful and it will not be a promoter of freedom.

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    It is clear that despite health officials saying that vast restrictions and lockdowns save lives it is clear that policies are in fact infringing on c…

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  • Korbin from Tennessee

    Some people complain about the law and restrictions, stating that it restrains freedom. These people fail to understand that the purpose of the law is to protect freedom. Freedom is great, but one can take it only so far before they begin to take freedom from others as a result. When you steal you take someone else’s freedom to own property. When you blackmail or harass someone, you take their freedom to pursue happiness. And in these times, when you recklessly gather in the streets and disobey social distancing rules, you potentially take away a basic human right far more precious and sacred then freedom of speech, press, or assembly. The freedom of having life. This right supersedes everything else, and shall be protected at the cost of any other right.

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    Some people complain about the law and restrictions, stating that it restrains freedom. These people fail to understand that the purpose of the law is…

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  • Drew from Kentucky

    Just because some think they have the right to go outside and gather with people doesn’t mean they have the right to endanger others. The restrictions should be put above civil liberties because they focus on everyone’s health rather than putting individuals first. In these times it is more important to protect the entire group rather than uphold everyone’s rights and risk people’s lives.

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    Just because some think they have the right to go outside and gather with people doesn’t mean they have the right to endanger others. The restrictions…

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  • Elijah from North Carolina

    Lock said that men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, being the first and foremost, so why would those who argue against the right to congregation argue against the very rights Locke described? Yes, in tunnel vision liberties are stripped away, and we are forced into our homes, living lives through our computers and phones as most of us have for quite some time now, yet only when something is taken away do we realize we as humans took it for granted. Although we long for the outside for our very sanity, amassing in groups robs life from those who are immunocompromised, sufferers of cancer, congenital agammaglobulinemia, congenital IgA deficiency (CDC, 2017), by gathering, sharing disease, Bacterial, fungal, and viral infection we put friends, family, and loved ones at risk. In the beginning of this pandemic youth were not afraid of joining together to enjoy basking in sunlight, sharing joyous memories, blissfully ignorant of the fact that men, women, children, old and young are all susceptible to COVID-19. This disease isn’t subservient towards youth, or a strong immune system, it isn’t particular about the infection, and this is why the loss of certain rights promised by the government are taken, because in reality they violate the true and natural rights of humans, the right to life. Plagues such as the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, lasted 36 months, and at the time of the outbreak claimed the lives of 50 million, infected 500 million (at the time a third of the population), and at the time was the pinnacle of viral horror (Billings, 1997).
    By not understanding the severity of this disease we commit ourselves to a repetition of the past, and with more humans, more life, and more ignorance and misinformation than ever before, we convict ourselves to such repetition, but magnified as we continue such ignorance. It is not fathomable that we have commited to such a path, truly a miracle. Arguments against this standing hold merit, an ethical calling, after reading some responses to the question, calling the withholding of “god-given” rights guaranteed by state and country into question. Truly, is it a logical argument that we call into question the rights that are protected by the country, be taken away solely for our safety? Humanities intelligence, this is how we have risen to the highest section of the food chain, apex predators of the earth itself, and yet in our very own stupidity we seek to congregate at risk to ourselves, and everyone around us, so by arguing for your rights, you argue against the lives of others, and placing oneself on a pedestal above those that cannot hope to survive the pandemic.

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    Lock said that men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, being the first and foremost, so why would those who argue aga…

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  • Jacob from Kentucky

    I do believe public health policies that are required to keep other’s lives from danger should be able to supersede people’s civil liberties. This crisis is a perfect example of a scenario where people’s civil liberties clash with public health policies. I believe local and federal government rulings that in hard-hit areas people must suspend their civil liberties in order to protect themselves and others. The protection of life is paramount to letting someone express their liberties of they can spread harm and danger upon themselves and others.

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    I do believe public health policies that are required to keep other’s lives from danger should be able to supersede people’s civil liberties. This cri…

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  • Sophia from Kentucky

    I believe that the government has the right, as stated in the “necessary and proper” clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, to place restrictions on certain civil liberties when lives are at stake. However, this right should only extend to certain, dire circumstances, and unfortunately, the Covid-19 Pandemic fits that criteria. In this case, the government recommended necessary action, which included social distancing guidelines, and left it up to the states to determine how and when these implementations were to take place. The main reason behind these decisions was to statistically flatten the curve of cases, and thus not overcrowd the hospitals and deplete their resources. In order to do this, people needed to stay home. The lives of Americans and the lives of healthcare workers depended on a slow in cases, which is why the government was allowed to “infringe” on our civil liberty for the good of the people. These “liberties” that many people believe are being taken away aren’t gone for good. In fact, in this current time with technological advances, people can still work around the social distancing guidelines and video call and talk to friends and family. It is only temporary, and I think that’s something that many Americans forget to think about. However, “flattening the curve” is not going to take just a week or so. I understand people are impatient, and the economy is struggling. I think most states are planning on opening up slowly and let people gradually get back to normal, but again, in order to prevent a second surge of cases, the government will place restrictions to keep another outbreak from occurring. Overall, I think health policies supersede civil liberties in extreme circumstances, because what’s the point of having liberties if the citizens are dying from an infectious disease?

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    I believe that the government has the right, as stated in the “necessary and proper” clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, to place rest…

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  • Aaron from Kentucky

    Public health policies are designed to protect all people in our society, especially the most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way of life for people around the globe through social distancing and isolation policies. While these restrictions are not favorable or desired, they are what will help protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Additionally, I believe the civil rights and liberties that are guaranteed to us in the Constitution are important and should be respected and valued. However, the public health policies being implemented are happening to restrict our right, liberties, and freedoms that is not the purpose of them. They are being implemented to support and protect the health and well-being of all people, especially the elderly and people with auto-immune disorders.

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    Public health policies are designed to protect all people in our society, especially the most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way o…

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  • Bailey from North Carolina

    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. Although public health policies violate citizen’s freedom during this horrible time, the health and safety of American citizens is much more significant in terms of saving millions of lives and also would help to slow the spread of the pandemic.
    Yes, being stripped and distanced away from everyone you know except for immediate family, is horrible and heartbreaking. But people need to understand that there is a benefit from pulling away for a few months and distancing from friends. According to “The Washington Post”, citizens in Greenville were fined a five-hundred dollar ticket for attending a drive-in church. The citizens claimed they were “violating their first amendment right to worship.”. Being distanced does take away from your everyday basic rights, but in order for this virus to go away, people need to be distanced. American citizens have gone insane by being quarantined and they feel the need to protest against the government just because the government is trying to keep us safe and to also stop the virus.
    Stay at home orders have caused citizens to rally against this order and to cause disruptive protests among their communities. According to “The New York Times”, protestors in Michigan caused a traffic jam in the morning,demanding for the stay at home orders to be lifted. This is just ridiculous. These ignorant protestors were not only risking their lives, but the people around them also. Healthcare workers were not able to go to the hospital and save lives that were suffering from the exact virus that caused the stay at home orders to even occur. These people were selfish and they need to understand that there is a reason, a good reason, as to why America is supposed to be in quarantine, and that is because there is a pandemic spread across the whole globe. This virus has killed many and will continue to kill many if people do not follow the public health policies that could potentially stop the spread of the virus and save many lives that could be in danger.

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. Although public health policies violate citizen’s freedom during this horrible time, the h…

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  • Camila from California

    The government via the constitution can infringe upon your civil liberties if they are harmful to another individual. Therefore, a public health policy that is meant to protect the greater good can supersede an individual’s civil liberties. For example, a person cannot shout fire in a crowded movie theatre. Your freedom of speech in this instance is not protected when it causes clear and present danger to others. In the event of this global pandemic, it is critical for everyone who does not provide an essential service or work in healthcare to remain in self-isolation and practice social distancing. The stay at home order is put in place to protect the health and safety of the entire population and especially more vulnerable groups of people such as those working on the front lines.

    The argument that the government should lift this lockdown in order to help the economy fails to account for how detrimental allowing a group of people to gather can be towards controlling the spread of this illness. Money is never more important than the value of human lives. While the possibility of our country to be able to support so many people on unemployment for at most a year seems impossible, if we begin to preserve more money for those in need and not give more stimulus money to multi-million dollar corporations, then it may be possible.

    Another argument given is the major threat these policies are to our democracy and how the ability to practice the freedom of religion and going to vote is essential. There are still multiple outlets and opportunities to practice your faith safely from the comfort of your car or your house through drive-through services and videoconferences. The mail-in vote has also always been a viable option to cast votes without the need of waiting in a line that could cause risk contagion.

    In such uncertain times, the risk is too great to open up the country for non-essential services and work, before we create a systematic plan to ease into it. We do not have a consistent shelter-in-place policy nationally given so many exceptions allowed in different states. We have not normalized things like wearing masks outside. Better infrastructure for testing in real-time in time is needed, in order to not wait for 5, 6, or 7 days for results.

    Civil liberties are not above protecting human lives and if we reflect under these unique circumstances on the things we truly value such as the dignity of human life and working towards a common goal, we can find better solutions that will not extend this quarantine further.

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    The government via the constitution can infringe upon your civil liberties if they are harmful to another individual. Therefore, a public health polic…

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  • Noelle from North Carolina

    DO PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES SUPERSEDE CIVIL LIBERTIES?

    The coronavirus pandemic has ultimately altered the life of every American. For me, my everyday routine has completely changed. Instead of waking up in the morning and going to school, violin lessons, and swim practice, I now sit in front of my computer for 5 hours, go on countless walks, and watch more Netflix than I probably should. However, this change in my life has saved lives. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), social distancing is the most effective way to combat this deadly virus, but consistently people challenge this idea and risk the lives of many. That being said, I believe that the various public health policies do supersede civil liberties.
    I have grown up Catholic all my life. I understand the importance of religion and the value of going to weekly religious ceremonies. However, I believe that during a global pandemic, religious groups and other large assemblies should find alternative means of congregating in order to save the lives of many. This method of social distancing where lawmakers are initiating public closures and requesting citizens to self quarantine has been proven to “flatten the curve”. According to David Hutton, Vice President of Communications at the University of Michigan, countries that have implemented social distancing measures such as Italy and China, specifically the Hubei Province and Wuhan, have seen the number of new cases to be “peaking, plateauing, and then declining”. Because we know that this is an effective method of combating this nasty virus, large assemblies and religious groups should sacrifice the joy they find in congregating in order to save lives.
    Additionally, while the government is suggesting that you do not congregate in large groups, they are not restricting you to communicate in other, virtual means. For example, my weekly youth group meeting has now converted to weekly “zoom” meetings. Although it is not the same as a face to face meeting, it still allows you to network with others while protecting the lives of your fellow citizens. For these reasons, I believe that the various public health policies do supersede civil liberties.

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    DO PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES SUPERSEDE CIVIL LIBERTIES?

    The coronavirus pandemic has ultimately altered the life of every American. For me, my everyd…

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  • Molly from Illinois

    I think everyone can admit being in a stay at home order, not going to work, and not being able to live normally is convenient. In the US alone there have been a total of 55,000 deaths from COVID-19 and it is going to continue to rise unless we do something about it. I beleive public health absolutly supresedes civil liberites becuase this virus is life threatening and by going to church and other events is putting many people in danger by possibly facing death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current recommendation is that gatherings or events of 10 people or more, specifically those with people at a greater risk of contracting the virus (those with any type of immunodeficiency disorder like cancer, asthma, or diabetes), be canceled. This entirer pandemic is a major changhe but a very necessary one. The entire country is suffering from these lockdowns. They are percautions are necessary evem though they have have caused the markets to crash and oil prices to go down. After this outbreak, the government would want people to go out and fix the economy. There’s absolutely no reason the government would want to limit one’s freedoms and civil liberties. But it is the priority to protect the citizens becuase it is more important that people surive rather tha party with thier friends. By wanting to fufuil your civil liberies your putting yourslef and loved ones at risk.

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    I think everyone can admit being in a stay at home order, not going to work, and not being able to live normally is convenient. In the US alone there …

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  • Kali from Texas

    Most people can agree when I say the world has changed since the Covid-19. There has been school closures in 42 states, including Texas. The virus started in China originally but now it is in all 50 states. As a world, we have 2.87 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Many people have been laid off their jobs, and many places have shut their doors. It is kind of like the Great Depression, except that we are not in 1929 anymore. Just because schools are closed, does not mean that learning stops. Many schools are doing digital learning, so they do not get too behind. STAAR testing that usually happens during April and May is now cancelled due to the virus. Many restaurants have been open but you can only go through the drive-thru and some places even deliver. Parks have also been closed, along with gyms. Gatherings over 10 have been prohibited and kids can not go to many places, just to avoid them from getting sick with the virus.

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    Most people can agree when I say the world has changed since the Covid-19. There has been school closures in 42 states, including Texas. The virus sta…

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  • Bailey from California

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Yes,100%. The Constitution even declares this to be true. In Article 1, Section 9, the suspension of habeas corpus is mentioned, which is often equated with martial law. Martial law has been enacted in multiple circumstances in US history, during times of war or natural disasters. Due to these precedents, under martial law some civil liberties can be suspended such as freedom of association or freedom of movement. There are some in the debate that argue that some public health policies, specifically those enforced during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a violation of the First Amendment. This is because the stay-at-home orders that are being enforced right now halt the congregation of church-goers and the public assembly of people. While martial law has not been declared in the US in response to the pandemic, the Constitution does state that the government does have that power during times of crises. The government is meant to protect its citizens and support the health and safety of its citizens. In the US as of today, there are 927,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 52,000 deaths. One cannot dispute the severity of the situation and the disastrous effects it is having on the American public. Because of this, it is completely valid for these public health policies to supersede certain civil liberties. While looking at the situation as a whole, it surprises me that some people would value religious congregation and political assembly over the lives of their fellow Americans. The protection of life and health should be the most important aspect of this debate. If one believes that life is more important, then they must agree that in order to maintain that, some civil liberties will be at stake. Overall, it is for the good of the American people to follow the stay-at-home orders. It is incredibly selfish to put their own wants over the needs of the most vulnerable of our communities. Churches are doing services online and many other organizations have adapted to this crisis. One must ponder how their actions can affect the whole society. That is why I believe the government and their public health policies definitely have power over some of our civil liberties, because the protection of the American people should be the utmost priority.

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Yes,100%. The Constitution even declares this to be true. In Article 1, Section 9, the suspensio…

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  • Lilly from California

    When it comes to life or death, people always do whatever they can to stay alive. What is different in this scenario? Why should people risk their lives and the lives of others when they can do something to attempt to stop these times. This pandemic we the world is facing is a tragic event, but the only way that we will get out of this is if we do our part and sacrifice some of our time together interacting physically with other people in order to save lives. So many people are trying to do anything they can to find a cure or aid those who are sick, but their efforts are rejected as more people continue to interact with others and spread this virus. In addition, we live in a time where technology is much more advanced than ever before, especially during previous pandemics. It is imperative to be thankful for the things we have before we place more innocent people in the line of fire of this deadly virus.

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    When it comes to life or death, people always do whatever they can to stay alive. What is different in this scenario? Why should people risk their liv…

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  • Emily from California

    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I think this question is misleading in terms that it implies civil liberties are “taken away” to enforce public health policies. However, the restrictions that have been put into action due to COVID-19 have not been in place in hopes of superseding civil liberties. Instead, these public health policies have been established to protect everyone’s health in our community. Considering this, those who believe the public health policies are restricting their fundamental freedom to assemble must be ignorant of the pandemic. Simply because you cannot meet in person, does not mean you are not being allowed to assemble online/virtually, which is much safer right now. All in all, public health policies should be “prioritized” during this crisis as they protect the health of Americans as well as guarantee that in the future, one will be in good enough health to be able to act on their civil liberties.

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I think this question is misleading in terms that it implies civil liberties are “taken aw…

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  • Dylan from California

    In the state of Massachusetts (USA), a smallpox epidemic during the winter of 1901 provided the occasion for a legal challenge to the state’s compulsory vaccination law. This led to a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court in the case of Jacobson versus Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which established the government’s right to use its ‘police powers’ in order to control epidemic disease. In its seven-to-two decision, the Court affirmed the right of the people, through their elected representatives, to enact “health laws of every description to protect the common good” (Colgrove & Bayer, 2005).

    Efforts to impose quarantines on those viewed as a threat to public health has involved the use of measures that look excessive and profoundly unfair from the perspective of less troubled times. On several occasions, the outbreak of diseases among disfavoured minority groups has led to harsh measures being used against them. As Howard Markel noted in his book, Quarantine!, “[i]mmigrants arriving in New York City in 1892, for example, could be isolated and kept in squalid conditions to prevent the spread of cholera and typhus. At a time of massive immigration and concomitant nativist sentiment, health officials faced little popular opposition to their efforts” (Markel, 1997).

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    In the state of Massachusetts (USA), a smallpox epidemic during the winter of 1901 provided the occasion for a legal challenge to the state’s compulso…

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  • Dhruv from California

    Public health policies certainly Trump individual civil liberties. The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, in which we must adapt to save the lives of millions. While maintaining civil liberties is indeed important, we must remember that these restrictions are temporary and a necessary part of ensuring the safety of all. According the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gatherings of 10 people or more can significantly increase the risk of spreading the virus. Furthermore, by gathering in large groups, we put the most vulnerable members of our society at risk. Given the magnitude of an escalated outbreak, we must ensure that we prioritize public health over a temporary shutdown in non-essential functions in our society. In doing so, we will effectively have saved millions of lives. After this shutdown, we will have time to rebuild our society and ensure economic prosperity. However, if we prematurely decide to prioritize individual civil liberties, we will reach a point of no return where millions will be effected by a deadly pandemic. A final point to consider is that we can create alternatively ways to access non-essential functions in this temporary adjustment. For example, according to the Washington Post, drive in church is allowed if the windows are rolled up. These adjustments are examples of how we can still meet the civil liberty needs of our citizens while ensuring the safety of the masses.

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    Public health policies certainly Trump individual civil liberties. The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, in which we must adapt to save t…

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  • Valerie from California

    The world is currently in a global pandemic and although mass gathering and personal worship is incredible essential to some individuals’ lives, public health restrictions are established to protect not only ourselves, but to prevent the spread of the virus to others. In other words, restrictions on social gatherings are enforced to save lives. Pushing for large social gatherings of any kind endangers the lives of others. Especially during this time, communities have found strong ways to stay connected to each other. With people’s physical health threatened, there is no telling how many lives could have been saved if more people chose to follow stay-at-home orders. Jefferson argued for the pursuit of unalienable rights that cannot be taken away from the government, but this is no deliberate choice to target communities’ freedoms. This is a global crisis that calls for every individual to make the most effort to protect the lives of others.

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    The world is currently in a global pandemic and although mass gathering and personal worship is incredible essential to some individuals’ lives, publi…

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  • Brandon from California

    I entirely believe that during this period in the history of the United States of dejection and panic, it is undoubtedly valid to state public health policies supersede this country’s civil liberties, but those civil liberties can still be freely expressed through these health regulations. Well, one must define civil liberties in order to come to that conclusion. In my point of view, civil liberties can be defined as freedoms or individual rights protected under state and federal law that correlate to the concern of freedom of expression and speech. The majority of those civil freedoms are expressed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
    As of April 23rd, in the United States alone, there have been approximately 865,585 COVID-19 cases and 48,816 deaths, excluding developing and probable cases and deaths (CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html). The growing number of infectious cases, especially the large trend of growth during the first week of March, has demonstrated that the United States has had the most confirmed cases and deaths than any country worldwide. Even though China has a larger population than the United States, the country’s swift response to complete isolation allowed its growing number of cases to decrease. Decrease at a rapid level. Based on the developing statistics of the corona virus’s effect on the world, I believe the health and lives of this country’s population are more important than practicing free speech and expression on a public and physical level. We can all accept that we feel constrained and glued to our homes. Yet, that is simply something we must understand as the more people adhere to self-isolation guidelines and regulations for time spent outside, such as distancing and wearing masks, it is benefitting the common good.
    The main reason why people believe these public health regulations are stripping them of their civil liberties is due to this catastrophic development being so unprecedented. Frankly, many of us do not know what to think as this disaster has not only shifted our regular lifestyle, but has transformed (in a positive or negative way), our familial relationships, friendships, quality of education, and the fostering of our societal perspective based on human interaction. Yet, we have to understand that if we do not put our best effort into isolating from others, on a physical level, more people will be infected with this fatal virus, and it can possibly be people we have a connection to; people that we love and cherish. In that sense, we must do whatever is necessary to keep our friends and family safe, as well as the people we do not even know.
    Now, relating back to the issue at hand regarding the superior importance of public health policies over our civil freedoms, and to put it in simple terms, our civil liberties are not being taken away from us. Yes, we are being told not to express our religion physically, such as attend church or a synagogue, we are being told not to express our speech on a physical level, such as unite together on city streets and strike for gender and racial equality, and we are being told we cannot physically attend school and interact with others and take in new academic and social viewpoints. Yet, all of these things can be done with modifications, virtually or not. While many young students may consider transitioning into a “virtual” lifestyle with virtual classes and video chatting with friends in a group setting an effortless and undemanding task, there are hundreds of young minds in the United States who do not have the immense privilege to own computers and cell phones to improve their daily lives during this crisis. Believe it or not, for those of you who use computers or cell phones for virtual education, many students are struggling to receive quality education due to the enforced distance, or maybe own computers but different schools are struggling to create an out-of-the-blue plan to continue this academic year. Therefore, under the lens of the sector of the population who is looking to express their civil liberties, there are technological and non-virtual ways to do so.
    Religious faith or mediums of spirituality are extremely paramount in the lives of many people who live in the United States. Preceding the outbreak of the coronavirus, many people valued expressing their spirituality or faith in a community setting, such as in churches, synagogues, or mosques, or simply sharing their spiritual thoughts with friends and family. The point is, all of these activities were done outside requiring physical and verbal interaction in close distances in a public community, absent of masks, gloves, and other current mechanisms used in public settings. Although, there are multitudes of ways in which faithful and spiritual people can practice and express their beliefs right at home. For those of this country’s population who own technology such as laptops, many faith communities are holding virtual gatherings weekly in order to avoid breaking spiritual routines as a close community. If one’s community does not serve that method as an opportunity, there are many religious communities that one may not be familiar with and they can contact them in order to practice their faith in a virtual way. As for a non-virtual alternative to physical religious meetings, another option is to simply talk to immediate family members regarding religious practices or hold modified activities of prayer. To add, an additional practice that does not require technology to complete is meditation, prayer, or relaxation activities by yourself. This level of spiritual activity that endorses freedom of religious and spiritual practice is very beneficial to your mind because you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your beliefs.
    To add, a deeply emphasized and valued civil liberty that can still be practiced during these times of is the freedom of speech. Throughout the history of the United States, major milestones and societal improvements have occurred to this civil liberty, of which include a woman’s right to vote, the right for an African-American person to vote, and recently (in 2015), the right for gay couples to get married. The way we see our country now would be entirely different without these improvements occurring with the civil liberty of freedom of speech. Many may believe that this civil liberty has been taken from us as we are enforced to socially distance, and not get together as communities to strike or for influential people to speak in front of large crowds. Yet, there are many different ways in which we can hold confidence regarding our beliefs, and still, truly make a change in this country. Non-virtually, many young students can speak their minds regarding different social and political issues in this country by writing it down. Once our current situation with this virus starts to diminish in severity, and our daily lives transform back to our normal interactive pasts, presenting ideas that were developed through this quarantine period can be a great way to rally a community together. More importantly, young students can use this opportunity to demonstrate to those of this country who are older than our voices are valid and should be recognized and respected. For those of you who are privileged with technological devices, there are many mediums that can be used to express our freedom of speech and expression. This includes social media platforms (such as Twitter, Instagram, etc.), online blogs, public self-produced video outlets like YouTube, and reaching out to your community through email. The technological advancements the United States has made over the past decades have allowed us not only to improve wide-spread communication but also to raise awareness and start social movements that can make a national impact. For example, just look at the recent young movement based on climate change and the environment that was fostered through the trailblazing minds of young teenagers in groups such as Youth Climate Strike and their impact. That recent movement sparked worldwide attention, where all of the aspects excluding the physical striking in large groups was majorly coordinated on the internet. That sets an example for the social capabilities young minds have and the opportunities we still have with our civil liberties of expression and speech, which have remained constant.
    One of the most significant civil liberties is the right to an interactive and ever-changing education where we get to socially interact with our peers to learn about a diverse set of subjects and their impact on our lives. The United States education system has evolved in prodigious ways, as young students make realistic and global connections with mathematics, literature, S.T.E.M., history, and many other academic concentrations. Our education is not only our outlet to foster our curiosity and minds, but is also the place in which we create personal connections with classmates and learn valuable lessons for our future careers. Most importantly, our educational experience teaches us to dream. The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted large amounts of stress and work on the schools in our country as they have been forced to make quick and effective decisions that will shape the rest of this academic year. While many schools have worked effectively in creating plans to virtually continue classes in auditory and face-to-face methods on a computer, there are still many schools that have less opportunities and financial support to do so. Although for those of us young students who are struggling to continue being curious and passionate about learning, there are many different ways in which we can do so, that may sound basic but can be very impactful and positive during our times of isolation. To start, one of the best ways we can continue our academic lives is to read. This may sound simple or ineffective, a study done by the University of California, Berkeley showed that youth books exposed young people to 50 percent more words than television (https://bookriot.com/2019/02/14/book-and-reading-statistics/). Therefore, reading can improve our vocabulary and our basic understanding of the world, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, or magical realism. Also, simply having conversations with the family members you are living with about different academic topics. These topics can be of educational subjects of which are not offered at your school, including philosophy, theology, business or management skills, or even the history and evolution of popular culture. Not only having meaningful conversations with others in your household but also researching or creating a research project can reflect your true passion and curiosity for learning new things and pursuing your academic interests. In the end, the civil liberty relating to education and the freedom to learn and enhance your curiosity can facilely be done inside your home.
    Conclusively, the current public health policies and regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic override our civil liberties because safety should be our national priority, but that does not mean that those civil liberties are limited.

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    I entirely believe that during this period in the history of the United States of dejection and panic, it is undoubtedly valid to state public health …

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  • Elizabeth from California

    Currently, with the global pandemic of Covid-19, it has been more apparent than ever that public health policies supersede civil liberties. The health and safety of citizens should be top priority when it comes to policies enacted, even if it may temporarily infringe upon some civil liberties. I think that people are failing to realize that these policies are only temporary and once it is safe enough, these policies will change back to normal. With our access to technology and social media today, the bans on large gatherings have proven to not stop online worship, work, schooling, and socializing. It is important for people to remember that even though a few rights are being taken away due to the public health policies, that people deserve a right to life. By not obeying these health laws, people are endangering their lives and others, which infringes upon more rights than any of the policies do. That is why it is important to put the safety and health of our nation over civil liberties at this time.

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    Currently, with the global pandemic of Covid-19, it has been more apparent than ever that public health policies supersede civil liberties. The health…

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  • Holly from California

    The question of public health policies and civil liberties being at war is a hot topic in our country right now as our world is going through a time that has never been experienced before. The world is being rampaged by a pandemic that in which has created major public health policies, obviously as this virus is lethal and attacking more sensitive groups of people like some with autoimmune diseases and the elderly. These policies in California are the Stay Home order, which is a ruling by the California government and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are saying that everyone needs to stay at home and stay isolated unless for essential needs. This policy was first set on March 19th and is still enacted now around the country in all 50 states.
    Now for how this policy is connected to civil liberties, which are guarantees of freedom to the people that a government cannot remove. These policies make it so that all nonessential jobs and activities have been canceled, therefore, many people are without jobs or separated from their families. So many feel this is against their civil freedom as they cannot go and visit people and attend their jobs unless essential workers. This has caused a huge upraised in cities all over the country not just California. This disapproval of the public health policies is due to the fact that some people believe it compromises their civil liberties. They feel it is their constitutional freedom to attend their nonessential jobs and freely travel. However, I extremely disagree with this opinion as I believe public health and safety is far more important than having these liberties. This is because first of all these public health policies will come to an end in time and do not forever hold down their liberties. I believe in times like these everyone in the country needs to act together so we can efficiently help slow down the virus. In addition, I feel the idea of having civil liberties is impossible if everyone is infected with the virus. I think the battle that protesting public health policies right is much too dangerous and irrelevant. As these protests, like the ones in Michigan, are dangerous for they are gathering large groups of people, which makes spreading the virus more likely. I believe that people need to step back, understand how serious this pandemic is, and realize that going back to work is not a necessity when lives are at risk. In the US we have had also 930,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, over 52,000 deaths; these numbers are all real human and fellow Americans who are suffering, and I just don’t think keeping the right to work is more important than human lives. I feel that people are being selfish “fighting for their freedom” at this time because I feel that we all should be grateful to have public health policies and people in government fighting for the safety of the people in this country. Endangerment of lives is the farthest from freedom and I feel that if the government did not enact these then we would all freedoms. They help our country stay safe and healthy even though a virus is enveloping the world currently.
    Plain and simple, lives of real humans with families are much more important than personal income and self-freedom. This is because these policies are set to protect the overall wellbeing of the country not to save or harm a few people, but to prevent a tragedy by the hundred thousand. I believe in times as this pandemic public health policies supersede civil liberties.

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    The question of public health policies and civil liberties being at war is a hot topic in our country right now as our world is going through a time t…

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  • Jayden from California

    With the coronavirus pandemic’s numbers only rising, and its infection rate constantly increasing, it makes complete sense that health policies should remain the number one concern of all people. The health policies that are being put in place are meant to protect people, and flatten the curve of the coronavirus. They are meant to save lives, and so the civil liberties that one may wish to protect would not matter if they are dead. People must remember that the virus is not permanent, and that the health policies being put in place are temporary, and meant to only help people. To argue that one should be able to do whatever they want during a time like this is ignorant, and completely undermines the safety of other people. In order to get past this, everyone must cooperate with the policies so that this whole situation will eventually end.

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    With the coronavirus pandemic’s numbers only rising, and its infection rate constantly increasing, it makes complete sense that health policies should…

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  • Ava from California

    The world right now is facing an illness that has yet to show signs of a cure or a vaccine. The United States alone has faced 52,000 deaths, and this number continues to rise. Each state has put their own restrictions in place. However, I believe all of these restrictions should remain, or be increased, to help flatten the curve of this pandemic. Many governors have put a shelter-in-place lock down in order, yet people continue to disobey these strict guideline. Civil liberties are a huge part of the American society surrounding us today, but I feel as though public health policies come before. Almost 200,000 people worldwide have died from this virus alone. Therefore, public health policies should not be modified to help those missing being in big groups of friends or in populated areas. The only way to put an end to this pandemic is to isolate ourselves. The CDC, in addition, has emphasized the risks of breaking the shelter-in-place order even once. For these reasons, public health policies supersede civil liberties.

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    The world right now is facing an illness that has yet to show signs of a cure or a vaccine. The United States alone has faced 52,000 deaths, and this …

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  • Brendan from California

    The covid-19 pandemic has made the world as divided as it has united. The United States is currently providing a juxtaposing image on the world stage. While healthcare workers dedicate every minute of their day treating infected patients and members of the community pledge financial and material aid to those suffering around them, protests rise against self-containment and quarantine and the leader of the free world tells his citizens to “irradiate patients’ bodies with UV light” and “inject disinfectants into [our] bodies” (BBC News). When our country is in the thick of a crisis of epic proportions, it is understandable that some want to turn to their community for guidance: their pastor, their teachers, their friends and neighbors. However, the American people must internalize the difficult reality we face in the coming days. Our choice to exercise our civil liberties will only put more people at risk and lengthen the span of the pandemic.
    Protesting current restrictions to “stay-at-home orders” may seem like a way to express discontent and reclaim the liberties granted to us by our government. However, much like the freedom of speech, other freedoms granted in the Bill of Rights are not and cannot be absolute. Mobilizing groups of protestors is the least productive and safe activity possible during the spread of a highly contagious disease. Take, for instance, the state of Nebraska. While their governor, Pete Ricketts, wishes to ease restrictions in order to “reopen the economy” (Ohama World-Herald), the overarching effect this decision will have on the already strained healthcare system is of extreme consequence. This same governor leads a state that has more than tripled its reported new cases over the past two days (New York Times). This same initiative to reopen a state’s economy and social sphere has negatively affected states from the South, like Florida, where a single festival in early March led to the diagnosis of several dozen infections. As Florida has one of the highest elderly populations in the country (New York Times), ignoring the urgent self-quarantine pleas by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will put lives at risk across the United States.
    As previously noted, the quickening spread of coronavirus cases due to people “invoking their civil liberties” places medical professionals in unnecessarily strenuous circumstances. Not only are healthcare workers at risk of contracting coronavirus, the introduction of new patients requires more already scarce equipment and hospital space that is frankly unavailable at the moment. If protesters are so incredibly concerned with the rights of the individual, they cannot ignore the safety risks that their actions place on members of their community. They must not prioritize their ability to socialize outside their homes while their actions directly affect the spread of an infectious disease. What is more, these restrictions do not inhibit those who oppose from assembling and observing their religious ceremonies virtually. They cannot allege that their rights are being stripped from them when they can simply connect themselves via telephone or video device, if they are fortunate enough to have one, and contact the people they miss so dearly. The clearest and most sound reasoning for why public health policies override the desires of a minority group who wish to assemble is scientific. Countries and states that have restricted assembly have seen significant plateaus and decreases in case rates. China, which implemented a total lockdown during the height of the virus’ spread, is seeing a flattening of its case rate (The Guardian)
    Under the current circumstances, the United States is supposed to demonstrate an understanding of a country on the forefront of medical and scientific understanding. The simple truth is that infectious diseases like coronavirus spread through contact, and that the main priority currently must be to slow that contact. Doing otherwise not only prolongs the current situation, it stands in direct opposition to the needs of the elderly, to those who will continue to have no employment, to healthcare workers, and to our communities.

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    The covid-19 pandemic has made the world as divided as it has united. The United States is currently providing a juxtaposing image on the world stage….

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  • Jo from California

    Unfortunately, the world is facing a global pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and left millions infected. Although I believe that our civil liberties are necessary to our American identity, in this case, where millions of Americans, including my neighbors, friends, and family are at risk, public health policies supersede the civil liberties to gather in assemblies and mass congregation gatherings. An easy solution for many Americans is to gather together on online meeting platforms, like Zoom and Face time. Sadly, the protests, advocating for the lift of the stay at home order, occurring throughout states like Texas and Michigan are actually posing as a critical health risk rather than a necessary good to protect civil liberties. In my personal opinion, I believe all Americans should follow public health polities and the stay at home orders in order to eradicate the corona virus and protect those who are susceptible to contraction of the virus. Additionally, I believe that Americans can still hold onto their civil liberties by adjusting their circumstances so that they can gather together online instead of coming together in close proximity and risking the spread of the virus.

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    Unfortunately, the world is facing a global pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and left millions infected. Although I believe that…

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  • Violet from California

    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. In this time of a global pandemic, precautions need to be taken due to the unfamiliarity of this situation. The United States death toll has surpassed 50,000 people, and will continue to grow if people gather in assemblies. The rapid spread of Covid-19 is because of the blatant disregard to follow quarantine orders. An example of this is how people protested the stay-at-home orders, violating quarantine measures and social distancing. Though some may feel that they were fighting for their civil liberties, a part of those civil liberties is to not cause harm to others by your actions. By protesting together, it is very likely that the coronavirus spread among participants as a result of people being carriers for the virus and asymptomatic. In addition, many people may not feel the devastation that gatherings can cause in the spread of the virus until it reaches their own families, and leaves a lasting impact on their life. Nevertheless, it is also argued that quarantine measures violate the freedom to worship. Though it may appear that freedom of faith is being taken away, many faith communities have assembled virtual gatherings in an effort for people to worship with each other. Not just that, one’s own family can serve as their faith community. Lastly, the fear that the limitations at the moment will lead to limitations after this crisis ends is not unwarranted, but it must be taken into account that the people who support the health policies are doing so in order for life to return to normalcy after quarantine ends and do not want their freedom infringed upon either. The question that must be asked though is, are you willing to put your life at risk in order to meet with people?

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    Yes, public health policies do supersede civil liberties. In this time of a global pandemic, precautions need to be taken due to the unfamiliarity of …

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  • Priyanka from California

    Though public policies should not always supersede civil liberties, the corona virus outbreak is a unique and unprecedented circumstance. Therefore, in this specific occurrence, public policies should supersede civil liberties. If an uninformed and reckless person chooses to break public policies in pursuit of civil liberties, he places not only his life but the lives of many others in jeopardy. Suppose this person were to be asymptomatic but come in contact with another person who goes home to a family with a pair of elders,and so on and so forth, he has put an entire community at risk. In any other circumstance, civil liberties should be of utmost importance but in the case of a global pandemic, the well being of all humans must be prioritized. In order to safeguard the health and safety of a whole population, it is vital to reduce the risk of reckless outbursts and follow public policy.

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    Though public policies should not always supersede civil liberties, the corona virus outbreak is a unique and unprecedented circumstance. Therefore, i…

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  • Amanda from California

    The United States and the world is currently experiencing an abnormal threat, as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly creating a pandemic. On a larger scale, the immediate risk is thought to be low; however, this is a very life threatening illness, especially for those with underlying health conditions. The death rate in the United States is roughly at 30,000 civilians, proving that this is still a threat. When it comes to civil rights and liberties, I think everyone must acknowledge that these are odd and desperate times, as we know little about the virus. Religious gathers and worships are a citizen’s right, but as the famous quote goes, “desperate times, call for desperate measures.” Although the thought of virtual worship may not be ideal, it is essential in this moment to decrease the cases and deaths in the United States. The use of worship to be needed at such a scary time is completely valid and understandable, but unfortunately, this practice needs to be approached in an innovative format for the time being. Although some people are not as prone to the virus as others, that does not mean those who have higher immune systems are free to gather. Many people could be carriers of the virus with dormant symptoms or a small strain, but gathering allows for more spread beyond the people one is quarantining with. I think at this time we need to focus on the people who are truly in danger. We need to worry about grandparents and low immune system prone people who could become violently ill with the slightest exposure to the virus. At this point, the Public Health Services are not trying to constrict religion or practice; they are simply trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, Public Health Services are not planning on having everyone quarantine forever or until a vaccine is produced. As cases rise, we are waiting for the arch to start to decline. Once the arch starts to decline, we will still keep social distancing in place, but, hopefully, liberties will start to open up again. It may be different, but we will soon have a chance to practice liberties again. It is simply essential that in this time, with cases rising, we quarantine and do not give any way for the virus to spread. Therefore, the Public Health Services are ensuring safety before liberties and although it may be uncomfortable and difficult for the time being, it is pivotal in declining the number of cases the United States has, allowing us to get one-step closer to getting a vaccine.

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    The United States and the world is currently experiencing an abnormal threat, as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly creating a pandemic. On a larger scale,…

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  • Zac from California

    Yes, Public Health Polices supersede Civil Liberties because Public Health Policies is doing what they need to keep the public safe. That is the number one priority at this time since we are in a global pandemic. This should not be taken lightly since people’s lives are at stake. While it might not hurt you if you are young or have no respiratory issues, what is not to say you give it to other people or your family? You can be indirectly killing other people with this disease so it is much safer to practice religion freedom in the comfort of your home until we can beat this disease.

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    Yes, Public Health Polices supersede Civil Liberties because Public Health Policies is doing what they need to keep the public safe. That is the numbe…

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  • Nancy from California

    Although civil liberties are protected under the constitution, public health policies supersede civil liberties in instances like the current pandemic we are in because it protects both the public’s health and the individual’s health. Under the tenth amendment, any power not granted to the federal government under the constitution is therefore given to the states and the individual. One of the things not specifically stated under the constitution as federal power is “police power”. It is a right given to the states to mandate things such as quarantines in order to preserve the well-being of they’re a community. In this case, the public health of the community is essential to preserving not just the well-being of the community but the community as a whole and so civil liberties that may endanger both public health and that of the individual should be canceled in order to preserve the community. Some people though have brought up the argument that having public health policies supersede civil liberties goes against our rights as citizens. Take for example pastor Patrick Sales who filed a lawsuit arguing that the stay at home orders is a violation of the 1st amendment religious freedom. This suggests that stay at home orders in place by states are in some way violating the 1st amendment right of expressing religion in any way the individual would like. The problem with this though is that the state is not violating the 1st amendment. The state has routinely stated that church services may continue online in any form that you wish but only online as to protect public safety and on top of that it has not in any manner tried to advance any single religion which is what the 1st amendment in its basis is trying to protect, the advancement of any single religion by the government. Therefore, the states are in it’s right to put public safety above civil liberties in order to protect the community and make sure that by the end of this pandemic there is still a community to protect.

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  • John from California

    Yes, public health policies supersede civil liberties because it is necessary to protect the greater good of society, even if it means restricting civil liberties. A perfect example of why health policies need to supersede civil liberties is the corona virus. The corona virus is known as the world’s deadliest modern disease and has spread throughout the world because of how contagious is it. In fact, with the corona virus pandemic, businesses, schools, work environments, and even day to day interactions are limited because of the threat to the public health. However, these limitations are essential because without them, the corona virus can spread even more rapidly and infect more people. Yet, because concern for the public health takes power over civil liberties, the general public is safer and healthier. While it may be difficult to have to quarantine from public places or give up certain freedoms, protecting the citizens of America from a deadly disease is the number one priority. Therefore, as the corona virus and quarantine demonstrate, even though citizens may have to give up certain freedoms, by keeping health concerns a priority , the general public and American lives are safer and healthier.

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  • Lila from California

    In certain instances the health and wellbeing of many is more important than the individual rights of the few. While in general individual rights are very important, it doesn’t give people the right to actions which could potentially cause harm to many other. With the outbreak of covid-19, whether public health polices supersede civil liberties has been drawn into question. In this case, quarantine orders have been put in place to protect people from the virus. This is necessary as the virus can spread without people even knowing they have the virus, and the only possible way to prevent the spread is by social distancing. It is the United States government’s responsibility to protect all citizens and the safety of American citizens must take precedent over civil liberties. One’s individual rights to make decisions which could potentially endanger the lives of others are not more important than the greater good.

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  • Hayden from California

    I believe that this public health crisis should be taken seriously and that it is in the best interest of the American people to stay indoors as the government says. If Americans are disobeying the orders of our government to stay indoors and quarantine to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19, I believe they should be punished with fines in order to prevent others from leaving their homes. Therefore, a public heath crisis does supersede our civil liberties as American citizens.

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    I believe that this public health crisis should be taken seriously and that it is in the best interest of the American people to stay indoors as the g…

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  • Liam from California

    Yes, health policies should definitely supersede civil liberties. Normally, Americans have the liberty to have freedom and travel whenever they want and can go wherever they want to go. However, in our world currently containing a deadly disease, certain health policies to stop the spread of diseased are more important than civil liberties

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    Yes, health policies should definitely supersede civil liberties. Normally, Americans have the liberty to have freedom and travel whenever they want a…

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  • Izzy from California

    I feel that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I believe that not physically gathering for worship will help slow the spread of the Corona virus. I understand how people can be upset about worship gatherings being on a pause at the moment since my family and I are used to going to mass weekly. I especially see the struggle in my grandparents who wish they could be going to mass in their old age, but they know that it would be unsafe for their health. As a Catholic, I know that times of hardship are the times that I want to be worshiping with others and going to church the most. Although there is a hanker to attend gatherings of worship during this time, being in a confined area with several people is what we should not being doing or else many people have the potential to become ill. Even if we cannot gather physically, an alternative is worshiping with others through live streams and video masses. In the Catholic faith, we are not receiving the Eucharist since it can only be distributed in person by a priest. Although, we are missing out on this sacrament and it is difficult for many people, it is only temporary. I feel that pausing worship gatherings is an act of selflessness and respect since it will keep people safe and healthy.

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    I feel that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I believe that not physically gathering for worship will help slow the spread of the …

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  • Noah from North Carolina

    When thinking about whether public health policies supersede civil liberties, I was initially drawn to siding with a sacrifice of liberty for safety. However, upon reading the listed articles, specifically, an article from Cindy Chang of the Los Angeles Times, I had to reevaluate my position. In the article, a significant point was brought up by Aaron Chaplan, a professor from Loyola Law School, about how, currently, some people believe the government is saying that religion is not as important as a drugstore. As businesses such as grocery stores and drugstores are kept open and churches are closed many people feel their freedom of religion is being stripped from them. While this argument is a very strong one and citizen’s mental health should be protected as much as their physical, I do not believe we have the ability to protect freedoms at the moment. Frame it how you like, we are experiencing an unprecedented situation. As our democratic nation has always sought a good balance to the constant debate of Freedom vs. Safety, now is the time to be better safe than sorry. Both dollars and lives are being lost so I believe we do not have the luxury to have a balance between freedom and safety. As the Wall Street Journal notes that the COVID-19 death rate has reached over 50,000 in our nation and the stock market is in decline, we are at the mercy of the virus. As the first amendment does not protect speech that is threatening harm, our civil liberties do not and should not supersede public health policies if they could cause others harm. In conclusion, our civil liberties are extremely important, but as we as a nation are experiencing unprecedented public health issues, we do not have the luxury to choose liberty over safety as it will cause harm and even death to others. Ultimately, in times of crisis like now, public health policy should absolutely supersede our civil liberties.

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  • Mary from California

    Yes, public health policies do and should supersede civil liberties. Due to the extremity of a pandemic, such as the coronavirus, many possible precautions should be taken to limit the spread of the disease. Our civil liberties should be superseded in order to prevent the death of thousands of Americans and ensure the safety of all citizens. According to The New Yorker, China’s coronavirus quarantine situation was characterized by “an infrared temperature gun to the forehead” if citizens were to leave their homes as well as the requirement to inform the authorities where one had been going. While American quarantine regulations aren’t as harsh, the suspension of certain types of American civil liberties are necessary in order to combat the extremities of these disease. Many people have claimed that their freedom to express and practice their own religion has been violated, but one can oppose this claim by stating how there are thousands of virtual online services being portrayed worldwide. These measures need to be taken in order to protect those who are more susceptible to dying as a result of the virus, such as infants, the elderly, and those who suffer from weak immune systems. If these measures aren’t taken, we risk losing a major portion of the American population. Public health is America’s primary concern, as without healthy individuals, Americans cannot benefit from the civil liberties they have been granted. By suspending civil liberties for a short period of time, Americans are bound to be healthier and safer from the dangers of a disease, such as the coronavirus.

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    Yes, public health policies do and should supersede civil liberties. Due to the extremity of a pandemic, such as the coronavirus, many possible precau…

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  • cade from Wisconsin

    do public health policies supersede civil liberties? yes because we have had pandemics like this before such as the scarlet fever and influenza but covid 19 Is turning out to be a little more concerning with the death cases rising higher every day even though our country was built on freedom and religion this quarantine is trying to protect us

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    do public health policies supersede civil liberties? yes because we have had pandemics like this before such as the scarlet fever and influenza but c…

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  • Joshua from Kansas

    Civil Liberties are there for when we freedom. The time we are in means if we had the freedom we used to, the pandemic would be going worse since everyone would be around the towns. But with the health policies are in place for today’s situation. The policies supersede civil liberties to protect the country and to show why we need them. They exist to protect us and the only way the can protect us is by superseding our civil liberties. Thank you for reading this.

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    Civil Liberties are there for when we freedom. The time we are in means if we had the freedom we used to, the pandemic would be going worse since ever…

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  • Maddie from California

    The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Our Constitution guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. It is with this backdrop that many religious organizations are challenging the state and local governments’ emergency orders, which prohibit gatherings of people, including for religious purposes.
    The current pandemic has resulted in more than 51,000 lives lost to date in the United States. There is presently no cure or antibody to combat the virus. The only success in slowing the outbreak has been the social distancing orders placed by the state governments. While the freedoms of religion, of speech, and of assembly are important rights, it is the protection of the public health and safety that takes precedent. In weighing the competing interests, and with viable alternatives available to the churches (eg. virtual/zoom assemblies), the interests of the government to protect the lives and health of its citizens is not only compelling, but is necessary and crucial.
    There can be no other rationale opinion. The contagious manner in which this virus attacks could place an entire congregation and populace at risk. What could be more compelling than life?

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  • Steve from Illinois

    Yes they do supersede civil liberties. I believe this because if you look at when the Spanish Flu was going on, Philadelphia held a parade because they wanted to celebrate the soldiers from WW1. This lead to a massive spread of the virus, and if we open up our towns and cities, there is no way that a mass influx of coronavirus-infected people would show up and overrun hospitals even more.

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    Yes they do supersede civil liberties. I believe this because if you look at when the Spanish Flu was going on, Philadelphia held a parade because the…

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  • Jordan from Kansas

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? In our current unprecedented situation, yes they do. At present, I think that the federal and state governments are doing their best to balance public health with civil liberties using factual evidence. If there are ways for businesses to stay open and there are opportunities for less restriction, then those stipulations should be considered. At some point your rights have to be balanced against the health and safety of others. I feel as though the government’s response has been proportionate and not draconian in nature.

    I live in Kansas and there was quite a bit of uproar when Governor Laura Kelly banned church services on Easter sunday. It went to the Kansas Supreme Court and they ruled in support of Governor Kelly. They justified this by saying that the Legislative Coordinating Council’s revocation of her executive order was invalid because the LCC did not have any authorization to revoke the Governor’s executive orders. Her action, although unpopular for some, was absolutely necessary to protect our state. The government isn’t telling people that they cannot have religious freedom and they certainly aren’t persecuting any religious groups. They are allowing access to online service, allowing up to 10 people in the church to hold mass, and explicitly stating the temporary nature of the executive order.

    This situation reminds me of a certain Supreme Court Case: Schenk v. United States in 1919. Essentially, during World War I, Charles Schenk and Elizabeth Baer passed out pamphlets saying that the draft violated the 13th amendment, since involuntary servitude was abolished. The ruling was unanimous for the United States and against Schenk. This case introduced the phrase “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” and established that the 1st Amendment doesn’t always protect you under certain circumstances. Similarly, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, decided that public schools lower the level of First Amendment protection than independent student expression or newspapers.

    Certain Supreme Court precedent proves that not always are first amendment rights protected. These rights rather have to be weighed against the safety and protection of others. Current times prove that some people will have to give or take a little to compromise and join the effort of protecting others. The Constitution may be the backbone of the United States, but it was written long ago in a time that was free of Covid-19. Different times call for different measures, especially when those measures are only temporary.

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? In our current unprecedented situation, yes they do. At present, I think that the federal and s…

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  • Kai from California

    In the case of the current global situation, all eyes have been turning to the world’s medical leaders for guidance. That being said, in my opinion, it is startling to see people rebel against the necessary precautions for handling the coronavirus as health policies are instated to do damage control. According to the CDC, the maximum amount of people allowed out together is ten, certainly restricting social gatherings but not outlawing them completely. The situation isn’t as dire as many make it be. Theoretically, citizens aren’t being held at home or forced to self-isolate unless they are at high risk or have caught the disease. It is not necessary for people who have a difficult time living or being alone to cut themselves off from loved ones or significant others, as there are no laws prohibiting them from living with friends for the time being as long as they limit the number of people they come in contact with. In counter to the argument saying that such measures such as park closings, isolation, and shop closings encroach on personal freedom, that is not true. If given the opportunity to continue to go out at their own discretion, many healthcare workers would be jeopardized and infected, which would, in turn, put a strain on our healthcare industry. In this case, one person’s freedom could very well be another person’s demise as the highly transmissible and deadly disease could reach high-risk patients and essential workers who do not have the choice to take protective measures. Furthermore, in a time when so many families and communities are being inflicted with high death tolls from the coronavirus, it is simply morally selfish to complain about the boredom of being home. Here, there should be no claim that one’s civil liberties are being compromised because the measures being taken in the U.S. is to prevent devastating outbreaks and scenarios such as Italy, where such measures were put in place too late to prevent the massive spike in cases that came through contact. As citizens of a country, we are committed to each other in times like these where we have to make personal sacrifices for a greater good. Sure, civil liberties are incredibly important to a functional and moral society, but in the case of a pandemic, civil liberties must be set aside for our general well being. There is no use arguing about civil liberties if one is dead or too ill to enjoy them.

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  • Maryanne from Texas

    All around the world, people grow restless as the weeks we are required to socially distance ourselves from others drudge on. Despite the apprehension or the insatiable desire to go out and enjoy life again, I believe that, presently, our public health policies far supersede our civil liberties. The death toll in the US has reached over 50,000 people without a clear end in sight and eschewing from leaving the house is saving thousands more. According to the US Constitution, we have certain unalienable rights to our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every US citizen has the right to their life and lifting stay home orders puts innocent people’s lives at risk.
    There is also the argument that because of right to liberty, the quarantine violates the “give me liberty or give me death” values this country was created upon, but every law and right has their limitations. As a citizen, you have the right to bear arms, but you must still procure a license in order to be in legal possession of it. You have the right to petition the government, but if your demonstration was to get violent or destructive, the police have the right to eradicate the threat you have created. In times of dire need, it’s up to the government to determine what needs to be done for the good of the people. There is the obvious issue of the millions of Americans currently struggling financially, but this is the time for creative solutions such as working from home or working in small, spaced out groups. This is the governments time to make necessary public policies even if we may feel trapped in our own homes.

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    All around the world, people grow restless as the weeks we are required to socially distance ourselves from others drudge on. Despite the apprehension…

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  • Xayvion from California

    In regards to this inquiry, the corresponding answer is not as debatable/controversial as it may seem; public health services do supersede over civil liberties. While those opposing this ideology may try to argue that a restriction of inalienable rights is against the constitution, inhumane, and illuminates the characteristics of an oppressive authoritative power, you cannot express these liberties if you are dead. Especially during a prevalent epidemic, signifying high casualty rates, these freedoms that you are fighting for are stripped away permanently rather than temporarily if you end up passing away due to the contraction of this illness. The objective is to diminish the detrimental impact this epidemic will have on our citizens; the intention is not to implement tyrannical methodologies designed to subjugate its inhabitants. Once it has deemed safe and the issue at hand is eradicated, then civil liberties will be returned. In conclusion, unfavorable medical anomalies will always overtake domestic authorizations in order to protect the well-being of individuals.

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    In regards to this inquiry, the corresponding answer is not as debatable/controversial as it may seem; public health services do supersede over civil …

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  • Amelia from Pennsylvania

    Everyone in our country is being restricted at this time whether it’s from school, work, seeing friends or family, sports, going to church, expressing ourselves, doing was makes us happy, and other related passions. Yes, the situation is difficult but it is not the time to argue with public health policies that are set only to keep each one of us safe. Just think for a moment if such policies that restrict assembly are not set it can lead to much worse things than not being able to do the things we normally would.

    Personally, there are some days I am bored beyond belief even with daily schoolwork and spending hours upon hours with my family. I would love to just go to the movies, go get ice cream with my friends, go to church, even go to school. Those are some things I may have taken for granted in the past but I now understand the importance of even the smallest parts of my life. Because of public health policies, I am yes kept in my home, my county, my country. But I am safe. My parents are safe, my siblings are safe and that is what makes these policies 100% worth it. Even if I had none of those things I believe life is worth it.

    Here’s another thing, just because we cannot physically go to church, sports practice, art classes, yoga, youth group, etc. does not mean we can’t still have these things. Yes, I know it will not be the same well the world isn’t exactly the same either. We have so many resources at hand including zoom, facetime, youtube, a good ol book, and guess the ideas are endless of how we can still do the things we love without exposing ourselves to the virus. Do not let COVID-19 beat us.

    As eager as we are to get back out into the world it must wait. There will be a time hopefully soon were worship, education, work, family, and life will resume but for now, in order to help one another, the best option is to be safe.

    So thank you to all of those people out there that are keeping us safe!

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  • Nisha from Pennsylvania

    Public health is for the public good, which means it IS one of your civil liberties to be protected by laws in the name of public health. To not listen to public health laws and mandates is the opposite of helping yourself and exercising your civil liberties to be safe and healthy. It is incredibly selfish to put your happiness (not following quarantine and going out to see people) over other people’s health. There are people whose job is to put others’ health before their own (medical professionals, police officers, etc), and it is making their job just that much harder if you go and get the corona virus when it could’ve been prevented.

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    Public health is for the public good, which means it IS one of your civil liberties to be protected by laws in the name of public health. To not liste…

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  • Lina from Pennsylvania

    In this time of national and international crisis, public health is the most important priority. Though freedom and liberty is what the United States was built on, if civil liberties supersede public health there will be drastic consequences. In this time, if public health and safety is not prioritized over civil liberties, an increased number of people will die. These deaths could be prevented, but, for the time being, some civil liberties must be delayed and sacrificed. Now, one could argue that this infringes on an American’s rights, however, it would be inconsiderate and ignorant to look past the thousands of, or even more, people who would die and never experience any of these rights again. Overall, civil liberties are a fundamental concept in the United States; however, holding them higher than a person’s life, freedom, and future happiness goes against what the United States, as whole, stands for.

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    In this time of national and international crisis, public health is the most important priority. Though freedom and liberty is what the United States…

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  • Morgan from New Jersey

    The United States is built on the fact that citizens can do whatever they please, with one rule – one’s free will cannot impede on another’s. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are important American values. If people go out and spread this infectious disease, how can those killed or severely injured from this disease pursue these rights? Just because the killer is invisible doesn’t mean that “using” it or spreading it should not be punishable. There is no difference if one knowingly goes out and spreads the virus to the public than if someone took a gun and killed many people with it. Your rights don’t include going out and taking away other’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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  • Hadassa from Washington

    By ensuring the safety of the country is not getting rid of religious freedom or any other liberties that can not be acted on during this time. One of the major problems during this health crisis is that for some reason not everyone takes this issue seriously enough. By interacting with even a small number of people you not only put yourself at risk but anyone you may have indirect contact with. By not being able to go to churches for example that is not limiting a persons faith. They are able to worship either at home or another location without others present. As for the argument that for some it is necessary then the tough truth is that people will just have to deal with it. If it means that people who listened to public safety rules don’t end up in harms way and that the nation is better off then for this brief period of time that’s a scarifies you’ll have to make. In regards to other regulations, and the protests happening. What is even being protested really? a virus? You can’t vote away a disease, and by blocking roads they make it harder for medical professionals to get to thee jobs and put others lives on the line. And with the shortage of things like ventilators you can bet those people upset that they can’t go outside and doing it anyway will be people wanting those ventilators when they get sick. If essential workers are going into work, risking their lives to. try and keep some part of the economy going and to save others we should have enough respect for them to do the bare minimum and stay inside. As for people with job, and food insecurity. Those who maybe don’t have a well off home life, that’s where the government could do better. There’s no doubt that the U.S government hasn’t handled this crisis as best as it could but that still doesn’t defeat the fact that citizens have a choice in helping to end this sooner rather than later. And those going outside are making it so the stay home orders will last into next year and beyond. On a final note, the question isn’t if the governments doing enough, or if the situation is being handled well, it’s if civil liberties (non essential to life liberties) can be suspended in order to save live. The answer is yes.

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    By ensuring the safety of the country is not getting rid of religious freedom or any other liberties that can not be acted on during this time. One of…

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  • Sydney from California

    Our government is centralized around the idea of social construct, meaning that sometimes people have to give up some of their rights to the government to ensure their other rights are protected, and that’s exactly what has to happen in the case of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although some may think the restrictions aren’t necessarily fair, or want to protest shelter-in-place restrictions in the name of the economy, we all need to trust the government officials in this instance. All of the information from the world’s top trusted health officials is pointing to us staying home to flatten the curve, and that’s what our government is trying to do. In this instance, we need to give up a chunk of our normal lives to ensure that things go back to normal as quickly as possible. Limiting the right to assemble and practice religion in a group space is necessary to contain the spread of the outbreak, and we are saving lives by doing this. The key is that these liberties must be given back to us at the end of this pandemic, and we will ensure that this happens. In conclusion, we all need to take a step back, and realize that giving up some of these freedoms, or even changing them to online assembly and practice of religion, is saving lives.

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    Our government is centralized around the idea of social construct, meaning that sometimes people have to give up some of their rights to the governmen…

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  • Charles from North Carolina

    Religious freedom is what our country is built on. There is no denying that it was one of the things that our founding fathers strove to protect above all others, and the idea that it is one that should be defended even in the face of disaster is hardly a matter of debate. That being said, quarantine saves lives. It may not save your life, but it may save mine. It may save the lives of my grandparents. It will almost certainly save my father’s life.

    Ignoring quarantine recommendations is reckless endangerment of not only the individual but the entire community. Religion, at its core, is based around community, and endangering that community goes against the very pillars on which many world religions rest.

    Through trial and error, we have learned the best ways to deal with the challenges that global pandemics bring. COVID-19 is hardly unprecedented.

    During the 1918 influenza pandemic, the death toll, even among young and healthy people, lowered the average life expectancy in the United States by an astounding 12 years. Federal response was almost nonexistent, but several states implemented controls. The CDC recalls that measures including “Isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings” were implemented during this time. It is theorized that the death count might have been far lower had these measures been applied on a wider scale.

    Religious freedom is not something to be taken lightly, no matter the circumstances. But it is not being taken. People are free to practice their religion from the safety of their homes, where they can be sure they will not risk their own health or that of others. By participating in rallies, attending religious services, and protesting the quarantine that is keeping COVID-19 from spreading out of control, we are dooming ourselves to the full force of the pandemic. As the New York Times reports, this is exactly how the disease can spread.

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    Religious freedom is what our country is built on. There is no denying that it was one of the things that our founding fathers strove to protect above…

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  • G from Florida

    Lives are more important than money.

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  • Harrison from North Carolina

    The coronavirus is tearing its way through the world and public health officials only see one current option to prevent the spread of this terrible disease: social distancing. Officials have now made it mandatory for individuals to stay in their home and only travel for essential reasons, however, this has sparked a debate: should public health policies supersede civil liberties. I believe that public health policies do supersede civil liberties. I believe this because the health policies keep us safe, it is not permanent, and there are still ways that people can participate in events they love. Before social distancing was put into effect the coronavirus cases were multiplying at an exponential rate, and the virus was becoming increasingly dangerous. However, after social distancing was put into effect in Italy they saw a rapid decrease of the number of cases and the same is happening in the US (Hutton, 2020). This is the only way to prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep people safe while experts work on finding a vaccine. Secondly, public health restrictions are not permanent. Eventually the restrictions will be lifted and people throughout the world will return to normalcy. All people have to do is stay inside for a couple of months, a tiny window in the larger picture of life, and then they will be free to go wherever they want, whenever they want. However, as stated earlier social distancing is the only option we have right now. And finally, people can still participate in the events that they love. Quarantine does not mean that you cannot do anything, everything is still moving as normal but it is all virtual. Those who oppose these restrcitions claim that they should be able to freely practice their religion, however, every day there are countless numbers of virtual churches. This is the same for many other things: school, work, etc.. For these reasons I believe that public health policies should supersede civil liberties. After all, our public health workers do know what is best for our health.

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    The coronavirus is tearing its way through the world and public health officials only see one current option to prevent the spread of this terrible di…

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  • Ginger from North Carolina

    Right now, the world is facing an unprecedented time in history. There have been pandemics before like the 1818 influenza pandemic; however none have been so sudden, contagious, and affected the way of life of American citizens so greatly. Businesses are closed down, schools have moved to a virtual/online format, churches and other institutions of worship have been closed, and bans have been put on mass gatherings. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current recommendation is that gatherings or events of 10 people or more, specifically those with people at a greater risk of contracting the virus (those with any type of immunodeficiency disorder like cancer, asthma, or diabetes), be canceled. While this is a major change from life as we know it, it is a necessary change for the sake of public health. Yes, this is an especially rough time for small businesses, since they don’t have a larger company with enough money to support them, and can’t usually function as well online as larger corporations do; however, it is the best way to keep people alive. There is no point in trying to preserve all of these companies to their best ability if it will lead to the deaths of millions of people. After this pandemic passes, there will be time to rebuild and revive the economy, but there will never be a way to bring back all the lives that would have been lost if these restrictions weren’t there. According to the Washington Post, drive up church is allowed as long as the windows are rolled up. This is proof of how modifications can be made in the name of public health. Public health policies do supersede civil liberties because keeping as many citizens alive as possible is the best option. It has been clear that making modifications is possible, so these restrictions should continue until public health officials see fit in the eyes of public health.

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    Right now, the world is facing an unprecedented time in history. There have been pandemics before like the 1818 influenza pandemic; however none have …

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  • Bryce from Mississippi

    Even though I am a teen, and i’d rather be out with friends then stuck in the house, I know that when others’ lives are in danger the most patriotic and respectful thing that we can do as everyday citizens is stay at home. It has been decided before by the supreme court that civil liberties such as our freedom of speech can be restricted if it puts other American citizens at risk. Having our civil liberties restricted today insures a better tomorrow. What will be key is if the government does not abuse the power that they have to restrict our liberties.

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    Even though I am a teen, and i’d rather be out with friends then stuck in the house, I know that when others’ lives are in danger the most patriotic a…

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  • Ira from Tennessee

    In the U.S. alone, there have been over 44,000 deaths caused by coronavirus, the deadly disease caused by the COVID-19 virus. This virus is spread by the respiratory system, meaning even breathing the same air as someone infected could get you infected. Because of these hazardous conditions, most governors have issued a stay-at-home order. It varies by state, but in most states, this means staying at home, inside, unless you need to buy something essential, such as food, water, or medicine, or if you are sick and need medical treatment. In order to stop coronavirus from spreading, it is essential to stay at home and stay away from large groups of people. To answer the question: public health policies ABSOLUTELY supersede civil liberties. In this lockdown, those “civil liberties” include gathering in large groups, going to places of worship, etc. The lives of others are much more important than one’s desire to go to a party or to go to church. There are numerous technologies nowadays to be able to connect with one’s friends or worship groups virtually. And those concerned that precedents for restricting basic liberties during a crisis will be used later to justify further limitations on freedoms are simply irrational. The entire country, including the government, is suffering from these lockdowns. They are necessary, absolutely, but also have caused the markets to crash and oil prices to go down. After this outbreak has ended, the government would want people to go out and revitalize the economy. There’s absolutely no reason the government would want to limit one’s freedoms and civil liberties after the lockdown. Consider this: which is more important to you? American lives or the ability to go to a party or a place of worship? Especially when you know after lockdown you will be able to go as you please?

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    In the U.S. alone, there have been over 44,000 deaths caused by coronavirus, the deadly disease caused by the COVID-19 virus. This virus is spread by …

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    • Logan from Kentucky

      This shutdown does more than just prevent someone from going to a party. It is the government forcibly taking away the income of millions of Americans. Even if business owners meet the CDC guidelines for what is safe, they cannot reopen because they are ‘nonessential’. Who gets to decide what is nonessential? Either you are able to meet the guidelines and open or not, no need for anything else.

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      This shutdown does more than just prevent someone from going to a party. It is the government forcibly taking away the income of millions of Americans…

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  • Andreina from Connecticut

    As we all prepare for the worst, it’s important we follow the guidelines in our given state. Public health is meant to supersede civil liberties when those civil liberties can negatively affect citizens and in this case, it’s a matter of life or death. Although many of those opposing social distancing guidelines put on by their states claim it’s a violation of their amendments, what they don’t realize is that their health is being put at the forefront of this pandemic, it’s not a violation. Religious activities for one, is an easy way to contract the virus and secondly these practices can be done online while getting food and medicine cannot. During these times we have to learn to sacrifice our daily lives for the better good. Our civil liberties are not in violation, what is in violation is the safety of individuals that are immunocompromised and are put at risk by people that couldn’t merely follow the orders. Amid this pandemic our public health is more important than our civil liberties. In ordinary times it would be a violation of civil liberties if these measures were placed on us without any reasoning but these measures are more than justified by the pandemic that has killed over 40,000 people in America alone.

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    As we all prepare for the worst, it’s important we follow the guidelines in our given state. Public health is meant to supersede civil liberties when …

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  • Kayton from Texas

    Expressing your civil liberties in a way that impedes others’ right to express theirs (such as going out before the country reopens and potentially carrying/spreading the virus) destroys the integrity of the civil liberties granted to you in the first place.

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    Expressing your civil liberties in a way that impedes others’ right to express theirs (such as going out before the country reopens and potentially …

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  • Ava from Kentucky

    When a public health issue arises, the government reserves the right to enforce safety measures, even if it interferes with one’s own plans. There are weaker members of our community — the elderly, young children, and all people with long-term illnesses or suppressed immune systems — who need to be protected. The policy of social distancing is not solely based in disrupting your everyday life; rather, it is enforced to protect yourself and those you love most from bringing home a virus that could very well take your life if you aren’t careful. Times are hard, and this is an adjustment from the way we usually live, but social distancing helps to stop the spread of this pandemic and is essential to ensuring everyone’s health and safety at this time.

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    When a public health issue arises, the government reserves the right to enforce safety measures, even if it interferes with one’s own plans. There are…

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  • Teddy from New York

    The government must serve the many instead of the few—indeed, this spirit of protecting minorities pervades the Constitution. Its intervention is most necessary when collective action problems exist, to incentivize actions with positive externalities and discourage those that adversely impact the innocent bystander. For example, we need government to fund the national military; left to their own devices none but the most altruistic individuals would independently use money out of their own pocket to support it, as a tiny fraction of our military benefits them much less directly than something like a new television would. Everyone thinks like this and we as a country have no military, even though people likely would have preferred a world in which a contract forces everyone to pay their fair share. Government enforces that contract.

    Inversely, when a bored 25 year-old goes outside to see a friend right now, they don’t just put themselves at risk. Their recklessness is far worse for the 70 year-old with diabetes who lives in their building who might pick their germs up from a surface and their 55 year-old food delivery person. If even a fraction of the less vulnerable population unnecessarily goes outside, scores of those who are more vulnerable will be infected and die, even though people likely would have preferred a world in which a contract makes everyone who can stay home so we can all return to normalcy sooner. That contract is a shelter in place order, and government enforces it.

    The same reason even most ardent libertarians support having a national military is why they should support temporarily prioritizing public health as well. And the circumstances are so unprecedented that we should not be worried our government response normalizes intrusions upon liberty—in no way are these normal times.

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    The government must serve the many instead of the few—indeed, this spirit of protecting minorities pervades the Constitution. Its intervention is mo…

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  • Maria from Massachusetts

    Life is of utmost importance. Without life you don’t need liberty!

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  • Hannah from California

    Despite civil liberties being an important part of American society, it is important that public health supersedes civil liberties. Taking into account what occurred during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918, the first wave had a lower mortality rate than the second wave, which could have been prevented had proper measures been taken. While the number of new cases have been showing recent drops in numbers, it does not necessarily mean public health should be brushed aside. Additionally, protests of these social distancing measures for the good of public health only endangers public health further. Actions such as blocking roads and hospitals has been endangering the lives of those who could be dying and who those in medical fields are trying to protect the rest of the nation from.

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    Despite civil liberties being an important part of American society, it is important that public health supersedes civil liberties. Taking into accou…

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  • India from Indiana

    I know that staying home is the safest option, but I feel as if it goes against want our country stands for and what we were built own by forcing people into their homes. I think goes against what is stated in the Declaration of Independence as basic human rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are being enslaved in our homes and forced to become hermits while the same people that tell us to stay home are out in their private golf courses or swimming in their pools. While some people live in an apartment and don’t even have a balcony. We have to continue our lives online though access to internet isn’t something everyone has. People are losing their jobs and livelihoods and only getting a single $1200 check. No offense to our president but I feel because we are in this crisis, a liberal president would have been better for us. Conservatives don’t like government aid so ofcourse we aren’t getting help.

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    I know that staying home is the safest option, but I feel as if it goes against want our country stands for and what we were built own by forcing peop…

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  • Benjamin from Illinois

    Yes, public health measures supersede civil liberties. Civil liberties are important, but there must also be boundaries so that society can remain functional. Any law, regulation, or measure will always restrict the freedom of an individual, but these rules are put into place to help regulate society. There are laws to prevent murder since no matter how much freedom someone wants, endangering the lives of others not acceptable. Disobeying public health measures threatens the well-being of others and is analgous to crimes like drunk driving. For example, not sheltering-in-place increase both the risk that an individual will become infected and that they will spread the disease to another individual, perpetuating the problem. Public health measures supersede civil liberties since they help our country stay safe and save the lives of many.

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    Yes, public health measures supersede civil liberties. Civil liberties are important, but there must also be boundaries so that society can remain fun…

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  • Mantej from Arizona

    Yes, in the event of a national health crisis or emergency, public health policies should be prioritized over civil liberties. Looking specifically at the outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus, public health policies (social distancing guidelines, stay-at-home orders, etc.) are not only integral to reduce the rate of infection and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed but also have a perfectly legal basis and case precedent to be implemented. In the Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a local pastor, Henning Jacobson, refused to receive vaccination during the smallpox outbreak despite compulsory vaccination laws, arguing that it abridged his fourteenth amendment right to liberty. Delivering the majority opinion of the court, Justice Harlan rejected Jacobson’s reasoning and upheld Massachusetts law, asserting that constitutional rights could be reasonably curtailed in the interest of the common welfare and public good. Regarding COVID-19, the scientific community and infectious disease experts have been unquestionably clear in their advice: preventing large gatherings is the best way to curb the spread of this disease for the common good. The rights to assembly and speech guaranteed by the first amendment do not outweigh those in the fourteenth amendment and are not exempt from the ruling that Justice Harlan gave us. Those on the other side of this debate are afraid of creating a new precedent, but the truth is there already is one and it must be invoked now to save lives.

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    Yes, in the event of a national health crisis or emergency, public health policies should be prioritized over civil liberties. Looking specifically at…

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  • Isha from Nevada

    Within every human lies the inherent fact that humans must be alive in order to allow for any sort of preservation of rights. On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, physiological and safety needs are below esteem and self-actualiziation, meaning humans must have their health and well-being protected before any protection of liberties can be made. Although many individuals in the status quo remain free from major health complications, there also remains a large percentage who could just as easily die due to Covid-19. Furthermore, the spread of this virus occurs at such a rapid rate that not following social distancing protocols could inherently decimate the “elderly and pre-existing” condition population of the United States. Many may argue that our liberties are being restricted, however, one must weight the consequences of potentially costing their fellow citizens’ lives. Here, we are weighing a tradeoff of certain liberties in the status quo against thousands of lives that could potentially be lost. Ultimately, the answer to this question relies on the simple fact that the health policies discussed in the status quo are operating based on a genuine reality that Covid-19 is a global pandemic killing thousands. As such, these health policies are operating on a utilitarian basis, for the good of society in general. That being said, the health policies of the status quo do supersede civil liberties because in order to achieve any true protection of rights, our health must first be safeguarded per Maslow’s Hierarchy.

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    Within every human lies the inherent fact that humans must be alive in order to allow for any sort of preservation of rights. On Maslow’s Hierarchy of…

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  • Kitsel from Utah

    Civil liberties are personal and undoubtedly important. But when a civil liberty interferes with the safety of a large number of people, it becomes a hazard. Public health is about the greater good. Even though it may not be convenient or fun to stay at home, it is necessary in order to keep the rate of infection down. Lifting restriction too soon will result in more quarantine when the disease spikes again.

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    Civil liberties are personal and undoubtedly important. But when a civil liberty interferes with the safety of a large number of people, it becomes a …

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  • Christian from Michigan

    Obviously the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are there for the benefit of public and to protect lives. The people recommending these restrictions are scientists and experts in their field who have spent their lives devoted to understanding these situations and advising the best course of action to save lives. The only reason people are resorting to the faux “It’s violating our civil liberties” argument is because they have absolutely no evidence or other reasonable argument for why the restrictions should not be in place. These arguments reek of entitlement, selfishness, and amount to nothing more than crocodile tears. The people protesting their states COVID-19 restrictions because they “violate their rights” fail to consider the rights other people have to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. When uniformed misfits gather in these ridiculous protests they are endangering the lives of innocent people. Perhaps they believe they are completely safe from the virus, but other people are not and their actions will result in thousands of preventable deaths. What about those people’s rights? These arguments are disingenuous and only serve to mask the protesters unflinching greed and ego. The restrictions put in place should be kept and followed until scientists approve of rolling them back. Anything less will result in a catastrophic jump in death rates that are completely avoidable. We cannot cave to the demands of people who have not the slightest clue of what they are talking about and are only concerned about their own wellbeing and not the lives of thousands of innocent people.

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    Obviously the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are there for the benefit of public and to protect lives. The people recomme…

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  • Alisha from New Jersey

    YES! People who are leaving their homes during quarantine are not only putting themselves and others around them at risk but they are also placing immense pressure on healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses. People are still dying! Doctors and nurses are doing their best to keep things controlled. As soon as you are infringing on other people’s liberties and rights to stay healthy than you don’t have the the right to leave your homes. This is not the same thing as the policy with seatbelts. With seatbelts, you are only putting yourself at risk. In that case, you have the right to not wear it,however, as soon as someone else comes into the picture, you CANNOT infringe upon their rights. Not everything is about you! Stay home!

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    YES! People who are leaving their homes during quarantine are not only putting themselves and others around them at risk but they are also placing imm…

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  • Sinclaire from Pennsylvania

    So while it is obvious that forming assemblies and gatherings like church services are restricted, it is for the betterment of the people. Restricting civil liberties for the time being isn’t permanent, it isn’t trying to take away your freedoms, and it isn’t trying to hurt your beliefs, all of this is for the public’s best interest. By preventing large gatherings, it helps flatten the curve. I know we heard that way to many times but it’s true. If we let people go on about their own business without a care in the world, our health care system would we stressed passed the breaking point. Without restrictions, we would have more people dying and getting sick then what any of us can handle. Take the Spanish Flu for example. When the flu finally broke out in America, we were in the middle of a great world war. This was a harsh time for Americans and many others around the world. As a way to support the war effort and to continuously supply for it, there wasn’t much restrictions in place to prevent or slow its spread, like quarantine. They needed all hands on deck to support the war effort. One terrifying example of not practicing social distancing was in Philadelphia. The Liberty Loan parade was a celebration for the wartime effort and government bonds and it caused thousand to become infected within as little as a day. Something as big as that or a little gathering can become deadly. Because this virus is asymptomatic, it makes it harder for us to find out who has it before it spreads to everyone else. Sometimes it is necessary for the government to step in from time to time to limit our rights for our own good. It is only temporary and if we do our part we can stop this. Our medical technology is much more advance then it was back in 1918 and we can find ways to get over this. By doing our small part and giving up a little to help more than just ourselves, we can achieve more than what we think.

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    So while it is obvious that forming assemblies and gatherings like church services are restricted, it is for the betterment of the people. Restricting…

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  • Sidney from Virginia

    I do think that public policy does supersede civil liberties however, ONLY in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, I am a firm advocate of any and all civil rights and constitutional freedoms. I believe in the rights we have been given and think they should be protected, never infringed upon. However, I think in this case public policy takes precedent and there are several reasons for this decision.

    1. It doesn’t really infringe upon our Constitutional rights and freedoms- One of the most common complaints about the stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines is that they intrude on our right to assemble. I believe that in the society in which we live this isn’t exactly true. While we may not be able to gather in large groups outside holding signs and hosting rallies, we live in an era of technology which allows us to still peacefully gather and assemble. We can assemble on online platforms, hold meetings over Skype, and some places, for example some churches, are allowing people to gather together in their cars with the windows up to listen to services. We may not be able to physically assemble, but nothing is stopping us from gathering via other technological means therefore this right is not being infringed upon. Some argue that the current procedures are infringing upon freedom of religion and speech. As someone who firmly believes in the sovereignty of these rights, I can also deny that claim. As stated before, in this era of technology, nothing is stopping us from speaking up or practicing our religion. I myself still participate in online church services and not being able to go outside doesn’t mean I can’t continue practicing my faith! So many complain that our rights are being taken but they’re not. We are not being told we cannot demonstrate our rights, we just have to do it in a way that keeps everyone safe. (i.e. online forums)

    2. The goal- When our government was first being created and our Constitution first being written, the overall idea of the founders was to ensure the safety and security of the citizens. We were given rights and freedoms to protect ourselves from outside threats, a tyrannical government, etc. The intent from the very beginning was to keep the best interest of the public in mind and I don’t see any reason to change this thinking. Right now, the public policies set in place are for PROTECTION, not VIOLATION. COVID-19 is a new virus that we know little about other than that it spreads very quickly. If we were to lift the policies that were recently set in place the virus could easily spread like wildfire throughout the entire country and kill millions! We can’t allow this to happen. If the virus were to have even more detrimental effects on our country we could be facing more issues than just the virus. It wouldn’t take much for the economy or even our government to collapse amidst such chaos! In order to protect the LIFE of the citizens we need to let public policy take precedence. If everyone is sick and dying because we ignore public policy in favor of rights, we may not have many people left to defend the rights that people are afraid of being taken.

    It is for the above reasons that I believe public policy should supersede civil liberties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    I do think that public policy does supersede civil liberties however, ONLY in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, I am a firm advocate of an…

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  • Naomi from Virginia

    Our Constitution relies on our civil freedoms to sustain democracy. The freedom of speech, of the press, and of movement are all rights we enjoy as American citizens, and are part of our American liberty. But in times of crisis, when people’s lives are on the line, we must sometimes adapt these liberties, to fit the situation. There is a pandemic sweeping through the United States at this instant, killing tens of thousands, and doctors far and wide have recommended one thing: to stay at home. Staying home-bound will help flatten the curve, protecting those who are more vulnerable and saving lives.

    Freedom of expression and of speech are all good and well until death comes along and wipes out those who are exercising their freedom. When the founders gave us these freedoms, acknowledging our rights as human beings, they were giving us a responsibility to respect and protect our neighbors, as well. We technically do not have to listen to the experts. We have the freedom to ignore all the statics and advice coming in from doctors everywhere and take to the streets, demanding we reopen the country. But with those freedoms comes responsibility — and right now, our responsibility is to strengthen our country by staying home and protecting those most vulnerable and at risk.

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    Our Constitution relies on our civil freedoms to sustain democracy. The freedom of speech, of the press, and of movement are all rights we enjoy as Am…

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  • Selena from Missouri

    All that is being asked is for people to remain home, unless they must go to retrieve something they need, to ensure their own safety and the safety of their communities. The more they fight back against this, and join in these protests, the longer we may have to enforce these ordinances. No true liberties are being imposed on, and most of the reasons people are giving to want to go out are superficial and require other people to put themselves at risk.

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    All that is being asked is for people to remain home, unless they must go to retrieve something they need, to ensure their own safety and the safety o…

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  • Marwa from New York

    I vote Yes because since there is no known cure for the Corona virus, we as people, should go to far extent to enact social distancing in order to avoid the chances of getting the virus passed on. Many people, of various ages, have died due to the corona, someone lost a sister, a brother, a child, a parent, or a spouse due to the corona. It is crucial that the well being of the majority be put first, although many individuals would rather go to worship at a church or a mosque, however, that is the fastest way to contract the virus. Therefore, if one may wish to pray, they can do so at the comfort of their own home. I, myself, have lost a a loved one due to the corona virus and I know the pain that others who’ve experienced the same circumstance s. Furthermore, we must work together to limit the transfer of the virus and in doing so, remaining isolated until the virus passes. These laws and regulations restricting people from going to public settings are only worried about our well being, they aren’t trying to “control” us or “limit” our natural born rights. It is astonishing to me, that others are protesting to end the isolation but they are the ones that are at great risk to contracting the contagious virus. If the stage decided to cancel the schools, what makes people thing that going to church would be an exception? We are facing a pandemic and what is associated with pandemic is PANIC. And this is where the issue derived from. If people just remain calm and stay in their homes(leaving their homes for necessary reasons ex. Grocery shopping) and wait until the virus decreases, then they are not jeopardizing their loved ones’ lives and the people around them. Do you care enough about your loved ones? If you do, stay home and do others a favor. Many health care professionals are facing a shortage of face masks and gloves because the general public is taking those essential supplies and using them to go out in public locations and living like everything is normal, when in fact, almost 2 million people in the United States alone, have lost their fight with corona virus. We must play the waiting game and stay out until the entire nightmare passes, until then, staying home means remaining safe.

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    I vote Yes because since there is no known cure for the Corona virus, we as people, should go to far extent to enact social distancing in order to avo…

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  • Claire from California

    When it’s a question of the health of the nation, and the well being of the nation, it is of the utmost importance that the government takes a stand to protect the people. Even if that means that people get mad. This is because it’s not just for the betterment of one individual, it’s for the health and safety of all. Though when we take actions as the youths to protect our elders, it highlights how they have not tried to take care of us or our future. But we have to remember that we can prevent deaths by staying home. We can help keep people safe. And hopefully we can reclaim some sense of normalcy when it is safe.

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    When it’s a question of the health of the nation, and the well being of the nation, it is of the utmost importance that the government takes a stand…

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  • Brianna from Alabama

    yes

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  • Andrew from Kentucky

    Public health policies supercede civil liberties because the opposite, letting people do whatever they want regardless of the health and safety of others, is a violation of the right to life. People are allowed to do whatever they please as long as what they please does not violate the rights of others.

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    Public health policies supercede civil liberties because the opposite, letting people do whatever they want regardless of the health and safety of oth…

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  • Colin from California

    In the 21st century, civil liberties are the cornerstone of the American people. However, these civil liberties are only available to us because of the stability of our government and state. In emergencies such as the current crisis, it is critical for the security of such a government to enact policies such as social distancing, in order to ensure the safety of its people. Opponents to the government’s actions in response to the virus argue that by imposing temporary limitations on civil liberties once will set a dangerous precedent for the future. However, it is slippery slope to assume that when civil liberties are limited in response to a warranted circumstance that they will not receive backlash in the future when they the restriction is no longer warranted. Therefore, my answer to the question of “do public health policies supersede civil liberties?” is both yes and no. In regards to present situation, I chose yes for my answer because I believe the government’s action in the current crisis is justified. However, I do not believe this was always the case in the past, nor do I believe it will always be the case in the future. Instead, it is the people’s responsibility to choose when the restriction of rights outweighs the problem at hand, and how they should take action accordingly.

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    In the 21st century, civil liberties are the cornerstone of the American people. However, these civil liberties are only available to us because of t…

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  • drew from California

    I believe that as citizens of the United States we have the right to free will and liberty. The government demanding us to stay indoors goes against our liberties. Even though the virus needs to be contained and stopped there are ways to let Americans live normal life outdoors. I propose that we quarantine for 2 weeks and then un – quarantine for 2 weeks. This back and forth movement between being outdoors and indoors will help our economy boost and keep American people happy!

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    I believe that as citizens of the United States we have the right to free will and liberty. The government demanding us to stay indoors goes against o…

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  • Livia from California

    As American Citizens, we have the right to make our own decisions, exercise free will, and that we have a right to liberty and the government is challenging our ability to go outdoors which is a hindrance to our liberty. For example, if I wanted to go the social distance with my family as the beach I would be at risk for prosecution, which I believe is extremely unfair as the beach should rather have more lifeguards on duty to ensure social distancing, rather than making arrests for those who are unaware of the bans.

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    As American Citizens, we have the right to make our own decisions, exercise free will, and that we have a right to liberty and the government is chall…

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  • sae from New York

    it does because its the most important thing then making laws by the governemnt the people are gonna care more about there health care and safety then the liberals wanting to make news points of a law

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    it does because its the most important thing then making laws by the governemnt the people are gonna care more about there health care and safety then…

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  • Kamal from Georgia

    There should be more regulation for exotic
    animals in every country. Exotic animals can be harmful to the residents, environment, other animals or the countries themselves. Some animals have a special trait-like camouflage. The animals will be successfully able to conceal them which can be proved to cause danger for the residents in the country. The animal might be spreading deadly diseases in which the residents are unknown as they have no knowledge of the exotic animal existence or facts. This will cause healthcare workers to give no specific care or medication for the people who are infected by the deadly disease. The disease will keep on spreading worldwide causing a pandemic as there is no cure for the disease because they have no idea about the exotic animal being in the country where it spread from until it is too late because millions of people are already dead and infected from the disease just like COVID 19. It will be really hard for the animal to become insight because of its special trait. The disease will affect the countries itself as it will lead to unemployment and lockdown in the country for which the economy will be affected and the citizens aaa they will have no job being forced to stay at home for which they will even be able to pay for their house and struggle to feed themselves and their family even a one day meal. Also, the disease will affect other animal and the environment by causing other animals to go extinct or cause danger to their habitat as the spread of disease will cause them to live their home and adapt to a new environment which can be had for some animals because of the climate change and the limited traits they have to keep themselves safe and healthy. This will affect the environment of some countries by having an overpopulation of animals and having more exotic animals which can cause the same issue of disease spreading. Infant, it will become uncontrollable as there is more disease-spreading now causing a huge risk of the world to vanish while in some other counties there will be an issue of having few animals as animals are what makes up most of the environment like the process of Ecological pyramid for which plays an important role in the ecosystem as animals depend on each other for many reasons. One of the main reasons will be food and other animals’ existence causing harm to the environment, other animals, and the residents living in the countries. Exotic animals can be dangerous for the entire world and universe as it can destroy the existence of them for which there should be more regulations concerning the ownership of the exotic animals.

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    There should be more regulation for exotic
    animals in every country. Exotic animals can be harmful to the residents, environment, other animals or …

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  • TJ from Kentucky

    While I believe public health policies should be used to stop and prevent a disease or virus and they can be a temporary exception to some of our civil liberties. However, they should not be able to supersede civil liberties. I don’t think anything should be able to supersede our inalienable rights. Nothing and no one should has power over our civil liberties. There is a difference between a temporary enforcement of public health policies that adds an exception to our civil liberties but to say that they have more power over our rights is dangerous and gives people the power over something as important as our rights. People say this kind of thinking will lead to more deaths but I believe that most of society will follow the public health policies for the good of society. However, letting something supersede our civil liberties can have bigger and long term impact on our lives a virus can never achieve.

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    While I believe public health policies should be used to stop and prevent a disease or virus and they can be a temporary exception to some of our civi…

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  • Crawford from Texas

    These trying times are uncharted waters, alien to anyone born in the last six generations. In times like these it is natural for any American no matter of race, education, or background to feel scared and exposed. Because of this void in security, many turn to the government to solve the issues, ignoring our government’s past failures and history’s dire warnings. And in turn the government is forcing citizens with threats and law enforcement to stay at their homes if they are doing anything they deem “unessential”. This can be seen across America as citizens lose control to maintain their own lives in states like Michigan and Connecticut where citizens who formerly ran businesses are now restricted to do so and people who have family in a different part of the state and just want to visit them now can’t. People who want to exercise their right to practice their religion now can’t even though it is protected by the First Amendment due to these stay at home orders in the name of public health. Under the Trojan Horse of “Flattening the Curve”, the government has stripped people of their rights and usurped their liberty. The stay at home orders have ravaged the economy as tens of millions of workers lose their job because they have no business because people can’t shop. The cure has become worse than the virus and in the process the cure has ransacked civil liberties. Yes, the extreme mitigation might save a few lives, but now many won’t have a life to return to after this is over. Businesses bankrupted, houses foreclosed, and civil liberties desecrated all for what? A few thousand less dead? Every life gone from this virus is one too many but also every business closed and every life descending into poverty because of the COVID-19 response is equally noticeable. Every business that loses their stream of revenue, closes due to the response, and layoff their workers as a result are gut punches to this nation’s innovation, economy and security. The people who these stay at home orders primarily affect are the people who need them the least. The bulk of our workforce ages 18–49 hospitalization rate if they get COVID is 2.5% according to the CDC. So even if those people did get the COVID, 97.5% of them won’t even be that sick to go to the hospital. Those numbers don’t justify the government taking rights and liberty away from its citizens. I have enough faith that the American people can simultaneously maintain social distancing while still going to work and improving their communities. All they have to do is take more precautions at work and be mindful of their habits and the CDC says they will be fine. We can flatten the curve without restricting civil liberties and devastating the economy. We got this. We’re Americans. We can take care of ourselves. Ninety-two percent of Americans were already self-isolating before government intervention. The worst thing about our government restricting our civil liberties is that we’ve been warned over and over about government usurpation by our Founders. John Adams in a letter to his wife in 1775 once said “Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.” I do not believe that our government will become a dictatorship after COVID blows over but I do believe we are setting a bad precedent for the future. Politicians will point to this and say “We did it then so why can’t we do it now”. If the people acquiesce solely because they are scared and need security, then we will inevitably end up on the path to despotism, against our Founders wisdom. But if the people continue to put their foot down as we’ve seen in protests at state capitals because of this encroachment and never forgot our Founders wisdom then I know we Americans will be in good hands.

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    These trying times are uncharted waters, alien to anyone born in the last six generations. In times like these it is natural for any American no matte…

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  • Kyla from Tennessee

    I think it is obvious to everyone, in America or in any other country, that the novel coronavirus is a big deal. It has drastically changed the day to day life of every American, and most citizens of every country around the globe. Kitchen tables have become schools, parents have become teachers, and meetings are now held virtually. As of April 22, 2020, the CDC reports 46,379 deaths across America. At first glance, this seems terrible. In many ways, it is. Losing a loved one to illness is a terrible experience. Believe me, I know from experience. However, this is only .01% of the American population. There are currently 828,441 cases in the United States, according to the CDC. This is only .25% of the American population. Seeing that this percentage is so low, we simply must reopen our country. The economic toll that this is taking on our country is massive. According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 17 million Americans have lost their jobs due to this pandemic. In comparison with the number of cases, it is extremely obvious that the economic impact is indeed massive. The only way to counteract this is to begin reopening our great country. In addition to this, requiring American citizens to stay at home restricts their given rights. As stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, every American has the right to, ¨…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.¨Forcing citizens to stay at home goes against the right to freedom, as citizens can no longer freely make decisions. Also, it goes against the right to the pursuit of happiness, as seeking happiness might involve leaving home for something other than groceries or medication. In addition to even this, requiring American citizens to stay at home violates their first amendment rights. The First Amendment states, ¨Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…¨. Though Congress has not made a federal law prohibiting religious services, the federal government has asked the states to keep citizens at home, and most states have done exactly that. They have deemed worship unessential, leading to many people being fined for attending a church service. This is simply wrong. It violates our rights as human beings and as citizens of the great United States of America. And though I find all of this concerning, what concerns me most is the precedent this might form for the future. If future governments see that a past one has restricted these civil liberties, they will likely believe it acceptable for them to do the same. Through many years, this could lead to a lack of freedom for future American citizens. I believe that we should begin to reopen our country. However, I believe that we should do it strategically. We must carefully and slowly open a few industries at a time, and continue to enforce social distancing. However, we must put a stop to the restriction of civil liberty. In summary, public health policies do not supersede civil liberties. We must stop this before it is too late.

    Works Cited:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
    https://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-surge-in-unemployment-claims-expected-to-continue-11586424605
    https://www.census.gov/popclock/
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

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    I think it is obvious to everyone, in America or in any other country, that the novel coronavirus is a big deal. It has drastically changed the day to…

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  • Brendan from Massachusetts

    There are a bunch of other side items that make this argument more complicated than it needs to be. It’s reasonable to assume that certain guidelines regarding civil liberties would be used in certain circumstances. The problem I take with the question and some of the actions taken by the government of any kind, state or federal during this pandemic is the absolute restriction of religious liberties. A good example of this comes from the Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio. Just last month he stated, “The NYPD, fire department, buildings department — everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” he said. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.” The right to assemble and to worship are being violated if that were to be enforced. The entire amendment, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It’s that simple. The real problem with sidestepping liberties for what might appear as the greater good is no one knows where exactly the line is and drawing the line farther than it ever has before is just daring the next person to draw it even further. That’s problematic for our liberties obviously but it’s also problematic for our country as a whole and it’s better not to go down that path at all.

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    There are a bunch of other side items that make this argument more complicated than it needs to be. It’s reasonable to assume that certain guidelines …

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  • Jacob from New York

    because once one exception is made it allows for an expectation and reasoning for more. Public safety should be up to the individual such as the 80-year-old who is highly at risk, why would someone going to the beach down the road put her at risk, nothing.

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    because once one exception is made it allows for an expectation and reasoning for more. Public safety should be up to the individual such as the 80-y…

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  • Christina from Washington

    Physical health, mental health, emotional health, and financial health should all be considered by the government when drafting rules and regulations. If a person who loses their job starts to suffer financially, then they may not be able to buy enough food for their family, make payments, and do other critical tasks in their everyday life. During this pandemic, some people are fortunate to still have jobs, some people are fortunate to live near food banks; however, millions of Americans who had jobs before the pandemic don’t anymore – and that fact should not be taken lightly. Once the “peak” of cases is over, I believe that it should be the state government’s priority to get get the economy running again – of course, with certain health advisories in place. People who are at a high danger of getting infected with the virus should stay at home. However, people who are able and feel comfortable should go back to work. Businesses should value whatever decision their employees choose.
    Ideally, we should have had zero coronavirus deaths in the world. Unfortunately, this was not the case – all U.S. states suffered losses. However, the number of deaths doesn’t give state officials the right to allow fear to take over their minds. If state officials do allow fear to rule their actions, their decisions are likely to be irrational.
    It is very important for state officials to consider all viewpoints when making decisions. Although the officals themselves may not be at risk for losing their jobs, that doesn’t mean that all people aren’t. The fear of death should never be a barrier in life. Just choosing to walk on the sidewalk at 10 AM on a Saturday morning can be the difference between life and death. Getting infected with the coronavirus shouldn’t be the only fear governments have. Considerations on people’s mental health must also be made. Suicidal death rates may see an increase along with other types of deaths as more people are forced to remain isolated for long periods of time. All perspectives must be considered when making decisions. And for these reasons I most definitely believe that civil liberties must take precedent over public health policies.

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    Physical health, mental health, emotional health, and financial health should all be considered by the government when drafting rules and regulations….

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    • Hadassa from Washington

      This is responding to most if not all of the comments that voted no. I keep seeing arguments referring to documents like the Declaration of Independence, of quotes about Give me liberty give me death, the pursuit of happiness, but these arguments just don’t seem valid. If you are going to bring the Declaration of Independence into this know that when that was written especially the part quoted about life liberty and pursuit of happiness when that was written Jefferson was only referring to rich white people in particular old white men because those are the people with money and power so that is just not even a factor. in this current Public Health Emergency it’s like people are acting as if everyone’s civil liberties are gone forever that is just not the case. First of all some liberties are being suspended, put on hold, paused. It is not forever it is not like everyone is trapped and were in a police state that is just not the case at all. when it comes to people’s jobs and if they personally feel comfortable going back to work that is also not a legitimate argument. The question isn’t how the government is responding to this crisis and if we’re doing it well. I agree that the government isn’t doing enough to help support people while the stay-at-home orders are in place. The government isn’t doing the most that they could be doing to help people during this time but that simply isn’t what the question is. By saying that you can’t suspend civil liberties in any case even if people are danger that doesn’t make any sense. You’re basically saying yeah people will die but that’s fine because I’ll be able to do what I want. With these stay-at-home orders, all it’s asking is that your non-essential workers don’t go to work, and please stay six feet apart from others at all times. For some people things are going to be harder and I realize that, and that again is where the government isn’t doing a good enough job in helping its citizens through this tough time. But that doesn’t mean the government is wrong in suspending certain civil liberties during this time. In response to people saying If someone is feeling up to going to work they should be able to, that is also not a good argument. Part of the whole problem is that if someone is sick with this particular virus you might not show symptoms for 2 weeks. Besides that if you have this virus and you are around other people and you sneeze or cough and touch something in a public place then you can get other people sick and you don’t know what these peoples home lives are like. Maybe they live with someone with immune disease or live with someone who’s older you’re putting hundreds of people at risk by ignoring these orders and going to work and exposing people at your job to the virus. Especially with the lack of testing, there’s no way for you to be sure that you don’t have the virus and that you’re not going to be spreading it to other people people because you can be asymptomatic. In regards to what was said that about suicide rates possibly going up because being inside for so long, I understand that concern but also it’s not as if people are stuck indoors and can’t get any air whatsoever you can go outside you just need to stay away from people if you need to get air. Go sit outside your house, go for a walk by yourself, try to avoid people that’s all the government is asking for. I understand that not everyone might have the best housing in Homelife but once again the question is should the government be able to suspend civil liberties during a Public Health crisis in the answer is yes, not if their handling it well and if all citizens are Being taken care of by the government. Some are acting as if the government asking us to give up everything in our lives and that just isn’t true. Especially young people today complaining about not being able to go outside when the majority of us have such an access to entertainment is ridiculous and across the streaming platforms, cell phones today we can still be around our friends and talk to our friends without actually being physically with them. It’s not As if we’re all alone in a locked room not able to leave. and for those who continue to go outside being in large groups of people are those are the same people who don’t like the stay-at-home orders anyway and by going outside your prolonging stay-at-home borders making it harder for this virus to go away because you’re continuing spread it and putting people in compromising positions. As for those protesters, by blocking the way for nurses and doctors to get to their jobs you’re putting other people’s lives on the line and you can bet those are getting the exact same people who when they get sick or going to want ventilators and help from these health professionals in order to survive. The fact of the matter is it’s not about you, it’s about the health and well-being of other people in this country and by being upset about the little things and blowing them out of proportion it which is what I’m seeing and a lot of these responses is exactly the selfishness that is putting people at risk of dying. Noone is taking away every constitutional right of the u.s. citizen forever, very few are being somewhat suspended in order to save thousands maybe even millions of lives. Let’s not forget that not that long ago seniors of high school were being shipped off to Vietnam we’re being asked to stay inside so let’s not act like this is something bigger and harder than it really is. As a senior in high school I’m missing out on a lot of the things that make a senior year special, but I’m able to have the logic and common sense needed to know that what the government is ask me us is more than reasonable and necessary. The fact of the matter is that enough people aren’t taking it seriously, blowing what’s being asked of them out of proportion, and frankly people are just willing to let other people be hurt just because they think that they will be fine and that’s not okay. Sorry to be so blunt and I’m not trying to imply that anybody who voted no is unintelligent in any way, but honestly what I’m seeing is this a lot of complaining about things that are unnecessary and again blowing the situation out of proportion acting as if the government is big brother and were living in 1984.

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      This is responding to most if not all of the comments that voted no. I keep seeing arguments referring to documents like the Declaration of Independen…

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  • Collin from Michigan

    I believe that you can’t fix stupid and whilst it is hard to argue and win said argument with a intelligent person it is impossible to win a argument against a idiot. So i believe that we let them out of lock-down and let natural selection run its course. If they believe that there is nothing to fear then let them believe that and release them from lock-down. When they are all in the hospital dying from Covid-19 that’s when we are able to tell them “I told you so”.

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    I believe that you can’t fix stupid and whilst it is hard to argue and win said argument with a intelligent person it is impossible to win a argument …

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  • Kyara from South Carolina

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? I’m in between but mostly geared to the NO side because its the government’s duty to protect citizens in every way. Although quarantine & social distancing is necessary in order to “possibly” prevent the coronavirus it’s not the most effective. There are going to be people who care about others well being while there are people who only care about going back to their normals lives. Some states are fining people for stepping outside of their homes past a certain time, and that’s where they kind of supersede civil liberties. According to many articles and data the united states have 1.63 million confirmed cases, and it continues to grow each day So is quarantine really helping the public?. The Constitution states in the 5th and 14th Amendments, that the government shall not deprive anyone of “life, liberty, or property. Are these health policies really depriving citizens of life? In my opinion NO. Some citizens are just too selfish to see that this is a horrible health crisis that won’t go away in a month or two.

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? I’m in between but mostly geared to the NO side because its the government’s duty to protect cit…

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  • James from North Carolina

    While many people may believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties, it is important to remember that it is our constitutional right to assemble and gather. Too many people have died because of their interaction with others, and many are the same ones who say that states should still be closed down. At this time in our lives, our future will be forever impacted because of this virus. To say that people need to be forced to stay inside, in order to keep everyone safe, is foolish and honestly makes you seem ignorant. The economy will suffer and more people will die anyways because they do not listen to restrictions. I do not believe we should be at a full reopening in society, yet I believe that if you choose to come in contact or go outside with people you are taking that risk for yourselves and others. When you go to a trampoline park, you sign a waiver understanding the health risks so you cannot sue them for injuries. The same principle should be applied to society at this time, and if you have underlying health conditions, take the necessary health precautions to stay safe. Don’t rely on the government telling others what to do in order to protect yourself, be assertive and proactive. Many have lost their jobs during this pandemic, and they are not able to provide food for their families, because we want to protect the few with underlying health conditions. There is no clear way to successfully reopen a country after a pandemic, and that is a fact. If you have underlying health conditions, don’t come into contact with people that may have been exposed to it, it really is that simple. The sad reality is that we cannot protect everyone during this time, and keeping everything closed will only worsen our current condition.

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    While many people may believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties, it is important to remember that it is our constitutional right t…

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  • Kennedy from Florida

    While it’s unfortunate that people are unable to travel out and about as they please, people must understand the bigger picture of what is going on. While certain civil liberties may be overlooked, it’s for the greater good. By going out and socializing and say, going to church for example, people could be contributing to the spread of the virus that could cause the deaths of many people, each of whom will only spread it further before dying. As a slate.com article states, “You don’t lose your rights amid a pandemic.”, and according to Michele Goodwin, who is the director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California Irvine School of Law, “in these times, while we want to be careful and be preventive and proactive”.

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    While it’s unfortunate that people are unable to travel out and about as they please, people must understand the bigger picture of what is going on. W…

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  • Ashtynn from South Carolina

    I agree that the government has the right to make the precautions to end the spread of the virus, even if it means us as citizens must waive our civil liberties temporarily to ensure the safety of ourselves and our peers. The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens, even during this pandemic. Those may argue that their rights are being taken away, but it’s only for the sake of everyone’s health today and those in future. Those who are protesting the restrictions are on;y risking the spread and making the conditions of the virus worse and worse. We as humans must learn to be flexible and discover new ways to continue our lives, even if it means taking our world virtually to be places that we can not during this quarantine. People can still find ways to entertain themselves or even exercise worship through Skype or other platforms, even if it’s for a short amount of time until the government finds the solution of COVID.

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    I agree that the government has the right to make the precautions to end the spread of the virus, even if it means us as citizens must waive our civil…

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  • Tytus from South Carolina

    No, I believe that health policies should not supersede civil rights/ liberties. There is evidence out there that having the country fully open will get rid of this faster than quarantining people, example Sweden has much less restrictions and have much less problems than the United States. They talk about how when China first had the corona virus they immediately started shutting everything down and Sweden put some restraints but stayed mostly open, and in turn have been better off. So why are we still quarantining people with the very low death rate of this virus, and evidence that we have a way out? The public health policies obviously should not supersede civil rights because of these incidents, and the fact that we aren’t doing what we should.

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    No, I believe that health policies should not supersede civil rights/ liberties. There is evidence out there that having the country fully open will g…

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  • Alexis from Missouri

    I believe everyone should have a choice to what they do with their own lives. It is a great idea for the government to inform it’s citizens and give suggestions, like keeping distance, wearing face masks, or staying at home, but I do not believe those things should be enforced.

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    I believe everyone should have a choice to what they do with their own lives. It is a great idea for the government to inform it’s citizens and give s…

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  • Betsy from Missouri

    I don’t believe that this is a yes or no question. I believe that civil liberties should supersede public health policy except in extreme circumstances.

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  • David from South Carolina

    Should public health policies supersede our civil liberties? Absolutely not. Even though the stay at home order is recommended in some states, it shouldn’t be forced in others. Many people have been laid off due to this pandemic shutting businesses down which isn’t fair to the workers and their families. With businesses being forced to shut down, people can’t get essentials needed while to stay at home. Businesses can limit the amount of people inside but shouldn’t be shut down by government. It is common sense for people to stay home if they’re sick, not having the government shut everyone down.

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    Should public health policies supersede our civil liberties? Absolutely not. Even though the stay at home order is recommended in some states, it shou…

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  • Mitchell from South Carolina

    I believe that the health and safety of our nation and its people are important. However, it is not more important than our rights. In times like this we need each other and we are not meant for isolation and going through life alone. Often in times like this people turn to religion and church but they can’t go to church and seek the help they may need. On March 30th Florida police arrested a Reverend for holding a service with a $500 bail. According to the constitution the Reverend committed no crime what so ever. We the people have a right to assemble and that right can’t be taken from us.

    “Coronavirus Gathering Bans Raise Religious Freedom Questions.” Bill of Rights Institute, billofrightsinstitute.org/events/coronavirus-gathering-bans-raise-religious-freedom-questions/.
    Vile, John. “Coronavirus and the First Amendment.” Coronavirus and the First Amendment, 2020, mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1777/coronavirus-and-the-first-amendment.

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    I believe that the health and safety of our nation and its people are important. However, it is not more important than our rights. In times like this…

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  • Kara from South Carolina

    I would say I personally fall somewhere in between yes and no. While I do agree that public health policy is extremely important in times of crisis, I think that it can reach a point where our civil liberties as Americans are compromised. If public health policies supersede our civil liberties, it may lead to the government using safety and health as an excuse to limit our freedom and rights. I think that in our current situation, there should be a balance of civil liberties and public health enforcement. I do NOT believe that the health policies should supersede what our country is fundamentally based on, freedom and civil liberties.
    “Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response.” Human Rights Watch, 7 Apr. 2020, http://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/19/human-rights-dimensions-covid-19-response#.
    “Here Are Seven Ways the Coronavirus Affects Human Rights.” Amnesty International, http://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/02/explainer-seven-ways-the-coronavirus-affects-human-rights/.

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    I would say I personally fall somewhere in between yes and no. While I do agree that public health policy is extremely important in times of crisis, I…

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  • Michael from South Carolina

    I believe that government intervention on church meetings is justified, and does not supersed on civil liberties. There have been 3.9 Million cases of the Coronavirus worldwide, with 270,720 deaths around the world. According to the CDC Coronavirus has been in America since feburuary this year. The virus has only spread with 1.29 million cases recorded in america, a government issue lockdown is completely justified. This as well as the spread rate in america is extremely high, as a country we have close to half the cases in the world.

    “Geographic Differences in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Incidence – United States, February 12–April 7, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Apr. 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e4.htm#:~:text=Community transmission of COVID-,of COVID-19.
    “Coronavirus Cases:” Worldometer, http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.

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    I believe that government intervention on church meetings is justified, and does not supersed on civil liberties. There have been 3.9 Million cases of…

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  • Mikayla from South Carolina

    COVID-19 manage to flip the world only a matter of months and everyone no matter who you are or where you are from has to try to help pick up the pieces. When we think about the role of our government we want leaders who will guide us while allowing us free will as long as it follows the nations code of conduct and laws. With citizens being asked to stay inside, and some being laid off of work and the nation having to be put on shut down states having to make hard decisions that can hurt their economies and normal routines it isn’t ideal to anyone. But these decisions are not being made for trivial reason. We are in a state of emergency that leave our elderly,disabled, and young children at risk. These procedures that are being put in place isn’t to punish or take away anyone’s rights and liberties. It’s to ensure the safety and well-being of our families and communities. I think as a nation we need to come together ( not in person of course) and find ways to help one another by supporting the decisions being made and using our privilege and resources to support those who need extra assistance during these trying times

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    COVID-19 manage to flip the world only a matter of months and everyone no matter who you are or where you are from has to try to help pick up the piec…

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  • Alyssa from South Carolina

    I think that public health policies should not come before civil liberties because these are our rights. If an individual is concerned about the virus they have the right to stay home. And the same thing goes for those who aren’t scared the have the right to leave their house. Making individuals stay at home is honestly unethical because some people like myself need to get out of the house. Mental illness rates will go up. Those with depression and anxiety can’t just sit inside by themselves all day that is only going to make them worse. America was built on freedom. It took our founding fathers years to prepare and come up with these rules and regulations to make America free. How can our liberties be gone just like that in a snap of a finger.

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    I think that public health policies should not come before civil liberties because these are our rights. If an individual is concerned about the virus…

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  • Rianna from South Carolina

    No, I do not believe that the precautions the government is taking is superseding our civil liberties. The virus that has caused our current situation is still very unknown and scary to many people especially the elderly who are more susceptible to it. By attempting to prevent large groups of people by temporarily closing down places that are known for attracting crowds, such as places of worship or shopping malls, the government is doing its best to prevent the spread and more deaths from the virus. As selfless citizens we should be praising this idea and abiding by the new temporary rules. The government is not tempting to control the country rather they are trying to control the spread of COVID19. Their are other ways to gather and be social such as online or from a safe distance.

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    No, I do not believe that the precautions the government is taking is superseding our civil liberties. The virus that has caused our current situation…

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  • rianna from South Carolina

    The government is doing its best to prevent the spread of this deadly disease and the selfish people who are worried about their selves and are worried about going out and going back to normal life are the same ones spreading the disease.

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    The government is doing its best to prevent the spread of this deadly disease and the selfish people who are worried about their selves and are worrie…

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  • Alyssa from South Carolina

    I believe public health regulations should be used to stop pandemics, and should restrict temporarily to a certain extent our civil liberties. Because public health is supposed to protect the world heath, therefore they may have to bend laws for it. As in the article “Civil liberties need to be monitored amidst pandemic” Iqaluit resident, Nicole Giles states “ I think it’s the only way we as a community will survive”. This means the people should realize that this will impact and limit some liberties for the public health. Some statistics show that in the state of South Carolina there has been confirmed 6,757 people tested positive with the coronavirus with 283 deaths(Google 2020). If that doesn’t prove to you how important public health is versus civil liberties to a certain extent I don’t know what will.

    Citations:
    “Civil liberties need to be monitored amidst pandemic, experts say.” The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 Apr. 2020, p. NA. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.scsl.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A620079768/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=7ec6cb05. Accessed 6 May 2020.

    Statistics from Google 2020

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    I believe public health regulations should be used to stop pandemics, and should restrict temporarily to a certain extent our civil liberties. Because…

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  • Jonathan from South Carolina

    The most difficult decision that a free society must continually make is whether to protect their liberties or give them up in the face of a seemingly insurmountable crisis. A global pandemic like the novel coronavirus seems to be one of these crises; however, it is not worth the potential loss of our liberties and the liberties of future generations. If there is one lesson that we have learned over time, it is that governments will fight tooth and nail to hold onto the power that they are given. How many times has this happened in America? I would argue too many times to count, despite the safeguards that the founders attempted to put into place in the Constitution. The most famous examples can be recalled easily from memory – John Marshall’s decision to grant the Supreme Court the power of “judicial review;” laws that persecuted those that dared criticize the Adams administration or Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter WWI; laws that placed American citizens in internment camps simply because of their race; laws that allow the executive branch to send young men off to die in foreign countries without a declaration of war from our government (despite the passage of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which simply allows Congress to shift blame to the president instead of declaring war); laws that allow a government to spy on their own citizens as long as it’s approved through a secret court that the people will never be able to question.

    Ultimately, we the people are responsible for safeguarding our liberty. However, this responsibility does not simply affect us; it affects the future generations of Americans, as well. A global pandemic is surely a threat, but we have faced insurmountable challenges, one after the other, and have always found a way to prevail. I believe that we can do the same now, without handing over our liberties to a government that is seemingly held unaccountable and rarely gives up their powers when a crisis has passed.

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    The most difficult decision that a free society must continually make is whether to protect their liberties or give them up in the face of a seemingly…

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  • Jim from Massachusetts

    no

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  • Ryan from North Carolina

    Asking such general questions like, “Do Public Health Policies Supersede Civil Liberties?,” is dangerous and irresponsible. By asking these questions we get caught up in hypothetical questions of the ethics of freedom, security and the common good. Such generalizations can be used to rationalize overprotection of the in the name of the common good. Instead of Asking general questions, we should ask specific and relevant questions pertaining to the current, “public health crisis,” and the civil liberties which specific policies override. By doing this we can effectively discuss the need for overriding any civil liberties which may endanger the common good. The current civil liberties being denied in the current “public health crisis” are the freedom of religion, of Assembly, and of business. Many of the US state Governments have banned any public interaction besides the essentials. What I believe it comes down to is the governmental determination of what is and is not essential. To many people, faith is more essential than eating or exercise, both of which are allowed under current stay-at-home orders, but the ability to practice their faith is denied. Take Catholics for example, they believe they must attend Mass every Sunday and attend the Sacrament of Confession whenever they commit a mortal sin. Although Catholic bishops have allowed a temporary dispensation to members of the congregation regarding Sunday Mass depending on their effort to make up in some way, the Sacrament of Confession is wholly unavailable. To a Catholic being in a state of grace is the only way to access salvation, and Confession is the only way to ensure this grace. Thus, to a Catholic, the stay-at-home orders prohibit the free exercise of their religion. This is directly contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (First Amendment). To those who argue that even if you cannot practice in person, you can do so virtually. However, for a Catholic this is impossible due to many reasons, but chiefly the Celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession. As stated earlier the Sacrament of Confession is essential in the Catholic Faith. According to Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM Cap, a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, “physical presence is absolutely for the validity of the enactment of the sacrament [Confession].” There is also no virtual substitute for the Eucharist, according to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Flynn & Condon, 2020). Therefore, it is impossible to practice to Catholic Faith to even its most fundamental practice because of laws prohibiting such activities. There are many sides to the problems of these times, but we are able to break down the complexities by looking at just one. When it comes to current stay-at-home orders, they absolutely violate the freedom of Religion.

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    Asking such general questions like, “Do Public Health Policies Supersede Civil Liberties?,” is dangerous and irresponsible. By asking these questi…

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  • Anna from South Carolina

    Health officials are doing everything they can to protect all of us from the Coronavirus, but no matter what policy and enforcement they make, it should never supersede our civil liberties. While yes, these officials are trying to protect us, but our rights are also important. Allowing high officials to be given the opportunity at any point to take over and determine our civil liberties, allows them a taste of power and control, which under no circumstance, should be allowed. A taste of power for anybody gets them way over their heads, and it shouldn’t be allowed in this case for the Corona-virus, nor ever in the future.
    With that being said, there is a middle line to all of this. It is understood that our government has to do something in order to protect us from this pandemic, but there are restrictions to what the government can and can’t do. I agree, the government should close down non-essential businesses. When South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced, “ordering all 1,250 public schools closed,” that doesn’t break any civil liberties for the citizens of SC (Feit). However When McMaster announced all non-essential businesses to close, such as churches, that went way to far. It is said specifically in the Bill of Rights, article 3, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” so with that being said, the government has no right to make any restrictions in not allowing religious gatherings to come together, as it is our civil liberty, and the government has no right to taking away that power (National Archives and Records Administration).
    To close my argument, restrictions should be made in order to protect us, but there is a line of where that power can cross, and the government cannot and should not overstep these boundaries. The government has a duty to protect our rights, not take them away.

    Feit, Noah, et al. “Gov. McMaster Closes All SC Public Schools through March as Coronavirus Cases Rise.” Thestate, The State, 15 Mar. 2020, http://www.thestate.com/news/coronavirus/article241209451.html.

    “The Bill of Rights: A Transcription.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 19 Nov. 2019, http://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript.

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    Health officials are doing everything they can to protect all of us from the Coronavirus, but no matter what policy and enforcement they make, it shou…

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  • Mason from South Carolina

    This pandemic is undoubtedly unlike anything anyone today has ever witnessed. Of course ideas of panic, worry, and paranoia will arise as with such a situation, such feelings are natural to a human individual. Yet we have been able to learn and adapt to new ways of life as we continuously conduct further studies and understandings towards this relentless disease. But despite the advice of medical professionals, practitioners, and specialists informing us to lessen the spread of the disease with less human contact, countless amounts of individuals desire to return to their ways of life they had performed before the virus’s uprising. Of course this is understandable, as I too desire to return to the daily activities I had adored doing, like school. But in order to return to our ways, we must focus on the situation at hand. And with this particular situation, it can be understandable that some of our civil liberties may have to be put on hold, but these liberties will never and can never be eliminated. But for a time, we must utilize the advice given by those who know and understand the severity of the situation and commit to the well being of all individuals, rather than just oneself.

    Lora Jones, Danielle Palumbo, & David Brown. “Coronavirus: A Visual Guide to the Economic Impact”. BBC News. 30 April 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51706225

    Mark Abramson. “Coronavirus Impact: How a Crisis is Changing the U.S.” New York Times. 30 March 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/coronavirus-usa-03-27

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    This pandemic is undoubtedly unlike anything anyone today has ever witnessed. Of course ideas of panic, worry, and paranoia will arise as with such a…

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  • Kailyn from South Carolina

    I do not believe that health should supersede your civil rights. With extensive technology, the United States is more than capable to continue trials. If some trails can continue all trails can be continued. New York State says that New York has suspended all trails that aren’t ¨essential¨, but how can you tell someone what is essential to them. Therefore there should and can be ways to continue the trail. such as online trails, or if the people don’t have access to online they can come to the courthouse, social distance and wash hands, wear a face mask.

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    I do not believe that health should supersede your civil rights. With extensive technology, the United States is more than capable to continue trials….

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  • Jacob from South Carolina

    There are many things to consider when superseding people’s liberties. I do believe it is important to limit the spread of the virus to protect those most at risk of dying from the disease. However, if we wanted to do this, then why don’t we just quarantine those people in the first place? During this period of quarantine, stay-at-home orders have started to lift, yet people are still taking plenty of precautions on their own. This shows that people are able to make their own judgement calls about whether they want to go out, stay at home, and how they wish to take care of themselves. The amount of people that have died from the virus has reached over 68 thousand people in the US. While this seems like a lot, it is 0.0029% of the entire US population. If we had done what Sweden did (have less restrictive measures) we could have the same or possibly even a lower death rate. The amount people who have died from the virus in Sweden is 0.0027% of their population (sources include: Eurostat, Wikipedia, and the United States Census Bureau).

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    There are many things to consider when superseding people’s liberties. I do believe it is important to limit the spread of the virus to protect those …

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  • Jake from South Carolina

    I think it is obvious to everyone, in America or in any other country, that the novel coronavirus is a big deal. It has drastically changed the day to day life of every American, and most citizens of every country around the globe. Kitchen tables have become schools, parents have become teachers, and meetings are now held virtually. As of April 22, 2020, the CDC reports 46,379 deaths across America. At first glance, this seems terrible. In many ways, it is. Losing a loved one to illness is a terrible experience. Believe me, I know from experience. However, this is only .01% of the American population. There are currently 828,441 cases in the United States, according to the CDC. This is only .25% of the American population. Seeing that this percentage is so low, we simply must reopen our country. The economic toll that this is taking on our country is massive. According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 17 million Americans have lost their jobs due to this pandemic. In comparison with the number of cases, it is extremely obvious that the economic impact is indeed massive. The only way to counteract this is to begin reopening our great country. In addition to this, requiring American citizens to stay at home restricts their given rights. As stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, every American has the right to, ¨…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.¨Forcing citizens to stay at home goes against the right to freedom, as citizens can no longer freely make decisions. Also, it goes against the right to the pursuit of happiness, as seeking happiness might involve leaving home for something other than groceries or medication. In addition to even this, requiring American citizens to stay at home violates their first amendment rights. The First Amendment states ¨Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…¨. Though Congress has not made a federal law prohibiting religious services, the federal government has asked the states to keep citizens at home, and most states have done exactly that. They have deemed worship unessential, leading to many people being fined for attending a church service. This is simply wrong. It violates our rights as human beings and as citizens of the great United States of America. And though I find all of this concerning, what concerns me most is the precedent this might form for the future. If future governments see that a past one has restricted these civil liberties, they will likely believe it acceptable for them to do the same. Through many years, this could lead to a lack of freedom for future American citizens. I believe that we should begin to reopen our country. However, I believe that we should do it strategically. We must carefully and slowly open a few industries at a time, and continue to enforce social distancing. However, we must put a stop to the restriction of civil liberty. In summary, public health policies do not supersede civil liberties. We must stop this before it is too late.

    Works Cited:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
    https://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-surge-in-unemployment-claims-expected-to-continue-11586424605
    https://www.census.gov/popclock/
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

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    I think it is obvious to everyone, in America or in any other country, that the novel coronavirus is a big deal. It has drastically changed the day to…

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  • Carson from North Carolina

    In my opinion, public health policies do not supersede civil liberties. If someone were to die because of a lack of quarantine or public health policies, then they would have no liberties in the first place.
    Public health policies have the best interest in the health of the people and put the safety of the population first. Public health policies, such as social distancing help to slow down the spread of the virus. Some people say these policies don’t actually work, but according to Dr. Pambuccian, professor and vice chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, they do work. The doctor stated that because cities like San Francisco and St. Louis took social distancing measures during the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu outbreak, they were able to stop as much as 30%-50% of the Spanish Flu’s transmission. This is proof that social distancing can help reduce the transmission of an already very infectious and easily spread disease. Risking someone else’s life by violating public health policies isn’t fair to them and for this fact alone, people should respect those who are critically at risk to have a severe reaction from this virus, such as the elderly and immune-compromised.
    I also believe these public health policies do not completely supersede people’s right to assemble and gather due to online applications such as zoom. According to the New York Times, “They’re holding birthday parties and bar mitzvahs over video chat, broadcasting D.J. sets and streaming concerts.” People are still able to enjoy their civil liberties, but just in a socially distant way, to help save the lives of others. If they can gather in normal ways through online services, then the temporary social distancing guidelines shouldn’t be of any effect on the rights of Americans.

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    In my opinion, public health policies do not supersede civil liberties. If someone were to die because of a lack of quarantine or public health polici…

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  • Reagan from North Carolina

    I do not believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties. These rules from the government are meant to help us, not hurt us. These self-quarantine rules are meant to help the spread of the virus. Although you can’t technically speed up the virus itself, quarantine can help to diminish the number of confirmed cases and deaths. The government isn’t requiring these laws as a punishment, (despite them feeling excessive and annoying) but if we can’t get our country back to normal ASAP, with people back working their normal jobs, our economy will suffer. According to James G. Hodge, the director of the Network’s Western Region Office and Director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy, “these types of measures aren’t designed to be punitive, they’re protective — and they don’t ‘trip any constitutional safeguards when done right’”. Rules are set for one reason: safety. If it were safe to leave your house to hang out with friends, go to work, continue to keep a business open, would these laws have to be in action? There are arguments that it contradicts the First Amendment in the US Constitution, however this is not the case. The issue isn’t that we aren’t abiding by the First Amendment, we need to act fast against the virus. Any store or business open today could most definitely be closed tomorrow. The founding fathers believed that there are some rights that can’t be violated. Why violate them during a pandemic? There is also the argument that our rights are being taken away from us, which is not true. There is a necessary caution being set. Since this pandemic is new to everybody, the government is trying their best to keep everyone safe and our economy balanced again.

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    I do not believe that public health policies supersede civil liberties. These rules from the government are meant to help us, not hurt us. These self-…

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  • K from Idaho

    Our rights are undeniable. I do agree that certain measures should be taken to help slow a virus spread, but the extreme measures, which include taking away our civil liberties, are unprecedented and will only cause more issues in the United States of America, where freedom is so important to everyone here.

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    Our rights are undeniable. I do agree that certain measures should be taken to help slow a virus spread, but the extreme measures, which include takin…

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  • Colin from Kentucky

    I do not believe that the government should sacrifice civil liberties in favor of public health in the situation we find ourselves in. This is a slippery slope that can lead to tyranny. Especially on the federal level, there should be no restrictions on the right to assemble, especially to worship. Worship improves morale in trying times such as these, especially for situations where one must be present, such as the Eucharist.

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    I do not believe that the government should sacrifice civil liberties in favor of public health in the situation we find ourselves in. This is a slip…

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  • Logan from Kentucky

    The reaction to this virus is completely unprecedented in US history. The invasion of government in all aspects of American life sets a dangerous precedent for the future. The founders surely never intended the kind of top-down government control that is occurring in this country, and thats where the problems lies. The government in the US was never intended to be used this way. For better or worse, a key founding idea of America is that government should not be able to control all aspects of our life. The invasion of government on private life is a slippery slope which can lead a country down some very bad paths.

    First, Our civil liberties are in no way superseded by a virus. Part of freedom is a choice. We make a dangerous choice everyday when we drive a vehicle, but it is worth it because of the ease of travel it offers. We also have the choice not to use an automobile if we wish, and thats the way it should be. The government could save 30 thousand lives a year if it got rid of cars, but the impact on society would be devastating, so instead, we implement regulations, like seatbelt and speed limits, to keep people safer. Why should this virus be treated any differently. Implement regulations and let people choose if they want to take the risk or not.

    Secondly, the injustices to businesses are outrageous. Even if businesses can meet all of the CDC guidelines for social distancing, they are not allowed to reopen because they are deemed ‘nonessential’. Who gets to decide on what is essential? Either its all okay or none of its okay, there is no in between. Instead, the interpretation is left up to governors who are already influenced heavily by lobbying groups and big businesses. when you allows for subjectivity in public policy, you allow for those in power to exploit those not in power, which is precisely why the idea of a ‘nonessential’ business needs to go. If a grocery store can meet the guidelines and stay open, why can’t a gym thats responsible for the livelihoods of many and the well-being of many more do the same? Why can’t a church fulfilling all CDC guidelines open again.

    Finally, even if you believe the government should have the power to stage a shutdown this large, this entire thing is an overreaction. All projection models (including those accounting for lockdowns) were off by entire levels of magnitudes. Recent antibody testing shows that many more are infected than we thought, meaning the death rate is significantly lower than we thought. This disease hardly affects anyone who is under the age of 30 and doesn’t have a real impact unless someone is above 60. Florida has less deaths and cases that California, despite California going on lockdown two weeks before Florida. All of this points to the fact that this was blown entirely out of proportion and even if the government was justified in locking us in our houses, this is not the case to do so.

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    The reaction to this virus is completely unprecedented in US history. The invasion of government in all aspects of American life sets a dangerous prec…

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  • Tyler from Wisconsin

    The founding fathers made the bill of rights as a result of the British prior to the revolutionary war. They believed that there are rights that can’t be violated. The United Nations created the 30 basic rights of every human as they too believed rights were being violated. Thus, many countries world-wide believe in the rights of their people. So why is during this time of a pandemic that we are to give up those rights? If we give up our rights now what guarantees that they’ll give them back or are we going to keep allowing people to continue violating our rights later. As a result this is why I believe that public health policies do no outweigh that of your civil liberties.

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    The founding fathers made the bill of rights as a result of the British prior to the revolutionary war. They believed that there are rights that can’t…

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  • Andres from California

    We are amidst a monumental time in history, many unprecedented government actions are unfolding right before our eyes. During these difficult times when society is posed with the question, do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Many tend to lean toward agreement believing that the safety of the public is greater than the civil liberties which founded what we now call the United States of America. Despite this being a very widespread belief, permitting the government to push away at one’s civil liberties for the sake of “public safety” is utmost treachery because We, The People, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When our government violates those rights We the People can alter or abolish it.

    It is strictly stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” At this time our government is denying us of our most basic unalienable right, the right of liberty. ABC News Network on April 8th, 2020 reported that a man was arrested for playing T-Ball with his wife and 6-year old daughter at a park which was empty and according to the man recording the arrest, was “some 30-40 acres” of empty parkland. The 14th amendment grants us the freedom to go out and be free. This arrest, although it may seem to make sense regarding the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the shelter in place order from our government, is fundamentally unjust and goes against our constitution and more specifically against the 14th amendment which is the law of the land in the United States of America. When the government starts overreaching it’s powers with shelter-in-place orders and abuse of authority we as the citizens of the United States of America reserve the right to alter or abolish the government.

    Currently, health officials are labeling many businesses as “non-essential”. Even though these policies will have unprecedented consequences to our economy, which is another story altogether, authorities have determined that gun shops are not an “essential” business. Gun shops most certainly are “essential” and our 2nd amendment clearly states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The 2nd amendment deems a gun shop as “essential” but many states are denying the people access to purchase guns and ammunition. Forbes Magazine, stated that “New Jersey has closed all retail businesses that sell firearms and ammunition” as well as in California where the decision to leave gun stores open was left to the local sheriff. Even with all the arguments stating that gun stores create social hazards, the 2nd amendment shall not be infringed under any circumstance, even during these unprecedented times. State governments are overstepping their authority and infringing on the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution which is a fundamental pillar upon which our country was established.

    Authorities have also found ways to violate our 1st amendment rights. In the state of Mississippi, a local preacher found a new method of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by speaking alone in an empty church while being on a shortwave frequency that listeners could tune into from the comfort and safety of their own cars at the church’s own parking lot. A truly innovative preaching method where peoples safety couldn’t be more protected, right? Wrong! According to Time Magazine, using this method of communicating and preaching the gospel did not stop the local police and city officials from singling out this church and fining everyone involved $500 dollars for violating the stay-at-home orders as well as putting the safety and wellbeing of others at risk. Later the mayor of the city where this happened stated that the fine would not have to be paid, however, the church is still pushing through with a lawsuit against the city for violating the religious freedoms of the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution. This shows how the government is currently overreaching their boundaries and violating the US Constitution upon which our country was founded and all for the sake of the public’s safety.

    While we are most certainly living with an old friend, fear, it is still important to know and understand our fundamental rights and liberties, these unalienable rights that were granted to The People of the United States of America by our Creator. It is your duty as American citizens to uphold our values as well as our constitution and not let the authorities we placed into power trample all over them for their own personal gain. It is impossible to determine what the future holds for our country. The past has had its constitutional challenges and the future will too. It does not matter what the enemy was or will be. We must always be vigilant of our constitutional rights and we need to be quick to protect them, even if doing so is “controversial.” We the people of the United States must never let our guard down!

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  • Katherine from California

    COVID-19 is setting unprecedented measures to prevent the rapid spread of this ruthless virus. Everyone’s lives have changed due to the stay at home orders and lack of usual businesses running. This virus is affecting the entire world since it does not decipher between states or even continents. This virus is restricting societies normal activities like going to school, work, and church. Our liberties are basic human rights granted in the constitution, however the governments orders for our social distancing is for the greater health of our nation. The virus is so contagious and dangerous; the fatality risk should motivate people to protect themselves and comply with orders. The restrictions are set for humanities best interest, which might not be the best interest of some people. Our civil liberties are not nearly as important as the millions of lives at risk for death each day. Thus, health policies are influenced by the circumstances of global pandemic killing thousands daily. The health policies are practical, which do supersede civil liberties because in order to have continuation of our rights, our health must be prioritized. Our rights are not necessarily being taken away from us, and instead necessary caution is being set. The government is doing its part to give us relief through the relief checks and rent relief, highlighting the unplanned national impact. Public health policies are allowing us to come out of this situation and have our families near us. The more we do not comply with the orders for social distancing, the longer the coronavirus will continue. There are no other way’s the global citizens can do anything to prevent this virus since there are no cures or vaccines found. Social distancing and the closures of our once known lives are the only way to keep oneself safe and others. Thus, public health policies are superseding our civil liberties in a logical and fair way, in order to protect the health of our nation and world. Through tolerating the health official’s advice in order to stay healthy, it can help us to lower the curve and get ahead of this horrific chapter in the world’s history.

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    COVID-19 is setting unprecedented measures to prevent the rapid spread of this ruthless virus. Everyone’s lives have changed due to the stay at home…

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  • Ik from California

    For the question, do public health policies supersede civil liberties, my answer to question is at times yes. I realize myself that the Coronavirus is very real and is in effect and spreading rapidly across the country. The government in California has put on very strict measures to help lessen the spread of the Coronavirus as it is very deadly. If the government were to let the people who want to assemble together in large groups or worship the cases of the virus would be tremendously higher than it is right now. That is literally just putting more and more people at risk of the virus and will ultimately increase the amount of death that will occur from the virus, as we are trying to keep death minimal if possible. Not to mention for the people who think this quarantine is violating civil liberties, the more people go out, and the longer people will be forced to stay inside because the virus will not be over anytime soon. The Coronavirus is a global health crisis and one of the worst pandemics we have ever seen and it needs to be taken very serious or changes to the world economy and social might be change catastrophically. I believe that certain things are just important to the society as a whole than just the happiness or pressure from a few. I believe that these types of assemblies and events that people want to go to during this pandemic is ignorant of the fact they are ultimately just hurting people that are around them and are contributing to the growth and spread of the pandemic by choosing to disobey civil orders and go out.

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    For the question, do public health policies supersede civil liberties, my answer to question is at times yes. I realize myself that the Coronavirus is…

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  • Josh from California

    I do not believe that the health policies made by government officials supersede civil liberties. Although we have restrictions on going to certain places and being able to spend time with others, the reason is for a good cause… our safety and health. You still have the right to go outside, just maybe not to the beach where many people go and a virus could spread more easily. The government has made the right decision by putting our health needs safe. It does not supersede civil liberties because we still have the right to do basic things and activities. Civil means something that is natural, and the policies that have been put into place show that we still reserve our civil rights.

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    I do not believe that the health policies made by government officials supersede civil liberties. Although we have restrictions on going to certain pl…

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  • Ellis from California

    DO PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES SUPERSEDE CIVIL LIBERTIES?

    To answer the prompt directly, no. I do not believe that civil liberties should ever be suspended for any reason. To me, what distinguishes American from all other countries is the focus that we put on protecting the rights of the People and this means in any circumstance. To me, the government cannot deem something a “crisis” and take the rights away from the people. Whether or not the current age we are living in under Coronavirus warrants the term “crisis”, can be debated. Regardless, under no circumstances should the people’s rights and liberties be sacrificed for any reason. Although I do not believe that our countries leaders necessarily had bad intentions when they chose to shut down the country and restrict people’s rights, if we give the government the option to exercise this power once, then we are leaving the door open to allow for this later down the line and potentially for a time that doesn’t warrant this kind of response. It worries me when people’s rights are being waived because this could lead to more and more rights being taken away In the future. Despite claims that this seizure of rights is only temporary, this power should not be in the hands of the government, and it is their job to protect our rights not suspend them. I believe that if a person would like to exercise their constitutional right to practice their religion freely, then they should be allowed to attend church, mosque, or temple. The health of the people should be in the hands of the people, if someone wanted to risk infection by going to a religious service, they should absolutely have the option to do that. If a right were to ever be suspended or changed then that option should lay entirely in the hands of the people who it would affect directly.

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    DO PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES SUPERSEDE CIVIL LIBERTIES?

    To answer the prompt directly, no. I do not believe that civil liberties should ever be suspen…

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  • Andres from California

    We are amidst a monumental time in history, many unprecedented government actions are unfolding right before our eyes. During these difficult times when society is posed with the question, do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Many tend to lean toward agreement believing that the safety of the public is greater than the civil liberties which founded what we now call the United States of America. Despite this being a very widespread belief, permitting the government to push away at one’s civil liberties for the sake of “public safety” is utmost treachery because We, The People, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When our government violates those rights We the People can alter or abolish it.

    It is strictly stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” At this time our government is denying us of our most basic unalienable right, the right of liberty. ABC News Network on April 8th, 2020 reported that a man was arrested for playing T-Ball with his wife and 6-year old daughter at a park which was empty and according to the man recording the arrest, was “some 30-40 acres” of empty parkland. The 14th amendment grants us the freedom to go out and be free. This arrest, although it may seem to make sense regarding the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the shelter in place order from our government, is fundamentally unjust and goes against our constitution and more specifically against the 14th amendment which is the law of the land in the United States of America. When the government starts overreaching it’s powers with shelter-in-place orders and abuse of authority we as the citizens of the United States of America reserve the right to alter or abolish the government.

    Currently, health officials are labeling many businesses as “non essential”. Even though these policies will have unprecedented consequences to our economy, which is another story altogether, authorities have determined that gun shops are not an “essential” business. Gun shops most certainly are “essential” and our 2nd amendment clearly states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The 2nd amendment deems a gun shop as “essential” but many states are denying the people access to purchase guns and ammunition. Forbes Magazine, stated that “New Jersey has closed all retail businesses that sell firearms and ammunition” as well as in California where the decision to leave gun stores open was left to the local sheriff. Even with all the arguments stating that gun stores create social hazards, the 2nd amendment shall not be infringed under any circumstance, even during these unprecedented times. State governments are overstepping their authority and infringing on the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution which is a fundamental pillar upon which our country was established.

    Authorities have also found ways to violate our 1st amendment rights. In the state of Mississippi, a local preacher found a new method of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by speaking alone in an empty church while being on a shortwave frequency that listeners could tune into from the comfort and safety of their own cars at the church’s own parking lot. A truly innovative preaching method where peoples safety couldn’t be more protected, right? Wrong! According to Time Magazine, using this method of communicating and preaching the gospel did not stop the local police and city officials from singling out this church and fining everyone involved $500 dollars for violating the stay-at-home orders as well as putting the safety and wellbeing of others at risk. Later the mayor of the city where this happened stated that the fine would not have to be paid, however, the church is still pushing through with a lawsuit against the city for violating the religious freedoms of the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution. This shows how the government is currently overreaching their boundaries and violating the US Constitution upon which our country was founded and all for the sake of the public’s safety.

    While we are most certainly living with an old friend, fear, it is still important to know and understand our fundamental rights and liberties, these unalienable rights that were granted to The People of the United States of America by our Creator. It is your duty as American citizens to uphold our values as well as our constitution and not let the authorities we placed into power trample all over them for their own personal gain. It is impossible to determine what the future holds for our country. The past has had its constitutional challenges and the future will too. It does not matter what the enemy was or will be. We must always be vigilant of our constitutional rights and we need to be quick to protect them, even if doing so is “controversial.” We the people of the United States must never let our guard down!

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    We are amidst a monumental time in history, many unprecedented government actions are unfolding right before our eyes. During these difficult times wh…

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  • Anthony from California

    The role of the government is to protect its citizens and allow for their prosperity. This question brings this issue to the forefront, as the government has a moral imperative to protect its citizens from COVID-19, not only for moral and ethical reasons, but also to protect and re-stimulate the economy. On the other hand, the government cannot represses the rights of an individual, which one could argue are being violated during this period of forced quarantine. Although not a legal document, the Declaration of Independence, we, as American citizens, and endowed with the unalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Forced quarantine violates the right to liberty, as Americans are forced to do things, like wearing a mask when in public, or are prohibited from attending public places, like not being able to go to the beach. Also, the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right to be economically and financially independent and stable, has obviously been stifled throughout this quarantine period, as a record 26.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment (Fortune). Constitutionally, the 9th Amendment declares that the Constitution and federal laws or orders cannot deny rights that Americans unalienably hold. As a result, the federal government does not have the right to deny Americans their right to work or to assemble in public spaces. A Supreme Court case regarding this subject would be quite difficult to contend against besides an emotional argument, as historical precedence and the Constitution support Americans who are eager to rejuvenate a staggering economy. The American public’s civil liberties supersede public health policies as this nation was established and created to protect from an overreaching government, and its historical and legal documents support this notion.

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    The role of the government is to protect its citizens and allow for their prosperity. This question brings this issue to the forefront, as the govern…

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  • Marietta from Washington

    Public health policies should not supersede civil liberties. Liberty and freedom are the foundation of our nation. It is irresponsible to trample over the rights of American society.
    There is a plethora of ways to shield ourselves from the coronavirus freely. Businesses who able work remotely, can willingly transfer their employees home to work. Restaurants can choose to only perform curbside pick-up and drive-through. Individuals can be more conscientious of where and how often they go places. The key concept here is that everyone should have the opportunity to choose for themselves what they will do to combat this disease.
    While the importance of preventing the coronavirus is critical, it should not be done at the expense of our civil liberties. Not only are many people suffering due to lack of work, but the government forcing many states into isolation and quarantine opens a dark and dangerous door. If society is willing to allow liberty to be taken away for the sake of this pandemic, who’s to say it won’t lead to something far worse. Today we might be in quarantine from a disease, but tomorrow we may allow our government to take away our free speech or press for the ‘greater good.’ My concern, for how this situation could negatively develop in the future, forces me to state that public health policies should not supersede civil liberties.

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    Public health policies should not supersede civil liberties. Liberty and freedom are the foundation of our nation. It is irresponsible to trample ov…

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  • Sean from California

    I believe that public health policies do not infringe on civil liberties. The viewpoints that people have are mostly based on where the live. People in rural areas are in favor of removing the stay at home order, while people in cities want to keep the stay at home order. I live in Los Angeles and the spread of the virus is easier because of the high population. In regards to religion, I understand that people have a need to gather as a community to worship and pray, especially in a time like this. Even though this is true, it is also necessary to protect the well being of people. Although it is not equal, I believe that online religious services are a good alternative. We need to stay safe in a time like this.

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    I believe that public health policies do not infringe on civil liberties. The viewpoints that people have are mostly based on where the live. People i…

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  • Glen from Arizona

    I think that it depends. Simple, small restrictions like shouting fire in a closed environment (theater), vaccinations – are so limited as to not encroach on ones life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.

    However what started out as a couple of weeks to “bend the curve”, has turned into a no end in site scenario – this thing isn’t going away until everyone gets infected and recovers, or some miraculous vaccine that actually works (think common flu with new vaccine every year that is at best 70% effective), and then vaccinate everyone (how long does that take to produce and physically do?).

    Rights to association/ assembly are being trounced – some states are trying to prevent family visits, free speech includes what you wear and when you wear it – Imperial County California has imposed a mask rule for anytime you leave home – I get that inside a store or a New York City sidewalk where there are crowds or numerous other persons, but where there are no others, like my car or out in the desert (the majority of Imperial County), there are no affected bystanders.

    Picacho State Park is closed to stop the spread – people don’t tend to congregate there, they go through, hike, maybe fish – the place is a model of social distancing – it is 15-20 miles N of Yuma, AZ – very limited number of users.

    My right to free association, speech, freedom to travel are all being unnecessarily and erroneously restricted, to save a few lives – lives that very often were going to end in the not to distant future anyway. 50,000 people per week die in the US of all causes (650,000 died in the 1918 flu pandemic – when the US population was only 103 million, that would translate to about 2.3 million dead today – the same as the worst case for the current pandemic).

    In an unrelated aside – the World Health Organization estimates that 135 million more people will be moved from self sustaining to being hungry and unable to feed themselves as a result of the economic mess being forced on the world – that’s half as many people might die in the worst case estimate of this pandemic

    I apologize for what may have been a poorly written ramble – but we are giving up way too much in freedom, money, and even long term quality of life (in and out of our country), for the pursuit of “just one life saved”.

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    I think that it depends. Simple, small restrictions like shouting fire in a closed environment (theater), vaccinations – are so limited as to not enc…

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  • Geovanni from Texas

    I think that everyone needs to take a deep breath and actually look at what is happening right now. The fact of the matter is, there are people dying, jobs being lost. It is preposterous to say that Public Health Policies are denying the rights of the American people. The government is trying to keep the people safe. The government doesn’t want the people to stay home while the economy is at a constant struggle. Do you think that these high officials want protest. NO! Everybody hates the stay-at-home orders; I get it. But people need to stop worrying about themselves and actually worry about the bigger picture. No one is trying to push their political agenda (except Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and some climate activist). The reason people elect officials and politicians is because man cannot think for themselves, so they must have somebody lead them, and in a time of crisis, they should trust them.

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    I think that everyone needs to take a deep breath and actually look at what is happening right now. The fact of the matter is, there are people dying,…

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  • Caleb from North Carolina

    This is a very difficult and unprecedented time in which we are living in. The economy has been brought to a halt, people are getting laid off and almost 93,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Although these are hard times we will preserve and get through this pandemic just as this great country has overcome every challenge that it has faced since it was created in 1776. These hard times should not put a restriction on the freedoms of the American people as public health policies do not supersede civil liberties. As one this country’s founding fathers Benjamin Franklin stated “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” This is what we have done, we have given up liberty for safety which is a trade which the government should not be allowed to make. If you think it is unsafe to go outside and interact with people don’t, unless you leave the house for an absolute necessity it should be the individual’s choice whether to leave their house or not the governments. Another reason that these policies do not supereced is that it violates numerous principles which are embedded into the Constitution. These laws are not allowing people to attend their religious services and are being fined for attending them against these laws as stated in the article Do coronavirus social distancing orders violate religious freedom? Local pastors say yes by:Cindy Chang states “Moffatt was fined $1,000 for conducting a church service on Palm Sunday, according to the complaint”(Moffatt is a pastor at a church in California). As the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. Shall make no law is a pretty clear statement and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, every law must be in compliance with it. Since these public health policies are unconstitutional they do not supersede our inalienable rights and civil liberties that are embedded into the Constitution.

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    This is a very difficult and unprecedented time in which we are living in. The economy has been brought to a halt, people are getting laid off and alm…

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  • Gideon from Virginia

    The COVID-19 situation is complex and confusing. Shouldn’t we sacrifice some of our freedom to protect lives? Doesn’t the government have the right to violate an individual’s rights for the public good? But the government is also required to protect rights like the freedom of religion and the right to assemble, right? So are the public health policies that have been implemented more important than the individual rights they violate? I believe that although the situation is serious and frightening, public health policies do not supersede civil liberties.
    Civil liberties are based on the idea that some rights are not given by the government and therefore cannot be taken by the government. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights. That among these are the rights to life, liberty, and property.” But the Constitution seems to allow the government to violate these rights occasionally. When a soldier is drafted, their freedom is sacrificed for the lives of the citizens. When the government seizes property under eminent domain, the right of an individual to their property is sacrificed for the public good. Although in these examples it seems as though the Constitution allows the government to supersede civil liberties, this is not actually the case. In situations like these, civil liberties are still being prioritized. The soldier’s freedom is sacrificed only because it is necessary to protect the civil liberties of his country and because there is no other way to do so. The soldier is then compensated for their sacrifice. The property of the citizen is seized only to protect the civil liberties of the public and only if it is necessary. The property owner whose rights are violated must also be compensated fairly. No matter how complex the situation, protecting civil liberties must always be the priority. Public health policy should be no different.
    The current policy restricts liberties such as people’s ability to work, the right to freedom of religion, and the right to assemble. This policy is fundamentally different from the Constitutional sacrifices of rights. First, this policy violates rights that can not be fairly compensated for. In all situations where the government can constitutionally violate the rights of individuals, they must compensate the individual. The government can’t determine the value of a church service and many individuals believe that it is necessary to attend church for eternal salvation. Second, the sacrifice is not clearly for the greater good. Many believe that attending religious services is necessary for their eternal happiness, and it is not clear that the lives of those at risk couldn’t be protected in another way. Because of this, it is not clear that the sacrifice of rights is for a greater good. Third, the violation of rights is not the only way to protect the lives of those at risk. The truth is that exercising our freedom during this Coronavirus crisis does not have to endanger the life of anyone who chooses not to exercise their freedom. They can do this by allocating resources to allowing citizens at risk to be completely quarantined. The government should protect the lives of its citizens which means that the government must ensure that those at risk are able to keep themselves safe which may include supplying them with necessities and medical care or ensuring that they are able to access supplies safely. Because it is possible to protect the life of those at risk without violating the civil liberties of individuals, the government has no right to restrict the freedom of anyone.
    Prioritizing civil liberties does not mean that we risk lives unnecessarily. You have to remember that life is a civil liberty which means that prioritizing civil liberties over public health policy does not mean unnecessarily risking life. Prioritizing civil liberty over public health policy only means that we take into account the value and importance of all rights. Prioritizing civil liberty would, in reality, bring about practical benefits. By devoting resources to ensure that individuals at risk can stay completely quarantined, the government would be able to allow individuals who aren’t at risk to continue working and worshiping as they please. This action could have prevented economic harm and helped to develop herd immunity with negligible risk. If a large enough portion of the population develops antibodies to fight the virus, the virus will die off and groups that are at risk never need to be exposed to the virus. The government’s violations of civil liberties are not warranted. This is extremely concerning. History will tell you that the government does not limit itself. All governments will attempt to gain power over time and if we allow them to violate our rights we may never get those rights back. As James Madison said, “Liberty once lost is lost forever.”

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    The COVID-19 situation is complex and confusing. Shouldn’t we sacrifice some of our freedom to protect lives? Doesn’t the government have the righ…

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  • RD from California

    Do public policies supersede civil liberties? The answer is an affirmative no. According to former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, James Wilson, “Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression (1790).” During this chaotic time, the above quote could not be more fitting, as the public health policies set forth by the state and federal government have greatly infringed on our civil liberties. Dating back to December 15, 1791, the freedom of the American people has been protected by the Bill of Rights. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution states that Congress shall make no law that prohibits the right of the people to peacefully assemble. It is evident that certain social distancing policies currently set in place violate this amendment, as citizens around the nation are being detained and arrested for gathering in public places. An extreme example of this was the handcuffing and detainment of an African-American doctor in Miami who was allegedly gathering food and supplies to give to the homeless. Furthermore, a mother in Idaho was arrested for using a “closed” playground. Opposing viewpoints will assert that the government is simply trying to protect the health and wellbeing of the American people. However, these policies have only been justified by the hypothetical number of deaths (a hypothetical that has drastically decreased, from 240,000 to 60,000, in a matter of days). In addition, the vast majority of people prone to death are elderly or have preexisting health issues. In order for the 1st Amendment to be upheld, the American people should personally decide whether or not they want to take the risk of going out in public. The fact that the government is arresting and detaining citizens for taking that calculated risk is unconstitutional and should be put to an end immediately.

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    Do public policies supersede civil liberties? The answer is an affirmative no. According to former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, James Wilso…

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  • Erica from California

    Absolutely not. The federal government’s job is to protect citizens in a state of emergency, therefore those who agree yes are blinded by their own greed for money and power. Due to their arrogant blindness, they are putting themselves at risk to contract the disease that can kill many elderly in our communities and newborn babies. The other day in my state, California citizens protested to lift the stay at home ban due to the fact that this order has been in place since March 15th. In my city, there are thousands of cases of the coronavirus which is why we are encouraged to stay at home and only leave the house for necessities. Those who protest have the main argument that the curve is becoming less and less which is because more people are accepting the fact and respecting the order of the state to stay at home. These protests are forms of civil-disobedience which will ultimately lead to more deaths each day.

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    Absolutely not. The federal government’s job is to protect citizens in a state of emergency, therefore those who agree yes are blinded by their own …

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  • Patrick from Massachusetts

    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Certainly not. This is primarily true because you cannot take away a right that is innate to the individual. Thomas Jefferson put it perfectly in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights. That among these are the rights to life, liberty, and property.” The keyword in Jefferson’s statement is inalienable, which means something which cannot be taken away, regardless of circumstance. Note that Jefferson doesn’t say the right to liberty can be taken away as long as the country is in danger; he doesn’t say that it is only inalienable in certain circumstances, he says that it is completely and totally irremovable.

    Moreover, this ideal is played out in policy all the time. There are plenty of people in the United States who use their speech in horrid and insulting ways, people who use their words and platform to the detriment of the nation– yet we wouldn’t say that their right to freedom of speech should be taken away! The same goes for the COVID-19 pandemic– perhaps stringent regulation on the citizenry suppressing their civil liberty would help the nation– in fact, I’m almost certain that it would. But as the founders noted, there is no excuse that is good enough to regulate, no excuse which can possibly “supersede”, the inalienable right to liberty.

    People should social distance and should exhibit the utmost caution when around other people, especially the elderly, but it is not the government’s job to take away the same rights which it is instated to protect.

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    Do public health policies supersede civil liberties? Certainly not. This is primarily true because you cannot take away a right that is innate to the …

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  • David from Missouri

    Civil liberties mainly refer to the rights given to us by the Bill of Rights or other amendments, in other words our civil liberties are our freedom of speech, religion, assembly and voting. While they are our rights, civil liberties are optional. For example, voting is considered a civic right and as a civic right we have the choice whether to vote in an election, which is much like what a civil liberty is. We have the choice to use our rights to our advantage and in today’s world there is no situation that truly can suspend our liberties, in fact it can be adapted to the current situation. One example is the Espionage Act of 1917, and the Sedition Act of 1918, during World War I. During this time the Congress passed these acts to prevent the freedom of speech and press from causing morale loss during this time. While not the exact same as today, these acts prove that civil liberties can adapt based on the current situation and the adaptations of this situation are our use of technology. Through the power of technology we are able to fulfill our liberties virtually without leaving our homes. For example, many churches, including my church, have turned to live webcasts so you can continue to have your rights provided by the freedom of religion. When it comes to freedom of speech, you can post your opinions through social media. As for the freedom to assemble, you can gather through chats and live stream your virtual protest. Even petitions use the internet and social media to get them signed. Overall, with the way technology has joined our lives health policies will never prevent us from enacting our civil liberties.

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    Civil liberties mainly refer to the rights given to us by the Bill of Rights or other amendments, in other words our civil liberties are our freedom o…

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  • Michael from Utah

    One of our Founding Fathers, John Adams once wrote, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever” (letter to Abigail Adams July 7, 1775). Government has always been easy to take power, and difficult to rid itself of it. Civil liberties are in place to protect our rights and way of life no matter the government’s justification. The same justification of safety for its citizens is an argument that the government has used in other instances. Many government acts have been justified as “for the benefit of citizens” including the patriot act and the unconstitutional violations that the NSA has committed (Randy Barnett Georgetown.edu). Within these times fear is what pushes us to give away our rights little by little, and as citizens of The United State of America we must uphold the standards of our founding documents to remain free. This great nation has faced many hardships and has gained such great liberties like none other nation, and has paid for it in the blood of brave men and women. It is my belief that the compliant loss of civil liberties is a mockery of the sacrifice that those before us have made. I believe that social distancing is common sense, and I follow these suggestions out of respect for others, but I strongly disagree with the fact that public health policies supersede civil liberties. It has been and always be the right of the people to choose for themselves. Government’s sole roll is to preserve the rights of its people.

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    One of our Founding Fathers, John Adams once wrote, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once l…

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  • Melanie from California

    Everyone can agree that the coronavirus is a big deal. The lives of most people have been drastically changed, every person has been affected at least a little bit. I personally know several people who have caught the coronavirus, and as a frequent volunteer at an elderly care facility, I am deeply concerned about the outcome this will have. Nobody wants to see people die from such an unstoppable killer like this virus, especially when it concerns people we know and love. I would be the first to take precautions in this area. Something to keep in mind, however, is that this is also a perfect opportunity for the government to overstep its rightful authority. Being the government, it will take every availability to encroach on the rights and freedoms of its citizens. Don’t get me wrong, there are TONS of amazing people in our American government, but being humans, everyone looks out for their best interest, and the best interest of the government may not always be the best interest of the people. The key piece here is that the government is intended to be the servant of the American people, not the master. The people of America should be the ones to decide, and I believe that the best way to do this is for each individual/community can decide whether or not to act in accordance with the recommendations of the government. When we have an opportunity for the government to create precedent (like with the coronavirus), we must be extra careful. I want to be safe and healthy, but that cannot be the ultimate goal. The coronavirus will have devastating effects whether or not we are careful to do what is smart. If a person is concerned about sickness, then he can stay isolated. However, if he is not concerned about it, he should not be forced to stay isolated. This should be left to individual discretion. This is not my way of downplaying the devistation of the death toll, but rather, I am showing that this is so important that each person should have the ability to decide for himself/herself how to deal with it. For example, I am sure that the government would prefer that I live differently than I do, perhaps in a way that would ensure my safety and health, but it is not for the government to decide. As long as I do not harm/encroach on anyone else, and abide by the laws, I can live however I choose. This is the same principle involved in the case of the coronavirus. If a person is not harming others, is not violating existing laws, but desires to live in a way that is not in accordance with the recommendation, that person has a right to live however he wants. One case in point where a citizen where this right was violated was in my area: two girls decided to go see a friend, during the time of the coronavirus. While this may not have been a good idea, both girls, and their friend had agreed to hang out together. On their way over to the friend’s home, these girls were pulled-over, and each of them were fined $1000 for deciding not to live according to the government’s recommendation. This is an abuse of power, the exact thing that will set precedent, and has the capability to enslave the people of a nation. The government does not have the authority to require a person to live a specific way, just because the government thinks it’s a good idea. Understand that harming another person/another person’s property does not fall into this category. When a person violates the rights of another person, the person violating has forfeited his own rights. When this does not occur, however, this person has natural rights that the government does not have any authority to encroach upon. The question now is whether or not exposing one’s self to the coronavirus is a violation of other peoples’ rights by potentially spreading the virus. However, this is not really an issue at all, because those who are sincerely concerned about their health can simply isolate themselves from people who are exposed… Yes, I know, this is an oversimplification, but it gets the point across. The point is that the government does not have the authority to force a certain level of safety on a person. Rather, this is for the community to discourage, and for individual businesses to enforce. If a person’s friends are all keeping social distancing, than the person in question is more likely to follow suit. Moreover, if the local grocery store is requiring everyone to wear a mask before entering, the health/safety is not compromised, and the government has acted within its boundaries. This is the desired way of handling something like this, rather than having the government require certain things.
    In short, people ought to be careful and considerate of the health and safety of themselves and others, and I believe that people ought to change their lives in order to accomplish the goal of health more effectively. But the government should not enforce anything on the people. The government does not have the authority to do so, and America should rely on individuals to promote or discourage as needed/advisable. My community is accomplishing this right now, many individuals are randomly handing out masks to people walking on the sidewalk, stores are requiring people to wear masks and gloves, and people are being safe. Let this be an example to the nation, how to deal rightly with a crisis. The people are the concern, the people should have the say in how to handle it.

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  • Julia from Illinois

    I personally don’t think that the public health issues facing our country should mandate we give up our civil liberties. I personally feel as Americans we aren’t supposed to live this way. The coronavirus pandemic is truly a terrible disease and I pray for all who have been affected. However, I feel the effect this virus may have on our economy if we don’t return to normal is substantial. American people can’t survive not going to work. As Americans, we are given the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s hard to live your life, feel liberated and pursue happiness while at home, struggling to feed your family because the government won’t allow you to work.

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    I personally don’t think that the public health issues facing our country should mandate we give up our civil liberties. I personally feel as American…

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  • Layla from Michigan

    This is plain ignorance and bigotry at the helm of a treacherous and senseless movement. These individuals have such a blind greed for money and power, they without a second thought potentially exposed themselves and everyone else to a life threatening disease. This abhorrent demonstration just further exposed the hubris nature of many Michiganders. There were thousands at the protests here in Lansing, Michigan against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her stay home stay safe executive order. Many there believed she was abusing her power and taking the lock down “ too far” and “letting it go on way too long “ hurting small businesses and the working people beyond repair. The signs held by protesters said disrespectful things such as: “Heil Whitmer (with a swastika), Even Pharaoh freed the slaves during the plague, We find our governor non-essential” Some Lacking creativity and simply calling her an idiot. Some might say, “The cases have been on a downward slope and it’s time to reopen the state.” Not for long! If the state is reopened in an impetus and incorrect manner. The only reason for the slight decrease in daily positive cases and deaths was because of the Executive Stay home stay safe order. Many privileged white faces could be seen without a mask, without gloves, not standing 6 feet apart and holding guns of various calibers comparing themselves to the enslaved indigenous people of this country. This is where they’re “ civil-disobedience” becomes very deadly. The number of cases in Michigan as of 4-18-20 is 30,791 with 2,391 deaths and counting.

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    This is plain ignorance and bigotry at the helm of a treacherous and senseless movement. These individuals have such a blind greed for money and power…

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  • Parker from Oregon

    The question inherent refers to whether or not the government is allowed to alter the way people live, most notably limiting or banning the exercise of Church congregations. According to the constitution, that specific action is illegal, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But it would do all readers well to not care about that, in that the constitution alone does not justify its existence. It is built on morals. The constitution would be entirely unjustified if its ratification did not present an improvement to society’s course, not that it didn’t. Not every constitution is just, some (theoretically) establish tyranny and strife. In this same way, if a policy is unjust or ineffective then why must that policy on the basis that it’s a policy supersede civil liberties? Indeed it arguable especially in the US, that it is the policy that should serve civil rights and be an execution of them and not the opposite thereof. It is not a question of whether public health policies supersede civil rights, but do the good and correct public health policies do? Yes, because a good and correct public health policy is in its nature moral. So then what if it contradicts civil rights? Then that is the time that we ought to question whether the civil right is moral at all.

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  • David from Washington

    Absolutely not. Patrick Henry said ,”Give me Liberty or Death”. He did not say ” Give me Liberty unless the possibility of having to stay inside, not see loved ones, or any minor inconvenience is involved. ”
    Giving up First Amendment rights because of an infectious disease outbreak sets a precedent, and it is exactly what the Founders feared. If there is a precedent for refusing someone one right, such as speech or peaceful assembly, well then next flu season we could close down all churches and other centers of worship. If one fundamental right goes down, then the rest do. Whats the next step? Quartering troops into civilian houses? Abandoning everything that this country was built on? The very same ideals the creators of this country fought and bled for are being trampled by state governors and bureaucrats.

    Perhaps the most disturbing fact about the current crisis is how off officials and experts were. Early figures were in their hundred of thousands. Now? Nowhere near that. We have 20 million currently unemployed! Jobs are essential at almost every level, and our economy should not be sacrificed. Once the economy is shut down you capitulate to exactly what, China for example, wants. Abandoning your rights should never have precedent, and should never be a recourse plan in any event. If we refuse Constitutional freedoms and rights, then whose to say those in power in the future will not also be able to do the same, but arbitrarily? There is no reason to arrest a man for walking off of his property or walking his dog.

    At the end of the day the Founders wrote in our rights and freedoms in clear print. There were no asterisk’s. Its not,” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, and the free exercise there of, unless in case of a minor cough. Then Congress shall declare martial law and arrest people for jogging”
    While no one wants people to die from this, I do not want future generations to live in bondage and to accept whatever government mandate is sent down from on high because of “[insert pandemic]”. Freedom means freedom.

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    Absolutely not. Patrick Henry said ,”Give me Liberty or Death”. He did not say ” Give me Liberty unless the possibility of having to stay inside, not …

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  • jada from Texas

    COVID-19 manage to flip the world only a matter of months and everyone no matter who you are or where you are from has to try to help pick up the pieces. When we think about the role of our government we want leaders who will guide us while allowing us free will as long as it follows the nations code of conduct and laws. With citizens being asked to stay inside, and some being laid off of work and the nation having to be put on shut down states having to make hard decisions that can hurt their economies and normal routines it isn’t ideal to anyone. But these decisions are not being made for trivial reason. We are in a state of emergency that leave our elderly,disabled, and young children at risk. These procedures that are being put in place isn’t to punish or take away anyone’s rights and liberties. It’s to ensure the safety and well-being of our families and communities. I think as a nation we need to come together ( not in person of course) and find ways to help one another by supporting the decisions being made and using our privilege and resources to support those who need extra assistance during these trying times.

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  • Christopher from Georgia

    Government exists to secure our life, liberty, and property. Even and especially in times of crisis, we must be wary of infringements on civil liberty. If we cast liberty to the way-say in this present time, we may end up repeating some of the worst infringements on civil liberties of the past century – the Espionage and Sedition Acts on WWI, the internment of Americans of Japanese heritage during WWII, and the PATRIOT Act following 9/11. In a free society, it is incumbent on each individual – not the government – to make rational decisions regarding their lives. The most effective tool to mitigating this public health crisis is responsible behavior on the part of each individual, not government mandates and decrees. The government can offer advice, such as advising people to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid public gathering, but it cannot and should not mandate these behaviors. If the government progresses from advising to mandating, then it will undoubtedly infringement upon civil liberties in doing so. The purpose of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence is to enshrine our rights and liberties even in times of crisis, and this current time is no exception.

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    Government exists to secure our life, liberty, and property. Even and especially in times of crisis, we must be wary of infringements on civil liberty…

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  • Jacob from California

    I do not believe that public health policies violate our civil liberties. I do believe that the policies affect and touch these civil liberties in a certain way, but I do not believe that it is to an extent that diminishes our rights that were established during the founding days of our nation. Firstly, especially at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, many argue that public health policies are violating and disrupting the right to health, especially as the government is restricting the amount of people who are able to be tested for the coronavirus. The public demands the right to health care and many have become rather selfish. In the light of a global pandemic that is affecting the whole world, have we not forgotten the rights others have to health care instead of oneself? Secondly, in the same light, many argue that they have the right to work amidst the pandemic, but it is also a civil liberty that we respect the health of others. Working during this time would only worsen the negative effects of this pandemic spread and therefore, we the citizens ourselves, would be violating the rights of others instead of the government’s policies affecting ours. Special times calls for special circumstances. This is not to say that all rights and regulations must be altered, but rather that we as a nation should adjust to the effects of this pandemic and respect the rights of others while we are performing the action. Therefore, looking to gather in public spaces for it is “our right” would only be degrading the rights of others. It does nothing for our nation, but rather causes more chaos and distress. We should look past political standards and realize the facts supported by science and health studies. We are not immune to the powers of Mother Nature. We have established a society based upon the tender care of the Universe and Mother Nature, and from this have stemmed our own political policies, regulations, and laws. We must first learn to respect the powers of nature, and from then on, we will be able to understand our civil rights. In conclusion, I do not believe that the public health policies violate our own civil liberties but rather support the practice of respecting each citizen’s rights. We are currently amidst a rare occurrence that will be monumental in the history of our world. We should learn from this event to better improve and respect our own civil liberties in the future, hopefully with the termination of this global pandemic.

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    I do not believe that public health policies violate our civil liberties. I do believe that the policies affect and touch these civil liberties in a c…

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