The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health crisis with a significant threat to human lives and the government response has created an additional economic problem, that threatens to change the world for years to come. In the face of the COVID threat, fear has led to irrationally broad support for an authoritarian response to the crisis and massive expansion of government reach despite clear evidence of government failure contributing to the severity of the crisis. The response has been both politicized by the extremists on either side of the mainstream political spectrum and is being used by both sides to push their pre-existing agendas, such as gun control in Massachusetts and abortion bans in Texas.
The increasing number of restrictions are expanding the reach of government into everyday life. While the government of Massachusetts has focused on disrupting businesses and advisories for individual behavior, some towns have begun to impose fines to micro-police their citizens' behavior.
A Libertarian response to the crisis would look very different: A decentralized focus on private initiative and individual responsibility, while protecting the rights of all. Limiting the reach of government and permanently reducing bureaucratic regulations that stand in the way of solving problems as opposed to the forced shutdowns and temporary relief packages.
It is important that Libertarians voice their opposition to the extreme measures and rights violations and call for a rational approach based on scientific evidence, not fear and speculation. Speak up in your community.
The Libertarian Policy Institute has put together a deeper exploration of these options.