Freedom and face masks: a Hong Kong perspective on Dutch anti-measures protests

Met elkaar en voor elkaar”, with one another, for one another. You could be considering that the quote above have to be an encouraging slogan used throughout coronatimes: a supportive message, cheering on important staff and the lots in an article addressing the sacrifices we should make.

How I do want that have been the case.

The quote is as an alternative taken from an article from Viruswaarheid, the protest group making its manner all throughout Dutch information and social media.

It’s a quote from one of many many articles protesting the corona measures from necessary face masks, to lockdowns, to vaccines, to 1.5m social distancing — identify a measure, odds are there’s or can be an article in opposition to it.

This one particularly describes how by refusing to put on a masks, one couple impressed a fellow citizen outdoors Lidl.

The Netherlands and anti-measures protests

With flyers spreading disinformation concerning the Dutch coronavirus and up to date protests over the coronavirus measures gaining reputation within the information and social media, it’s simple to make jokes concerning the “info.”

Misinformation is spreading so quick these days it’s nearly as if the virus we’re affected by is in truth gullibility and never COVID — today, the previous actually appears as (maybe much more) contagious than the latter.

Sadly, this isn’t merely one or two lone nonconformists however a whole lot and 1000’s of individuals resisting the measures, with profitable lawsuits in opposition to the principles — such because the curfew — and even violent anti-lockdown protests.

Thus, the query have to be explored — does carrying a masks restrict your freedom? And in case your reply is sure, what does freedom imply to you?

Freedom and the Netherlands

The Netherlands has all the time stood as a distinguished instance of liberalism. It’s a rustic reputed for its progressive insurance policies tackling gender equality, discrimination, local weather change, the poverty hole, and sexual orientation.

The Netherlands is a spot the place you may be free to be your self. Picture: Anna Biasoli/Unsplash.

It’s a freedom that’s properly rooted in historical past, within the financial liberalism that based the world’s first inventory market, the spiritual tolerance that separated church from state, and the mental freedom that attracted students throughout Europe making a dynamic publishing middle.

Rising up in Hong Kong, the place shopping for, promoting, or smoking weed carries a most jail sentence of seven years and a advantageous of 100,000 euros, I typically discover myself in awe of the freedoms I witness dwelling in Amsterdam.

The liberty I’ve all the time discovered right here is one that’s open, inspiring, tolerated, humbling, and sometimes humorous in a laugh-in-disbelief sort of manner.

Some sacrifices may be made

Protestors and anti-mask teams have framed current corona guidelines as antithetical to those freedoms. Nonetheless, one solely has to look to on the widespread opinions on the Dutch tax system to see how this isn’t the case.

Ask most Dutch individuals concerning the tax system, and on common many Dutch individuals see the system as largely “honest”, “balanced”, and “simply”. Coming from an earnings tax system in Hong Kong that’s nearly nonexistent, I incredulously did precisely that — requested Dutch pals how they have been prepared to pay what to me looks as if exorbitant taxes (though what wouldn’t appear excessive in comparison with the HK most of 17% in its highest bracket).

The solutions have been all the time an amalgamation of the identical components — whereas the taxes could also be excessive, it’s price it to make sure every thing (largely) works the way in which it ought to corresponding to healthcare, schooling, and social providers. This manner, everybody is kind of taken care of, and in doing so the taxpayer can dwell his/her personal life with out fear as properly.

READ MORE| Tax returns within the Netherlands in 2021: the expat fundamentals

Okay, so why not put on a face masks?

It’s this final sentiment that’s key to this text’s query. That larger tax seems to indicate extra freedom, and that by caring for others you in the end take care of your self. Thus, I ponder if we are able to equate these sentiments of taxes and face masks to one another — the concept sacrificing what could look like our freedoms, in the end results in freedom.

Why then, do some not need to put on face masks within the Netherlands? Picture: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Complicated? I’ll rephrase — like excessive taxes, whereas masks and different coronavirus measures could appear uncomfortable and in some instances even exorbitant, they’re in truth there to make sure your freedom. They do that by limiting the uncontrolled unfold of the virus simply as taxes purpose to forestall pressure on social establishments.

Following this logic, face masks don’t restrict your freedom; they market it. It’s onerous to have freedom when a rustic is overrun with these affected by a pandemic.

One solely has to take a look at Hong Kong for a touch of this: whereas it’s with none shade of doubt simpler to handle a metropolis of seven.5 million than a rustic of 17.5 million, it’s nonetheless a metropolis the place companies and eating places have largely remained open your complete size of the pandemic.

So, let’s put on a masks: not to surrender our freedom, however to make sure it. With one another, for one another.

What are your ideas on carrying a face masks? Inform us your ideas within the feedback under!

Function Picture: Anton/Unsplash

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