Until March 2020 no American had a property right in being free of the risk of exposure to pathogens carried by asymptomatic individuals going about their normal ways of life. Because each of us has always, unavoidably, emitted into the air we breathe bacteria and viruses that potentially harm – and sometimes kill – others, life as we know it could never exist if each of us had a property right in being free of such bacteria and viruses spread by others.
And so there ought at least have been a presumption that this same rule holds for SARS-CoV-2. There ought at least have been a presumption that each of us continues to enjoy the legal and ethical right to go about our affairs publicly and without a mask despite the physical fact that, in doing so, we risk transmitting the virus to other people.
But not only did knowledgeable people learn early on that the severity of SARS-CoV-2 hardly rises to a level justifying such a major change in law and ethics, there was never as much as recognition of the longstanding rule that no one’s property interests are violated by the breathing of other people going about their normal lives. All of a sudden, starting one year ago, the hysterical fear of Covid – and the irresponsible stoking of this fear by politicians and the media – caused people simply to forget that no one has an enforceable right to be free of air breathed-out by others.Stop the Cartoonish Excuses for Covid Restrictions – AIER