John Locke's State of Nature and Covid-19

In his work, philosopher John Locke explores the meaning of political power as the right to create laws to protect and regulate civil society for the greater good of the community.

Power and jurisdiction should be reciprocal, with neither having more power than the other. Power and influence should not be abused, and instead used to ensure positive outcomes that do not harm others. Sometimes, this means placing restrictions and limitations.  

Take, for example, America’s pandemic virus of COVID-19, where, despite the chaos, we have rules and regulations implemented. If we did not have any regulations and the ability to punish those who do not follow them, the most vulnerable in our society would not survive. Currently, due to COVID 19, those who are pregnant and the elderly are entitled to shop at grocery centers early in the morning because we understand and respect the limitations they have. We understand that their health may be compromised, and that they are at the greatest risk. We have agreed on a “social contract” of “stay home, save lives” to form a civil society. Given that we, as Americans, are practicing this mindfulness, we are staying home to prevent the spread of the virus.

grocery bag with apple

Currently, in New York, the fine for social distancing violations runs between $250-$500.

As of April 8th, 2020, the city of Chicago has issued 21 citations to various businesses for violating social distancing. Mayor Lori Lightfoot drove around Chicago during the nice weather Tuesday, yelling at people to go home whenever she saw crowds. The mayor’s enthusiasm has sparked a plethora of memes, and Lightfoot herself has created quite a few iconic social media posts.