Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are falling in many countries – but some governments have been in no rush to return liberties and rights to their citizens. They must be held to account.
Even as billions are set to acquire immunity to the virus in 2021, either through vaccination or antibodies gained following a course of the illness, there has been little letup in crisis rhetoric, with those in power often advocating restrictive measures that go far beyond flattening any kind of curve.
New regulations are set to be in place for years, if not permanently, unless there is significant accountability and push back.
A new RT Covid-19 Freedom Index will track the world’s leading economies, and major territories within them, to see if they are restricting their citizens, either by limiting basic rights, such as freedom of movement, essential functions, like the ability to go to school or operate a business, or freedom from technological surveillance.
The index has its own limitations that we freely acknowledge. Any such ranking is subjective by its conception, whatever scientific veneer is given by formulas and tables.
Nonetheless, to minimize bias, we have tried to break down our index into easily quantifiable and weighted criteria, and rigorously source each piece of information from official publications, where possible.
Secondly, this index does not attempt to measure the baseline and broader state of civil rights in different countries – merely how much they have been upended by Covid-19.
A repressive country that has not implemented any additional restrictions due to the virus is still a repressive country.
Thirdly, while we are broadly alarmed by the authoritarian drift engendered by the pandemic, many of the disruptions can be understood only within the context of particular epidemiological situations.
We are merely documenting these measures, not putting forward an argument about whether such steps are justified or not within a specific country.
Texas (USA), Korea, Florida (USA), Sweden, Belarus, Victoria (Australia), Russia, Japan, Mexico and California (USA) are the Top-10 countries with the most freedom offered, while Italy, Romania, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the Netherlands are the worst for people to live now.
A nice idea in theory but VERY poorly implemented in practice. We note that China is almost at the very bottom even though people are living far more normally there than in most of Italy where the police have been out in force for the better part of over a year.
In half of Italy it’s not even possible to see friends or relatives or eat in a restaurant. In Italy they order small businesses to open and close randomly, from week to week, encouraging the SMALL businesses to take on debt and go bankrupt while shoveling BILLIONS of ECB funny money to Draghi’s pals.
The only thing that would reduce China’s score which I don’t like but is far preferable to the current state of affairs in Europe is scanning a QR code in bigger restaurants and shopping malls.
We don’t think it’s bad AS AN ALTERNATIVE to bankrupting small business in favor of Amazon. The Chinese and South Korean QR code is something that is collected for a couple of weeks at a time, so that IF there is an outbreak associated with a certain place they can alert whoever went there.
Funnily enough although South Korea and China have similar QR code systems, only China’s score is reduced. Disappointing to see Russia playing NATO’s geopolitics. Haven’t you learnt not to trust NATO?
We wonder what Australia’s rating would have been if you had looked at it around August last year. Rules vary by state, there is no national policy, and are subject to change at little or no notice when new cases are detected.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Lock-Down News 2021.