Is the trade off between freedom and safety an illusion? - Professor Frank Furedi on lockdowns
Since the emergence of Covid-19 over 18 months ago, we have been bombarded with a constant influx of information. This information, the nature of which has ranged from medical to political, has had one very significant thing in common; it has instilled a very real fear in most of us. This fear could explain why the imposition of lockdowns - a concept which previously would have been met with fierce resistance - was welcomed, even praised. On July 17, an international Lockdowns Summit was held during which professionals across the world came together - virtually, of course - to present their findings on the efficacy of lockdowns to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19 as well the ways in which lockdowns have impacted society. The comprehensive exploration of lockdowns and its unintended consequences was astonishing. Of particular interest was the presentation by Professor Frank Furedi, an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent and author of over 20 books - the most recent of which is titled How Fear Works - Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century. Furedi’s argument that one of the main drivers of the culture of fear is the unravelling of moral authority is beautifully addressed in his presentation and provides an entirely fresh perspective on the impact of lockdowns. Furedi unpacks the trade off between freedom and security that has become so perfunctory and challenges the new normal with profound insights.