Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, there are, naturally, many calls for governments to do whatever they can to protect people from harm.

Surely, this is one of the more important functions of a government – to defend, and “promote the general welfare” of citizens. And, of course, we should trust the government to be on the stick, and ready to bring out its action plan to make everything better.

Well, not really. There’s something we need to remember about governments, no matter if it’s a local board of supervisors, a governor, or a president. As Scott Sumner writes:

…it [doesn’t] matter which party is in charge; governments are big, cumbersome institutions, not capable of protecting us in a crisis.

And it’s not just the bungled response to the current epidemic that shows what a crisis, mixed with panic, and doused in uncertainty, can do to otherwise competent people in positions of authority and trust:

This also applies to other existential risks, such an accidental nuclear war, solar flares from the sun, asteroid/comet strike, AI run amok, Yellowstone eruptions, etc.  Don’t assume the government has a secret plan if there is a disaster.  They’ll be just as dazed and confused as the public.

Have your own plan, follow it, and don’t panic.

And please…wash your hands.