In late January, when the Chinese City of Wuhan was placed into a government-enforced lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. All non-essential businesses were closed, travel restricted, and people could only leave their home to buy food. While the measures put in place appeared extreme, they helped to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the spread of the virus.
Since then, the disease has spread rapidly throughout the rest of the world. Some governments have chosen to follow China, opting for widespread lockdowns. Italy implemented a nationwide quarantine in early March, Spain followed suit shortly after and the UK announced yesterday it was placing the country into lockdown.
There are now 17 countries with lockdown measures in place. The hope is that by reducing the number of people infected, it will, in turn, lessen the strain on local healthcare systems and reduce the number of people dying from the disease.
What is the cost of these draconian measures? Is it worth the impact on the economy and the erosion of civil liberties? Many Bitcoiners align themselves closely with Libertarianism and are against state intervention and therefore disagree with the restrictive measures put in place across the globe. We do though live in a democracy; if the will of the people supports these measures, then should they be supported?
In this interview, I talk to Aleks Svetski, CEO at Amber and a passionate Bitcoiner. We discuss the COVID-19 coronavirus, state response to the pandemic, the economic impact and the threat to our civil liberties.