The Worship of Rules is the Death of Freedom and the Birth of Totalitarianism
A significant part of the world has by now accepted that Covid-19 is part of the normal cycle of flus and colds, and as such, should not be treated as a special threat any different to the flu or cold. Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and the Czech Republic have dropped border testing requirements completely. A growing number of countries have dropped masking requirements as well.
Yet there will always be those “hold-out” governments, such as Spain, Austria, and France, which, for whatever reason, are particularly slow at accepting the reality that testing at borders, requiring Covid vaccination, or imposing inflexible mask mandates in supermarkets, restaurants, and shops, are all completely inappropriate, ineffective, and disproportionate measures for promoting public health.1
As of today, if you have not received one of the approved Covid vaccines, the Spanish government still requires you to undergo a Covid-19 test prior to entry, at your own expense, as I recently discovered when I travelled back to Spain from Ireland. Essentially, this is equivalent to requiring incoming travellers to test for the flu or common cold.
The test centre in Dublin was almost deserted. I commented to the woman administering the test that this was a useless exercise that made no sense whatsoever. She was inclined to agree. She remarked that from her perspective, Covid-19 is equivalent to a common flu, and should be treated as such. At least she was honest.
I walked through Dublin airport with my wife. Hardly a mask in sight, although a mask “recommendation” was periodically announced over the PA system.
Then, as we crossed a magical boundary between the airport and the airplane, we were instructed that masking was mandatory upon boarding the flight to Spain. So, after milling around the gates maskless with all of the passengers of our flight and anyone else who happened to be passing through, we were suddenly required to put a piece of cloth over our faces upon boarding the flight.