“Negative liberty” is a term stands for “freedom from interference by other people” per the Wikipedia. It deals with external restrains. For example, freedom of speech, religion, and so on in the US Constitution restrain the government from interfering with individual liberties.
But what about the Stay-at-home, wearing mask, or other social distancing orders? Do they violate our liberty? I believe the answer is no. To explain why, let me introduce another term “positive liberty.”
Positive liberty stands for possession of the power and resource to fulfill one’s own potential (Wikipedia). It deals with internal restrains. To the extent it entails the responsible exercise of free-will under the rule of law without depriving other’s right.
So government leaders have to weigh the individual liberty with public health concerns in applying the social distancing rules. And we as individuals have to be responsible in exercising our free-will. Whether the rules are successful or popular, that is a different debate.
What do you think about the government’s stay-at-home orders? Too much? Not enough?