Government has made us all Typhoid Mary

Typhoid Mary was an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid in the early 1900s who didn't believe she was infected.  She also failed to practice what would now be considered basic hygiene (e.g., hand-washing) and worked as a cook.  She moved from job to job every few months, spreading her disease along the way.  At the time (according to the linked article), typhoid killed roughly 10% of its victims.  Mary wound up quarantined for the last 23 years of her life.

Various governors and other political officials are currently instituting quarantines and "shelter in place" orders for the entire population of a city, county, etc.  Hefty fines often accompany the orders, justified on the grounds that each of us may be an asymptomatic carrier of Wuhan Coronavirus and thus a danger to others.  At least in Mary's case, a doctor tested her first and found that she was a carrier before she was quarantined for the rest of her life.  We are presumed guilty without proof of harboring dangerous viruses, and we are expected to obey the orders even if we have a recent test showing we are not infected.

I am not worried for my own health, and I have no issues with people being able to choose whether or not to risk getting sick and (probability estimates vary) potentially dying.  People practice many risky behaviors, including extreme sports, without the government stepping in and confining them to their residences.  Adrenaline junkies tend to endanger only themselves, which could be why the government doesn't arrest them all.  On the other hand, drunk driving is also dangerous and is illegal, at least in part due to its endangerment of others.

It is illegal to knowingly expose others to a dangerous disease.  If you don't know you are infected, then (at least for STDs) you cannot be convicted of endangering others.  Laws do vary, and this may not be true everywhere.  However, it seems inconsistent to assume we all are a lethal threat by virtue of breathing because we might possibly have active coronavirus in our systems.

Those concerned about catching the disease and unwilling to accept the risk should definitely be allowed to stay home.  Those of us who are willing to accept the responsibility of making our own choices and the consequences thereof should be allowed to do as we please regarding moving about and participating in generally legal behavior.  Life isn't lived in a bubble.  We cannot be protected from everything, certainly not by government.  Home is intended as a refuge, not a cage.

There is much about disease we don't know, like who will get it and how bad his infection and symptoms will be.  Being swaddled in undeserved quarantines only allows government to claim it's "doing something."  Let's get back to being treated like adults.

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