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Tran: When Freedom Becomes Harmful

(01/14/22 9:00am)

Two years ago, our world was transformed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As my boarding school in Massachusetts, like other institutions across the nation, shifted to online learning, I was forced to book an immediate flight home to Hanoi, Vietnam. From 8,000 miles away, I watched with an outsider’s perspective as America’s devastating COVID-19 response unraveled. From the previous administration’s denial of the pandemic and laissez-faire policy approach to citizens’ anti-masking protests and fatal shootings –– reactions incomprehensible to me given the grave death toll of the virus –– life in the US seemed surreal, almost dystopian.