You can’t be dependent and free. From Per Bylund at mises.org:
The state strives for power, and what grants power is fear and dependence. The state is making people dependent on it, both as means for control and as an outcome of many policies intended to provide relief.
We have seen a lot of fear and dependence in this pandemic. Fear has been the message that has propelled types of repressive policies that were not possible before. Had anyone suggested only over a year ago that whole countries, democratic European countries, would close down and quarantine people in their homes most of us would have thought him crazy. But it happened. Because fear was drummed up, many populations went along with it. Even though they later protested and resisted, it was too late. Much of the damage was already done. And of course, many feared not only the virus but also the police, which sometimes with enormous brutality cracked down on those seeking a breath of fresh air after weeks stuck in their homes.
It is possible to roll back these policies. However, many of them will need to be rolled back for society to function again. To be clear, it is not possible for the state to keep everybody locked in their homes for long. This is an overreach and points to the limit of the state’s power. When the people rise in opposition, as we’ve seen in this pandemic, the state has no power.