Freedom works better than coercion for just about every state of the human condition, including epidemics and pandemics. From Hans-Hermann Hoppe at lewrockwell.com:
Thomas Jacob: Professor Hoppe, you are known as a critic of the state and of political centralization. Doesn’t the coronavirus prove that central states and central government regulations are necessary?
On the contrary.
Of course, the various central states and international organizations, such as the EU or the WHO, have tried to use the COVID-19 pandemic to their own advantage, i.e., to expand their power over their respective subjects; to try out how far one can go with ordering other people around in the face of an initially vague and then systematically dramatized danger of a global epidemic. And the extent to which this has succeeded, up to and including a general house arrest, is frightening.
But if the course of current events has demonstrated anything, it is not how necessary or efficient central authorities and decisions are, but conversely how critically important decentralized decisions and decision-makers are.
The danger emanating from an epidemic is never the same everywhere, for everyone, at the same time. The situation in France is different than that in Germany or Congo, and conditions in China are not the same as in Japan. And within diverse countries, the threat level differs from region to region, from one city to another, between urban and rural areas, depending on the demographic and cultural composition of the population. Moreover, there is a whole range of greatly differing assessments and proposals concerning what and what not to do in the face of this threat level, all put forward by equally “certified scientific experts.” Therefore, any centralized, nationwide (in extreme cases, worldwide) measure to avert danger – a “one-size-fits-all” model – must from the outset seem absurd and inappropriate.