Philosophical Reflections on the Coronavirus

A series of contributions reproduced from SHARE magazine no.14

Valletta becomes a ghost town in March 2020 as the first wave of Covid-19 strikes.

Joe Friggieri

In direct contrast with Hume, Covid-19 offers a clear example of how an ought can follow from an is. Knowing how dangerous the virus can be, and how fast it travels, entails the moral obligation on the part of adults to protect themselves against it and avoid spreading it. No actions are purely self-regarding. As social beings, we form part of a community to which we owe a wide range of benefits and for whose well-being we should feel responsible. By taking the necessary precautions to preserve our own health, we are also at the same time minimising the risk of others contracting the disease through our actions or omission.