Americans Have Rediscovered Self-Reliance

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When state and local governments first issued pandemic lockdown orders as part of their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19—or to stop it in its tracks, depending on the particular finger-wagging official—pundits debated whether supposedly individualistic Americans would knuckle under. As it turns out, many people initially obeyed, but a lot of us quickly got fed up as restrictions killed jobs and smothered social interactions. If anything, pandemic restrictions fed oxygen to the embers of the individualist, anti-authoritarian tradition. Likewise, the lockdowns have fueled old habits of self-reliance, prompting Americans to relearn skills and revive almost-forgotten habits in ways

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