In a plague situation, certain people have their movements drastically curtailed. They are put under house arrest without ever committing or even being charged with a crime. Other people are prevented from associating with them or even touching them, again at the risk of arbitrary detention. Their belongings are oftentimes seized, confiscated and/or destroyed.
Does that sound like a totalitarian dictatorship to you? It should because that's exactly what it is. Totalitarian dictatorship is exactly what's required in order to defeat a plague. I know that idiots of the modern age put a quasi-religious faith in pharmaceutics and medical procedures. But that's all a bunch of crap that doesn't work, as the ever increasing rates of multiply-resistant strepp shows. What's required, what actually works, is good old quarantine and ultra-hygiene.
So are there any morally legitimate uses for totalitarian dictatorship? Are there any situations where totalitarian dictatorship is morally required? You bet your arse there are. Plague control! Totalitarian dictatorship is not some bugabear of evil. It's a form of political organization whose legitimate sphere of application is very limited, that's all. In fact, the equation totalitarianism == evil is the kind of absolutist binary mindless "thinking" which really ought to repel and disgust every thinking person.
I'm not even going to address the notion that plagues should go unchecked if checking them requires totalitarian dictatorship. That is utterly fucking stupid and anyone who buys into it is automatically a worthless excuse for a person. No, I'm not going to waste my time on that because there's a much more fun topic: AIDS.
You see, if plague control is a legitimate use-case for totalitarian authoritarianism then the HIV / AIDS plague is one that ought to have been checked by a good dose of Stalinism. And it's not like it would have been that difficult. Just tattoo a little HIV+ on the inner thigh of every person who tests HIV positive two or three times in a row. Do this aggressively enough and within a fortnight, the HIV plague would have been stopped dead.
Cheap and effective! But nooo, it's far "better" for people to be "free" to die long linguering deaths and for pharmaceutical companies to research deadly medicines for two+ decades before making the slightest dent in the situation. Yeah man, (in a braveheart voice) freeeeeeedom. Pardon me while I vomit.
The harsh truth which some ideological numbskulls really need to have pounded in their heads is this: Security, Prosperity and Family are separate from freedom and are more important towards happiness than freedom. That's just one of those facts which I as an anarcho-communist learned from social conservatives.