A Lesson From The COVID-19 Pandemic

To The Reader’s Forum:

As Gov. Cuomo stated, based on the same criteria as medical experts, it will be individual behavior, at least until a proven effective vaccine is created, that determines how successful America is in controlling the impact of Covid-19. The question that follows is “will the government and business support Americans in their efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus?” Regardless of how government and business responds, it will still be how individuals respond that determines when and how society returns to “normalcy”, whatever that will be. If government, business and people are on the “same page” then at least our response, regardless of when will be consistent. Right now, inconsistency is the only consistency.

Part of the inconsistency is due to political polarization. Although Coronavirus is apolitical, there are those who suggest that deference to medical experts is “leftist” while others who defer to business interests are “right wing”. Perhaps we should concentrate on the facts and respond accordingly. Coronavirus is also non-religious. Answer me these questions: did “God” create the virus; is “God” a “leftist” or “right wing”? Seems to me Coronavirus, like other natural disasters, is an opportunity for humankind to bond around compassion and concern for “the other”, rather than interject polarization caused by politics and religion. Support for those “front-line” workers and support of those in dire need is evidence we are on the correct path because no one cares what their politics or religion are. In my opinion, when we lose sight of “we” and think only of “me”, inconsistency is allowed to prevail. So, how individuals respond will be key to keeping focus on the “disease”.

I have heard some use the term “Give me Liberty or give me Death”, meaning somehow people in America believe they have lost their liberty or “freedom”. Well, how do you reconcile “freedom” to operate business with the “freedom” from contracting a deadly disease from someone operating a business? As has generally been American practice, one’s “right” to do something stops when exercise of that right interferes with another’s right. As such, a person’s claim of “liberty” ends when it causes the “death” of others. That is, perhaps, one of the most valuable lessons to learn from Coronavirus.

Paul L. Demler



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