Two of a kind: politicians and citizens, although the current scenario seems to be quite the opposite: ones against the others. It is also about our expectations about the political sector during the pandemic as in normal times., but particularly on the first ones as it is when leadership –or not- arises as to the visible authority.
The special conditions that COVID19 delivers demand a strong individual responsibility beyond political leadership. It’s a twofold leadership, like the photo: two airplanes at the same level not necessary in the same direction but reaching the same goals. Both are leaders… and not from an ideological perspective. No confusion.
There is a very important aspect within lockdown measures that is missing, at least if we see the crisis through the eyes of the Media: individual duties.
This is not just about exercising freedom rights but a strong commitment towards contributing to get into solutions and not only rely –or complain- about imposed rules coming from the State. Our rights are the same –although constrained- our duties become stronger.
This is not about “suggestions” if you must go out, you must keep social distancing and use a mask and gloves. Under the current level of extreme circumstances, individual freedom is canceled to the safety of all.
This is not about discretionary decisions about “applying” rules or not, or “will to take risks” or not, because of a simple reason: we are all potential transmitters of the virus. -The lack of massive testing increases the risk as we can infect others without even being aware.-
It is for this main reason that there is no “wrong political management” but the road of the unknown –not just because of a new emergency that overflowed local capacities- but an uncertain crisis in terms of impact, consequences, and conditions, no matter the way is managed.
The second wave of contagious expected by autumn, the financial-economic impact of the lockdown and the own particular situation –health, attitude, habits, climate- of each Nation, makes of the political management a complex puzzle that is claiming for individual responsibility as a key actor and driver to change.
It is, indeed a fact that everyone must be considered a “threat” in itself, therefore the turning point relies on personal responsibility not precisely on political management.
We have seen shocking images of citizens in London, Sao Paulo, etc.: tube stations full of people without masks, strolling in parks without respecting social distancing and we are wondering: is that a matter of political management? It is a State responsibility? Or just general rules that ought to be taken by the State and follow voluntarily by the citizens?
Besides, political leaders are being pressured to “go back to normal” as soon as possible thus recover the economy, which is certainly an issue to be addressed but not by repeating the same code of living ignoring current reality but to innovate, create and build new consumption habits that boost the economy, adapted to their particular circumstances.
The pillar is not political leadership as it is not about global measures. International coordination and determined local rules involving all sectors under a joint action focus based on one goal: stop the contagion, rather than expecting all the work from the public sector. Every effort counts although when we face a virus extremely contagious as COVID19 that spread so quickly, individuals are placed in the center and not institutions or leaders. The fact that there is patients “Zero”, -that refers to one person that can start an unstoppable wave of contagious and turn a country into an emergency because of its neglected attitude- confirms the idea.
Each and one of us become leaders during this pandemics. With or without the so-called ”good political management” the virus can spread for only one person that does not follow the rules. Social distancing, use of masks, or/and working from home are certainly the “golden weapon” to success. After all this time we can easily get into the conclusion that 1st comes personal responsibility and then political management, not precisely from political libertarian ideology but from a results-driven strategy within a temporary period of crisis that canceled any institution or political leadership big-scale action.
Lets ending this article by a few questions to reflect and build a position together about what it is the best within uncertain times……
What happens when individuals failed? How Governments can control them without undermining individual freedom? Is it possible that by controlling 100% personal actions we get into resilience? Is it better to be under these circumstances in a dictatorship rather than a democracy? Where relies the responsibility? Each country is a whole different reality from the other. New Zealand or Island their success is it only about great political management? Maybe the answer is affirmative, however, we must see it under the light of each culture and personal and system health that goes beyond any idea of good leadership.
Africa: why do not have more deaths according to the traditional idea that is “more vulnerable” than Europe? Or is it because of better political management?
I strongly believe that political leadership has nothing to do precisely because of these surprising results.
Let us take the crisis as an opportunity for building new bridges of debate and fresh and innovative thoughts. In the meantime….
Follow the rules
Versión en Español: COVID-19: “Buena gestión” política o responsabilidad individual?