The global spread of Covid-19 disease has brought the economies of nations to a standstill, whilst said to be imparting lessons that societies must heed.
Ivan Krastev, a political scientist, who chairs the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, enumerating lessons to learn from the global pandemic crisis.
However as we take a close look at various events happening across the globe, are lessons being learned by governments and the people?
The Return of Big Governments in Democratic Countries
The first lesson Krastev mentioned is that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the re-emergence of big government, a system of governance that involves excessive intervention and intrusion into all facets of the population’s day-to-day lives.
However, the big government aspect surfaced only at a time when the infectious disease had already spread and already on its way to becoming a pandemic. In most countries, government mandates forcing people to stay-at-home and shutting down nonessential businesses was regarded as having come too late.
Yet the system of governance adopted by the Communist Party of The People’s Republic of China, shows that big government interventions did not prove effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease. That being said, the Chinese people also learned that the big government they had relied upon had failed them
At first, when the rest of the world started reeling from the effects of the coronavirus spread, it appeared that the Chinese government’s capability to control the behavior and movements of its citizens was had helped the country quixkly overcome the cisis. Yet the system failed a second time because a second-wave of the the COVID-19 contagion had hit the country.
Appeal of Big Data Transparency
Another lesson mentioned by Ivan Krastev is that the global health crisis had heightened the appeal of big data transparency. Major countries like the U.S. are blaming China for letting coronavirus spread by under reporting information, The Chinese government on the other hand, is blaming insufficiency of information that would have been valuable in launching a quicker response.
This only goes to show that no matter how big the data available, it is always a matter of having trust and faith on the people behind the analysis and in charge of reporting big data information.
Yet again big data does not guarantee good governance, as is currently the case in the U.S. The country has overtaken all other nations in terms of ranking for having the most number of COVID-19 cases and death tolls. Despite the big data presented by Public Health experts, by the World Health Organisation and by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, some would rather believe in the self-serving, false information being spread by the U.S. president.
Although their number may be smaller than those who believe in the knowledge shared by scientists and known experts, those rejecting and protesting against the lockdown measures can greatly and adversely impact the country’s efforts in battling the COVID-19 disease.
Fortunately for the U.K. government, Britons are more inclined to have faith in their leaders in addressing the global pandemic crisis; along with the reliance on scientific facts presented by experts. Juice Land, the website sponsoring this article, lauds the British people for displaying unity in helping the UK government lead the country out of the ongoing health crisis.