Why the Global Coronavirus Response Resembles Road Construction

Look across the entire globe and you’ll see that our collective response to the coronavirus crisis isn’t very unified. In fact, it looks like one big road construction project. That is not good. We all know what road construction tends to look like, and we are smart enough to know that we don’t want something as critical as public health to resemble it.

So what’s the problem? Why can’t the world seem to settle on some sort of unified response? Unfortunately, there isn’t just one thing to put a finger on. There are so many challenges to overcome that it is highly unlikely there will ever be a unified response. Whether or not that is a bad thing is up to you to decide.

Too Many Experts

The first thing an objective analysis reveals is the sheer number of experts weighing in on the coronavirus thing. If the coronavirus response were truly a road construction project, all of the experts would be like so many traffic cone suppliers trying to sell their products to construction crews. They all have is cones to sell. They all want road crews to use their cones and no one else’s.

It would be one thing if all the experts agreed on the best way to handle coronavirus. But despite what the mainstream media says, they don’t. There is plenty of disagreement over everything from government-imposed lockdowns to mandated face coverings and social distancing.

Another concern with so many experts is that they do not all carry the same weight. Some voices are deemed more important to the discussion than others. For example, a government bureaucrat’s opinion tends to carry more weight than a doctor’s opinion, even if that doctor spends all day in the trenches working with COVID-19 patients.

coronavirus plan under construction. image by bernhard renner from pixabay with illustration by newsblaze.
Coronavirus plan under construction. Image by Bernhard Renner from Pixabay with illustration by NewsBlaze.

Too Little Data

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when government officials don’t keep the public up to date on the details of a road construction project? Other than the supposed end result, you have no idea if the project is on schedule or not. You do not know when it will end or how much money will be spent. The lack of details makes you feel woefully uninformed and powerless to do anything about problems you might observe.

Similarly, there is far too little data relating to the coronavirus crisis. Take the face-covering argument, for example. We are constantly told that masking up is the best way for us to prevent coronavirus transmission among ourselves. But where’s the data? Sure, there have been small-scale studies done in controlled lab environments. But those studies are not reliable because they do not mimic the real world. The truth is that we really don’t know how effective masks are.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t be wearing them. Rather, it is simply to say that we really don’t know. The end result is that there are no uniform masking policies. Some countries have nationwide mask mandates. Others do not. In the US, mask mandates can differ from one state to the next or even one county to another. And that, by the way, leads to the next problem.

Jurisdictional Differences

Even if the first two problems were a non-issue, there is never going to be a unified global response for the simple fact that there are too many jurisdictional differences to overcome. The best way to illustrate this point is to contrast China with the US. The differences between the two are as clear as the differences between public road crews and privately-owned construction companies.

In China, the Communist Party maintains absolute control. Party bosses do whatever they want to do. If the party wants to implement a nationwide lockdown, they need only issue the order. Businesses will shut down and people will stay home. There will be very little resistance among the populace.

In the US, Washington does not have the authority to institute a nationwide lockdown. Despite what many people outside the US believe, the American president does not have the power of decree. The authority to issue shutdowns and mandate masks lie with the states, and even that is questionable from a constitutional standpoint.

This explains why residents of so many US states have resisted coronavirus mandates. Americans have never been ruled by fiat. Most refuse to allow it.

If China and the US are two extremes, most other countries fall somewhere in between. But guess what? They all have their own unique jurisdictional quirks. And because you are never going to convince countries to set aside those quirks, coming up with a unified global response is nearly possible.

Use Caution and Proceed Carefully

In the absence of a unified response, what is the average citizen to do? We are to do the same things we do when driving through a construction zone: use caution and proceed carefully. There are plenty of traffic cones to tell where we can and cannot go. Our own common sense tells us how fast to drive and how hard to hit the brakes. The best we can do is do our best and hope to emerge safely on the other side.