This is the second of two posts on accountability.
Okay, so back to Chinese misinformation. It would be a disservice to the Chinese people if the world didn’t hold the Chinese officials accountable. They didn’t cause the pandemic. It was already coming. They did contribute greatly to its spread, domestically and internationally.
Having said that, it would also be a disservice to the “democracies” if we allowed our governments to deflect responsibility away from their actions or lack thereof. The rest of that story is that, when provided with warnings a week or so before those “crucial 6 days”, our governments took many of the same approaches as Chinese officials did.
Autocrat and democrat alike. They all seemed to be singing from the same songbook! And the title of the song seems to be “Don’t tell people the truth.”
Now if we really want to learn something that will help us in the future, studying this dynamic will help much more than blaming one country or another, or one party or another, or one leader or another.
I know we all have our opinions on this “hide the truth” dynamic. These usually center on the greed and corruption of those seeking power plus fears of creating panic and/or economic collapse.
Even if this is all true, and okay it is, I think there is more to the dynamic than that.
Certainly, in the “democracies”, there is a belief that people don’t want to hear the truth.
Ask yourself, if the government had tried to impose the measures they did before the body count started to rise, would we have accepted them?
I admit I was skeptical until a few weeks into self-isolation. It took a while before I got it. This isn’t all about the virus itself. It’s just as much about our underfunded health care systems world-wide. It’s about changes that are becoming necessary in our comfortable global-economy supported lives.
And maybe that brings us to the first line of accountability. Maybe we are responsible for our lives and not the government, here and in China. Maybe we got the government we asked for and the pandemic that went along with it.
Think about it. Did we give those seeking political office the impression that we didn’t want to be inconvenienced, didn’t want to know the whole truth?
After all the sacrifices which we have made, going forward, are we going to hold ourselves accountable?
For more writing from Kevin Alan McGill