What does COVID-19 pandemic management and Road Management have in common?
I sat on a chair by the window of my hotel room looking out as the morning sun, partially blocked by the hotel building, casts a shadow on a major highway intersection. The intersection is like a spider web with several lanes crisscrossing over each other. The vehicles are like ants traveling orderly behind each other. Intrinsically designed, the intersection allows for the smooth movement of hundreds of vehicles, at any one moment, to intersect without collision, confusion, and crashes.
What a magnificent invention to cater to the common good of travelers!
Then my mind switches to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which many countries are grappling with managing the outbreak while facing the individual decisions and violent resistance of anti-vax and vax hesitancy. One of the fundamental issues with which many countries are grappling is mandatory vaccination. Many, however, are resisting through protests and resistance, throwing societies in turmoil – social chaos.
Then my mind returns to the spider web highway. Why did humanity’s ingenuity invent this intricate traffic system? The answer is simple. There were accidents, deaths, and injuries. To protect lives and preserved the common good of every traveler and non-traveler, highway management system was designed, guided by mandatory rules and regulations.
There are moments in life when boundaries have been placed around individual rights for the sake of the common good and their good.
I then remember listening to a radio programme on the history of the development of the traffic light and its implementation in East Germany in the 1920’s. The radio host mentions the strong resistance by Germans to the introduction of the traffic lights because it limited their free movements.
Now cast our mind a century later. Thanks to traffic lights, the common good of citizens is preserved because of a mandatory system.
When limits or boundaries are placed on humans for their own good and the common good, there’s initial resistance. It’s normal. It’s expected. Think of a child that resists boundaries for his or her own good and the good of the family. Yes, initial resistance, but persistence on the part of the parents reaps results.
The management of the pandemic is no different. The protection of individuals and the common good must be paramount for the preservation of society and humanity.