By Frank Wright
“As humans, we like to think we’re in charge of our own corner in the universe. But every now and then a microscopic entity reminds us that we are not.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
The reality shock our planet is going through is something that we have not encountered in the last century. Because there is no masterplan to tackle this situation, every nation has been compelled to make their own decisions. Weeks into the global pandemic, the death toll keeps rising and economies continue to decline. The vast majority see this as a “this or that” choice in which one path (health or economy) must be taken. The simple fact that there is a preconception that leaders must decide on either, is worrisome. The problem in hand appears to be that people believe there has to be a choice in between the two, which yields a lack of a common mentality supporting social responsibility and trust towards governmental measures.
The fact of the matter is that both of the sides complement one another and, naturally, there must always be a balance within the two. It is crucial that measures should be taken with both ends holding equal importance.
With nearly every nation battling this growing virus, some have implemented the best resilient economic measures, while moving fast to contain the virus.
Singapore maintains a solid infrastructure, minimum corruption, and very strong political stability. The country moved fast in action towards the pandemic, they hold social cooperation and trust on authorities. Many businesses there have adopted work-from-home policies and the whole country has implemented technology in their daily lives. They have maintained a mentality that if everyone does what they are directed to do and work together, they don’t need to worry about social unrest, death on the streets, or any big economic deterioration. Also, the nation’s government released an app that called Trace Together. With all of this balance, Singapore will surely be one of the most resilient countries to face the virus.
Denmark has high political stability and a strong supply chain tracking. It also moved rapidly as it implemented social distancing measures. The government declared a shutdown on schools and non-essential businesses on March 11. Three days later, they closed borders to foreigners. Because their culture is trusting to authorities, everyone has maintained efficient social distancing. Like Singapore, they have maintained a mentality that believes “most people feel a moral duty to make sacrifices for the sake of public health”. With this said, the government is trying to “Freeze” the economy as they implemented economic relief by paying 75% of workers whose salaries are affected directly and 90% of hourly waged workers.
The United States’ economy has been hit with mandatory shutdowns across more than half of the states, affecting small businesses that rely on foot traffic which has triggered historic levels of unemployment. The US was quick to pass stimulus measures that stabilize the economy while also focusing on social distancing and other health measures. The US is on average younger than the rest of the world, and therefore should prove to be resilient throughout this pandemic.
All of the nations across the world should implement measures that maintain high health standards, while paying close attention to the economy by stimulating it as the storm passes. Together, each country must act as one and keep a mentality of social responsibility in order to tackle the growing virus known as COVID – 19.