Follow the leaders …

Fearful people teach us what can’t be done. Leaders show us what can be done – from a blog titled How to Think Positive Thoughts by Growthpaths.net

A consistent complaint heard from healthcare experts concerning the Coronavirus pandemic is about the lack of leadership at the national level. That lack of a clear strategy and any attempt at leadership has now resulted in the chaos that is unfolding in the immunization effort.

The Federal government’s lack of leadership has thrown the responsibility for planning and administering the vaccine developed under the Warp Speed program onto the states and their already overstressed public health departments. Now the nightly news shows are filled with stories of poor execution of the inoculation programs at the state level. The problem really starts at the top with a President more concerned with his failed reelection bid and tweeting about conspiracy theories than providing clear leadership in a time of national crisis.

What are we to do? There will soon be a change at the top and the President-elect has indicated that he will take a strong leadership position in this fight against the virus. That certainly will help. We can also get behind the leaders at our state and local levels who are trying to provide some guidance on preventing or slowing the spread of the disease. The stock phrase “we are all in this together” has never been truer that it is right now. While there is some truth in the claims of unequal healthcare access made by the black and brown communities, the virus itself plays no favorites – it is an equal access killer.

The idea of getting solidly behind our leaders in this effort is no different than it would be if we were facing an invasion by some human enemy or even from space. Can you imagine if space aliens were walking around shooting people with ray guns and there would be people ignoring the warning not to go out when they are around? Maybe if there was a magic shield that our leaders advised us we  could put on so that the aliens could not see us, would people disregard that safety option and still venture out without their shield? Yet that is want is happening with our current battle against the COVID-19 enemy. The masks that we have been advised to wear to make us less visible to the virus are ignored by far too many people.

One has only to look at the example set by the people of New Zealand. They followed the guidance of their leaders, even as it involved a painful total shutdown of all foreign travel in and out of the country and a lockdown within the country. They are the only nation of earth that has totally stopped the virus. Their leaders showed great political will and resolve and I’m sure faced some level of popular resistance; however, they preserved and won.

Perhaps, with the change of leadership (or maybe one should say, finally with the presence of leadership) in Washington we will see the United States make progress in defeating this enemy. Let us all hope.

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