Pandemic seems to be such a scary word. Globalization is a word which creates fear for some people as well. Perhaps the fear of the word pandemic is justified. The fear or perhaps rejection of globalization is based on prejudice to some extent. The concept that we make such and such a product and it’s the best anywhere in our individual minds may tend to emphasize this prejudice. Add to that when you consider the opposition and general misinterpretation of the United Nations Agenda 21 in my country, it adds to the fear. In America some radical-right groups see Agenda 21 and virtually all other global efforts as part of a nefarious plan on the part of global elites to form a socialistic one-world government, or “New World Order.” Now a world wide pandemic has some people blaming globalization in part and raising walls, both real and imaginary. The resultant damage is potentially enormous for our world and for my country.
Other countries surely have a certain element of pride in products or cultural aspects each one creates. However I don’t know of other countries that have UN before their name. There is no unFrench, unKorean or unBritish but there is unAmerican. As best I recall it originated with the post World War II McCarthy Era witch hunt days. Perhaps that is uniquely American but America itself has generally suppressed these efforts at excess pride or isolation. Perhaps less so with the current administration in Washington. My reason for discussing that is because it can and to some extent has led to a “go it alone” attitude. This is generally not an effort to look down on other countries or cultures although there is some of that on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific as well looking above and below the equator. This attitude can result in a we will do it our way attitude. As we used to say in government let’s not be “reinventing the wheel”. In times of an epidemic that attitude, I’ll do it my way, can lead to a disastrous result by seeking a unique response.
Back now to what may seem an unlikely title to this article. Let me try to clarify. The New York Times published an article entitled, “9 global lessons on fighting Covid-19.” It clearly describes places like Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong and how each addressed the coronavirus early on and with some success.
Granted the government structure of those places and others may lend itself more readily to population control which appears to be an essential ingrediant to get ahead of Covid-19. If it has worked in other countries, perhaps we all need to apply it to our particular situation as best it may fit consistent with our form of government. The world needs to consider what others are doing and how. Let’s not refuse to take an action based on some unfounded fear or prejudice against globalization by replicating actions that some other countries tried and received some level of success. Let’s not reinvent the wheel, lives are at stake, people’s health must be our first priority. This New York Times article is well worth the read and hopefully will continue to be correct. Perhaps others will follow and implement what appears to have worked. Hiding in our own little corner of the globe means failure. We are a global world and globalization is continuing to move forward. We had best accept that and get on the bus because it is moving. Read the article then you decide. Go to the New York Times Interpreter and the article with the name, 9 global lessons on fighting Covid-19. You might find it well worth reading, I did.
We might also consider these “……two different approaches to the common good: going it alone, with each of us fending for ourselves, versus hanging together, seeking solidarity. In a highly individualistic society like ours, we don’t do solidarity very well, except in moments of crisis, such as wartime.” (NYT 3/25/2020) Our battle cry needs to be solidarity now.