Individualism won’t stop COVID-19, we need better policy than “wear your mask.”

Individualism won’t stop COVID-19, we need better policy than “wear your mask.”

If we keep painting the COVID-19 pandemic as an individual issue, we are allowing the government to abdicate its social contract. The government exists for situations just like this.

Falling for the narrative that the government can do nothing and does not need to do anything, let us instead focus on being angry at individuals not getting vaccinated is embracing the exact ignorance that has us where we are today.

This is not a bad choice by the individual problem.

Messaging cannot be; we recommend you don’t harm people. Messaging must be you do not harm people, and here are the steps as a nation we will take to assure you will not harm people.

Public health cannot take a states’ rights approach with this, especially considering the states rights perspective is rooted in antiblackness.

Messaging cannot be; we recommend you don’t harm people. Messaging must be you do not harm people, and here are the steps as a nation we will take to assure you will not harm people.

Our lives should not depend on “benevolent” bosses and governors. Policies must be based on science and pivot on data.

Good policy is don’t build houses out of matchsticks. Make it illegal to build houses out of matchsticks. Subsidize housing that does not burn.

Bad policy is giving tax credits for building houses out of matchsticks then blaming the fire that killed everyone in the house on the guy who smoked in it.

This is a relatively simple concept as simple as “get vaccinated.” Is public health ignorant, or are they insincere?

The U.S. COVID-19 policy is frighteningly bad.

I expect that the public health and the media would have a better strategy than “get vaccinated,” and then when that doesn’t work, point to the unvaccinated as the driving force of increased deaths.

No, the driving force of U.S. death is an inept COVID-19 policy and even worse messaging.

No, the driving force of U.S. death is inept policy and messaging.

We need to cease running and reporting on our public health initiatives in regards to this pandemic in the same manner FB and NextDoor neighborhood groups filled with privileged busybodies report on the “wrong” race of children walking through the park. While they have excellent engagement, they rarely come up with reasonable solutions to anything. What they do come up with is often racist, classist, and involves using the police as personal security. They are as annoying as they are ineffective, and this model, for some reason, seems to be the one being adopted for strategic messaging in regards to the pandemic.

All engagement isn’t good—the messaging needs to be good AND informative, not just clickbait that stokes racism and individualism.


Teka Lo, Public Intellectuals

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