How do we understand the capability and proper role of the government’s response to the crisis and to driving recovery? The numbers are distressing but what’s more alarming is the lack of empathy from the government in understanding and responding to the multiple challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic. Over 70 days in lockdown was sufficient time for the experts to create a plan of action and to implement pockets of response. But at the end of it, all we see is disarray in response mechanisms, an escalating number of infections, an economy in shock and increasing number of people on the verge of hunger and helplessness.
The government response to the COVID 19 crisis leaves a questionable mark on leadership in the country. What I do not understand is why can they not hire or create multiple taskforce teams and tools to deal with the crisis even if it means collaborating with the opposition parties.
Yes this is an unprecedented predicament and maybe we do not have all the answers, but even if the government finds themselves in a position where they do not have the capability and capacity to deal with the situation, the least they can do is be honest about it.
The leadership demanded that every person comply with the lockdown, and they did, but the budget does not reflect how it will help make up for the lost time. No one is talking about profits today; everyone wants to sustain and survive and to retain the livelihoods of millions of employees across the nation.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and perhaps that is what the FM forgets. The closure has triggered a deep economic downturn of indefinite duration, the Finance Ministry’s job is to minimize economic damage not aggravate sentiment with complete lack of empathy to those who oil the wheels of the economy with their hard work, appetite for risk and investment.
There is no easy route through this crisis. The government must NOT forget that if they continue to erode trust and unleash unrest, the public will rebel at great personal cost. We can only navigate this crisis with collective intelligence, transparency, accountability, compassion and empathy, and depoliticizing of response mechanisms.