It is a mean thing to say, but I am alarmed more at the loss of lives in Europe and America than elsewhere in the world. If these Governments are at fault in controlling the pandemic, then, is democracy a failed experiment? Is totalitarianism more effective at protecting humanity from dangers?
We are often misled by what is known as ‘halo effect’, which means that when we see one aspect of something that is good, we believe that the whole of it is good. There are some aspects of democracy that are good, such as its respect for basic human rights. However, it does not mean that it is good in all aspects or in totality.
In totalitarian countries, people are afraid. They listen to the authorities out of fear. So they will listen to any stay-at-home orders. It may not be out of a sense of responsibility that they are doing it. But as long as they are doing it, they have more chance of being alive and unaffected by COVID 19.
What we see in Western countries is a downside of democracy. Not all human beings are mature or have a sense of responsibility towards oneself and others. When those human beings are in a democracy, and they do not listen to authorities. They go out and have fun anyway, pandemic or not.
The lesson is that nothing is black or white. It is a riot of colours. Life is a big messy thing. Order and discipline can only be artificially imposed. When it is not imposed, as in the democratic countries we see, the result is evident. The solution is to educate people, and hope that once they are educated, they will attain enough wisdom and knowledge, enough civic sense and maturity, to behave in a responsible way, without the state having to go behind them with a stick.