Reflections on Accountability in Times of Pandemic
Drawing Parallels: A Crime Show Perspective
Several years ago, an episode of Law and Order: SVU caught my attention. It featured a character who, knowing they were HIV positive, chose to engage in unprotected relations with others without informing them of their status. Law and Order: SVU, set in NYC, often draws from real-life scenarios. This particular storyline ended tragically when one of these unwitting partners contracted HIV and ultimately died.
In my view, this story is illustrative of a significant moral and legal quandary. These actions could be compared to premeditated murder – it’s the equivalent of knowingly pulling the trigger of a loaded gun, albeit with a slower fallout. The questions then arise: should our legal system view such acts as murder? Does existing legislation cover this scenario? I fervently hope so.
Political Affiliation: A Personal Journey
Like many Americans, my political stance has shifted over time. Before the Trump era, I identified as a Republican. However, following his presidency, I re-evaluated my position and now classify myself as an independent voter. I am one of those who votes based on the candidate I feel will do the best job, rather than merely choosing the lesser of two evils. This shift in perspective has significantly influenced my views on accountability and responsibility, particularly in the context of the pandemic.
A House Divided: Democrats and Republicans
Moving to the present-day pandemic situation, our nation is sharply divided along political lines. Notably, many Republicans express skepticism towards vaccination, viewing it as an evil conspiracy. They fiercely assert their freedom to refuse vaccination.
To better understand this standpoint, let’s momentarily step into their shoes. They might argue, “It’s my body, my choice,” echoing sentiments often associated with other personal rights issues. They may even utter, “Live Free or Die,” which, given the circumstances, could be interpreted literally. They strongly believe in the principle that the government serves the people, not the other way around.
I can appreciate the importance of personal freedoms, but I believe these liberties should not infrac the freedoms of others.
A Tipping Point: Freedom vs Accountability
Now, consider a scenario involving a mask or vaccine skeptic. They disregard the CDC guidelines, navigate their daily life unknowingly carrying COVID-19, and consequently spread the virus to others. Among these are older individuals who, due to their age and potential comorbidities, are more susceptible to severe illness and possible death.
Who holds responsibility in this situation? Who is accountable? These questions take us to the heart of the matter – the juncture where personal freedom can result in harm to others. So, where is the balance between these competing interests? Where is the accountability? And crucially, when will our laws adapt to reflect the changing realities of our society?
The issue of “Accountability in Pandemics” is of immense importance, given our current global health crisis. I sincerely hope this article compels you to ponder these topics, stimulating informed dialogue and, potentially, inspiring changes that could safeguard our collective future.