Covid, Courts, Communists and Common Sense


  • David M. Beatty



Covid-19 is a serial killer. In less than two years it has taken the lives of over five million people. It preys on the vulnerable and the elderly. Seniors in long term care facilities are a favorite target.

Governments have reacted differently to the threat. Some, including China and Australia, have adopted an aggressive, no- nonsense approach, locking down major cities for months at a time. Others, including Sweden and Brazil were, at least initially, more restrained and laissez faire, allowing their citizens to move about freely and letting the virus run its natural course. Countries also differed in the extent to which the general public was engaged in deciding which approach to adopt. In some the public were very active; in others not at all. In China, public debate and criticism were prohibited. Decisions were made by senior members of the Communist Party from behind closed doors and policies were presented as a fait accompli. In Europe and the United States, members of the general public were much more vocal and outspoken. Citizens who disagreed with their governments organized large protests and demonstrations and, when they were not listened to, took their political masters to court.