May 2, 2020
To arbitrarily attack the World Health Organization that it “flip flops” is unfair.
As WHO puts it- “What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate” (https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronavirus-lockdown/). Besides this, Sweden has issued rules for social distancing and encouraging working from home- they haven’t arbitrarily opened up their society.
While that strategy seems to work for Sweden, Australia & New Zealand’s strategy of lockdown has worked for them (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/world/australia/new-zealand-coronavirus.html).
So, WHO’s statement on Sweden’s strategy should not be taken out of context.
Practically speaking, none of us alive today have EVER faced a pandemic like this in our lifetime. Nations, leaders, scientists are all feeling the waters, testing strategies, changing guidelines…there’s nothing wrong with that. None of us will get it right. We will falter and that’s where our leaders & scientists have to learn, amend strategies and move on.
Philosophically speaking, I believe we are being tested so that we are ready for the real disease yet to come!
Even the most educated of us do not follow guidelines and rules laid out by our governments, so how can we be trusted (unlike the Swedes) to follow protocols a government would lay down similar to Sweden’s?
The concept of “Herd Immunity” (first time I ever heard of it!) is a practical one- and I truly believe that countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh are ahead of the game as far as this immunity is concerned due to the environment our people live in. However, like all strategies, in my mind, it would be incorrect to practice herd immunity willy-nilly. WHO is also learning through this pandemic and it’s a thankless task with 7 Billion eyes on them, so let’s not be too hasty in passing judgement. A combination of face mask, social distancing, contact tracing & “smart”, geographic lockdown is the correct way to go.
Who are we not to give WHO a chance!?