Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts

COVID-19 Pandemic's impact on Global Politics

 



A slew of international and domestic political issues has arisen because of the worldwide epidemic. The COVID-health crisis is an external shock to the global system, affecting international politics and causing new tensions between foes and friends. It will likely have far-reaching repercussions and long-term consequences for geopolitics.


Political leaders from major countries such as the United States and China may try to use the crisis to gain an advantage in the global political order's continuous battle for hegemony. 

States have been left scrambling to gather enough supplies and resources to properly combat the virus in many cases, prioritizing national interest and the well-being of their own populations.

The US, for example, asked to stop supplying protective masks to Canada and Latin American nations so that they could keep them for domestic usage. In the rush to produce a vaccine for the virus, a type of "vaccine nationalism" emerged, which erected hurdles to collaboration and favored local delivery once mass manufacturing began. The pandemic has the potential to intensify existing inter-state political tensions. COVID, for example, has the potential to exacerbate tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.


We might witness greater entrenchment of the armed status quo, as well as local initiatives to emphasize the weakness of Indian administration in Kashmir, while political leaders in both nations focus on battling the virus. 

Hardline Indian nationalist initiatives might potentially be utilized to shift public attention away from the COVID situation. The magnitude of the pandemic danger, on the other hand, is likely to focus attention in India and Pakistan on the urgent needs for public health services and the need to alleviate domestic economic distress. Politicians in countries with supranational governance institutions, such as the European Union, have had disagreements over new policies.

Despite disagreements during the negotiating process, EU member states finally reached an agreement on an economic recovery plan in July, despite reservations from so-called "frugal" nations about the plan's cost. 

However, debates over seasonal migrant labor have fueled tensions inside the EU, with certain businesses, particularly farmers, seeking access to foreign workers and populist leaders advocating for tougher immigration controls. The epidemic has also exacerbated pre-existing international issues around people migration.


Asylum seekers and refugees have been hit especially hard, especially as the epidemic threatens to exacerbate current humanitarian situations.

Temporary economic migrants have also been affected by the epidemic, particularly because of the economic crisis, which has led many businesses to lay off workers. Even though governments have implemented economic measures to help enterprises, temporary migrants are frequently left out of these programs.

Some governments are also contemplating changing migration restrictions and drastically altering how they handle asylum applications, such as limiting face-to-face interviews, erecting additional physical obstacles, or even encouraging asylum seekers to bring their own black or blue ink pens. 

Internal migration has also been impacted by the epidemic, with several countries imposing travel restrictions. In a variety of ways, the public health issue is impacting internal political conflicts.


Some politicians, for example, used the outbreak for partisan political benefit during post-Brexit discussions between the UK and the EU. 

In certain circumstances, politicians have questioned experts' authority, eroding voters' faith in evidence-based understanding.

To further their beliefs, they have often mischaracterized or usurped scientific expertise on problems such as mask wearing. 


In several nations, political division has fueled and worsened debate about the epidemic, creating tensions between regional/state and national/federal political authorities. Calls for unity and concerted action, on the other hand, have occasionally served to bridge ideological and party divisions.

The pandemic offers distinct threats to state stability, potentially amplifying the dangers of political violence, internal armed conflict, and state failure. 

Rebel organizations and other militant players have taken advantage of chances to expand their power, further political goals, and demonstrate their ability to administer and enforce norms. 

Armed groups operating along Colombia's southwest coast, for example, have publicly said that curfew offenders will be viewed as "military objectives."


In some situations, COVID- has given armed opposition groups the opportunity to ramp up assaults and target government opponents, while in others, the opportunity has been used to enhance claims of legitimacy and demonstrate their ability to deliver public services and rule.

To combat the pandemic, the Islamic State, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda affiliates, for example, have all offered instruction and local support. The pandemic has also had an impact on political engagement. Protest politics, for example, has been a hot topic of discussion.

On the one hand, residents in certain nations have turned to the streets to protest government measures aimed at containing the virus, such as lockdown and stay-at-home orders.


Protests like as those organized by Black Lives Matter activists throughout the world, on the other hand, were a source of debate as people and political leaders debated whether such events led to fresh COVID outbreaks.

Election politics are also affected by the consequences on political engagement. Local and national political leaders in several nations, for example, have opted to postpone elections or rethink voting rules and practices.

Governments have taken efforts to ensure social separation, health, and safety during the voting process, such as expanding the use of postal voting or establishing measures to ensure social distance, health, and safety during the voting process.

Traditional customs and behaviors such as shaking hands have been restricted, which has had an influence on campaign activities.

Furthermore, political gatherings pose a significant health danger for the virus's transmission. This aspect becomes particularly salient after former US President Donald Trump started large-scale political campaign activities immediately after his COVID treatment hospitalization.

Other politicians used virtual rallies and events to commemorate significant campaign milestones, such as the Democratic Party's announcement of a presidential candidate in August. COVID- has also influenced the substance of political campaigns and party politics. Issues like as public health and socioeconomic and racial inequality, for example, have grown increasingly prominent, and historically split parties have converged on more similar viewpoints on fiscal prudence and public expenditures.


When it comes to politicians, law enforcement, and the media, among others, TRUST is a critical component of political life.

High-profile instances of politicians disobeying their own stay-at-home directives, or openly contradicting or undermining health professionals can cause widespread misunderstanding and erode public faith.

The politicization of topics such as obligatory mask wearing demonstrates how a lack of consensus and diverse approaches may thwart public health initiatives and foster suspicion not just of politicians but also of law enforcement authorities entrusted with enforcing compliance.


In some situations, lawbreakers have retaliated violently against cops executing the new legislation. 

Members of an extreme militia were detained in relation to suspected intentions to abduct Michigan's governor and put her on trial for draconian pandemic policies in a particularly spectacular instance.

Furthermore, by adopting framing strategies or prioritizing certain material as they disseminate information to the public, the media can have a compounding influence on public trust (or lack thereof). 

Political trust can be exacerbated using social media by politicians to promote disinformation regarding COVID and associated legislation.




You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.







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Lack of Civility and the Spread of COVID-19 Pandemic



COVID-19 is examined through the prism of civility. 


For two causes, an emphasis on civility is important. For starters, the idea of civility is often discussed in public forums. 

In a variety of situations in public life, society wants individuals to behave in a certain way. Some people are fast to accuse those who are found to have broken these rules of conduct of being uncivil. 

As American football player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to demonstrate economic and social inequality, US President Donald Trump deemed the gesture uncivil and insensitive. 

'You have to stand respectfully for the national anthem otherwise you shouldn't be performing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the world,' Trump suggested. ‘[t]hat is a complete disrespect to our heritage,' he said. 

That is a complete betrayal of everything we stand for.' Trump was enraged by Kaepernick's words, and he voiced his approval when former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife left the stadium in Indianapolis as part of a counter-protest before an ers-Colts NFL game. 

Accusations of incivility have been levelled at Kaepernick on a regular basis. However, his situation raises a crucial question: can we all be polite to one another? ‘When civility leads to suicide, revolting is the only moral reaction,' Kaepernick recently argued. 

Often it's necessary to be uncivil in order to bring attention to and combat inequality, particularly when other methods aren't (or are no longer) efficient. Another high-profile US event occurred recently when the owner of a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia begged former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to quit. Several LGBTIQ+ waitstaff members objected to her support for President Trump's anti-transgender policy. In an era of outrage and polarized politics, the event posed critical concerns about moral and pragmatic decision-making. 

Those in favor of the move saw it as justified in light of the administration's breach of moral values of fair respect for all citizens—a central level of civility. 

Right-wing commentators, on the other hand, saw the restaurateur's behavior as uncivil, though telling Huckabee Sanders to leave the premises went against generally accepted politeness norms. This breakdown of civil trade has the potential to have far-reaching consequences. 

Both sides identified the other's violations of civility standards, but both centered on a different aspect of civility. This leads to the second explanation for emphasizing civility: the concept's disputed existence in academic literature, especially in political theory and philosophy. 

Second, there is controversy about what civility entails (and therefore incivility). Second, even though people agree on the definition of (in)civility, they can disagree on whether individual incidents of speech or behavior should be classified as civil or uncivil depending on that definition. 


So, what does civility entail? 


Existing scholarly work offers a variety of conceptions of the term, all of which are at odds with one another. However, there are two key points of view. 

On the one hand, civility is often correlated with courtesy and politeness standards: to be respectful in this context means speaking and acting in accordance with these standards. 

In the other hand, it is related to the concept of high-mindedness: to be civil in this second sense implies to demonstrate a devotion to the public benefit, rather than only one's own personal or sectarian interests, and to regard others as free and equal. 

When we defend political laws, we have a "duty of civility" to only refer to public motives (i.e. reasons that our fellow citizens can recognize and find persuasive). 

This second understanding of civility is famously captured by John Rawls' argument that we have a "duty of civility" to only appeal to public reasons (i.e. reasons that our fellow citizens can understand and find persuasive). 

Although, as we'll see, civility as public-mindedness can also be interpreted in a non-justificatory context, implying that we don't treat people in discriminatory or hateful ways. 


We consider politeness and public-mindedness aspects of civility, which will help concentrate on how COVID-19 tests our desire to be respectful while still providing chances for people to discover new ways to be civil to one another in these trying times.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 Pandemic presents Risks and Threats to Civility and Public-Mindedness



At both the local/national and international levels, various actors and organizations have reacted to the pandemic in ways that have sometimes fallen short of the demands of normative and justifiable civility. 


  1. First, members of oppressed communities have been subjected to different types of bigotry and hate, violating their identity as free and decent people in morally reprehensible ways. 
  2. Second, a variety of political figures have used COVID-19 to further sectarian political interests or to overprioritize some political ideals in comparison to others, in ways that defy justifiable civility criteria. 
  3. Third, certain policymakers have enacted policies that place unfair ‘commitment burdens' on some classes of people, especially those who are already marginalized and disadvantaged structurally. This, we concluded, risks weakening the legitimacy of these measures in the eyes of the public. 
  4. Finally, challenges to justificatory civility have arisen as a result of a lack of scientific knowledge of COVID-19 and its social and cultural aspects, as well as the politicization of research by certain actors for personal or partisan benefit. 

If we wish to avoid an eruption of moral and justifiable incivility, we must act quickly to address these issues. 


We proposed a variety of options for governments and people to pursue this goal. Where it comes to moral civility, policymakers should take action toward more equitable measures that reduce inequality and strengthen the lives of those who are disadvantaged. 

This may include multi-pronged techniques such as clear messaging, localization, collaboration, and policy co-design. Identifying the roots of racism and hate speech, tracking and gathering evidence, working with civil society actors, using media and emerging tools for program implementation, and strengthening legal processes such as hate speech legislation are also ways that lawmakers can better combat the rise of racism and hate speech. 

Responding to COVID-19's obstacles to justificatory civility necessitates a variety of interventions. First, sectarianism can be averted through structural bulwarks against incivility such as judicial processes that can help to deter religious convictions from encroaching on political laws. 


Governments should foster justificatory civility at the same time by promoting the virtues of solidarity, other-regardingness, and reciprocity through educational institutions and the use of consultative and deliberative bodies. 


Furthermore, the implementation of ethics structures may assist governments and people in better articulating the requirements for determining when and how those political values should be prioritized over others in public policy justification. 

Furthermore, policymakers should gain a better understanding of the social and political realities that characterize their society, especially structural inequalities that place additional burdens on marginalized groups; develop more tailored policies that prioritize marginalized groups; and engage in greater activism to reduce the strains of commitment that certain policies may impose on those groups. 

Finally, policymakers must ensure that strategies are not implemented based on faulty or unreliable scientific data. This will necessitate encouraging and financing further scientific studies on COVID-19 (both medical research and research on the virus's social and cultural dimensions), as well as ensuring that governments and the scientific community have open and reliable lines of communication. 

In order to stop using scientific facts in ways that are unsound and unjust, and therefore endanger justificatory civility, policymakers would need to improve their scientific literacy.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 Pandemic's Impact on the Elderly



Older citizens are a third demographic group that has been disproportionately affected by policy responses to COVID-19. 

We already stated in the article that older people are more likely to contract COVID-19 and die from it than children and younger adults. Large outbreaks have occurred in aged care homes, with elevated fatality rates. 

When we consider the consequences of some of the policy reactions to the pandemic, though, we see that older populations are more vulnerable. 

For example, figures suggest that unemployment rates for jobs aged and older have been higher than in recent recessions. 

Furthermore, many elderly adults have had their retirement plans disrupted, and they will not have the same chances to continue travel until the pandemic has passed. 

One recent retiree in the United States expressed his dissatisfaction with the pandemic's timing: These were the years that we had set aside between, you know, and maybe the early s, that we were trying to do all of the stuff that we had put off since we were raising a family because we were nearing the end of our most fruitful years of our careers. 

Since our jobs were hard and our careers were demanding, we didn't enjoy long breaks or do a lot of stuff. We mentioned that we will retire at a younger age than any others... We had a couple of nice years where we [travelled] across Europe, Australia, and most of the United States, and now it's all gone. Around the same time, we're getting older, and these are the years we'll never get back. When you're, it's not that you can fly [in the same way]. 


The social alienation caused by interventions like stay-at-home directives and social distancing laws, on the other hand, is a far bigger issue. 


These interventions have also discouraged older people from participating in social encounters that are important to their well-being, such as those with their relatives and family, as well as those that take place in shops, within neighborhood groups, in places of worship, and during other daily activities. 

For example, we spoke with an Italian woman who explained the precautions she took during the first phase of the pandemic: ‘[t]o try to protect the health of my elderly mother, who lives one floor above me, I only met with her for a few minutes [every day] while wearing a mask for two months.' Isolation like this can lead to or intensify loneliness, despair, and, in the case of older adults with dementia, more cognitive loss. 

Owing to major restrictions on the number, timing, and modalities of visits by friends and family, older adults in long-term care (LTC) facilities have been especially affected. 

Visitors are often expected to undergo testing prior to visiting LTC facilities, and the visits are often brief and performed outside. All involved must keep a safe distance and wear masks and other safety gear. This has an unavoidable effect on the meeting's efficiency. 

In the Canadian context, health researchers and practitioners note that [t]he impracticalities of such visits are obvious: spouses of residents are often older adults who face mobility challenges getting tested, residents have hearing and vision loss, making communicating during a physically distanced visit outside challenging, and masking visitor faces is not helpful or advisable. 


Due to COVID-19 outbreaks, some inhabitants have been socially segregated for months, spending every day and every meal alone in their apartments, kept captive by ill-conceived policies... 


These initiatives are out of step with residents' interests and cause emotional distress. This means that some of the main measures put in place by policymakers in reaction to COVID-19 have placed undue pressures on the elderly. 

This risks undermining their public legitimacy and necessitates lawmakers' awareness of the policies' disparate social effects, particularly given the precarious role several older people already occupy. There are, however, ways to mitigate the effect of such measures on the elderly. 

For example, in long-term care facilities, this could include [refocusing] care on the occupant and reintroducing person-centered care into countermeasures... 

This includes embracing and campaigning for creativity, user-friendly emerging tools that foster interactions with loved ones, and using [nurses'] intimate partnerships with residents to lobby for more person-centered policies. 


Online services have also been used in ways that aren't exclusive to LTC services. 


For example, in addition to Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, older people in the United Kingdom have access to the Next-door App, which allows neighbors to communicate and connect socially.

 Older citizens have also used internet outlets to attend worship events, play online board games, and attend virtual music concerts. 

Some also suggested alternative means of care, such as letters, notes, and parcels, telephone calls, and cognitive behavior training, since many elderly adults do not have high levels of IT literacy. 


Justifiable civility should not need governments to always reject COVID-19 policy responses simply because they might have a disproportionate impact on older citizens. 


After all, these policies are needed to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. 

Policymakers must, in the very least, recognize the disparities in outcomes and, where possible, make a sincere attempt to either change their strategies or introduce and encourage interventions to reduce the disparities. 

This may be achieved directly, such as supplying older people with the financial and technical means to access internet services from the comfort of their own homes, or indirectly, such as coordinating public awareness programs urging residents to follow any of the above supportive behaviors in their everyday encounters with older people.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 Justificatory Civility, Science, and Health



The relationship between science and justificatory civility.


Scientific methodology and observations can play a vital role in public justification, as we found out in article and as Rawls himself emphasizes. This is only on the condition that the procedures and results are not contentious. 

Politicians, for example, who use conspiracy theories to defend such rules or practices are clearly violating the obligation of civility. 

From a justification standpoint, though, those who focus on flawed or imperfect scientific data, or who purposely pick some bits of (sound) scientific evidence while disregarding others for political convenience, are often being uncivil. COVID-19 is especially interested in the relationship between scientific experience and societal justification. 


The ongoing pandemic has elicited perhaps more controversy about the role of science in public policy than any other policy question in modern memory, emphasizing the need for a convergence of science and policy. 


Social distancing laws, mask-wearing policies, and lockout or stay-at-home directives all depend extensively on science knowledge and data to prevent the virus from spreading. Without such facts, it is unclear how governments might legally enforce such burdensome rules on their people, particularly given the considerable toll these policies take on rights and liberties. 

The politicization of experimental evidence is one of the most significant issues facing the science/policy intersection during COVID-19. 

According to Fauci, scientists who counsel politicians should follow a common motto: "[y]ou remain totally apolitical and nonideological, and you stick to what it is that you do." I'm a surgeon and a biologist. That's what there is to it.' 


Scientists must focus on evidence and data, even though they conflict with decisionmakers' political agendas. 


This is particularly critical as evidence-based strategies will save lives. However, this is not a simple credo to live by. ‘[W]hen you walk into the White House, you should be prepared it that is the only time you will ever go there,' Fauci remembers being told. 

And if you head into it thinking, "I'm going to tell someone what they want to know," you've already shot yourself in the foot." It's no wonder that strains between Fauci and Trump arose during the pandemic, with the former US President often proposing potential COVID-19 therapies only to see them immediately rejected or debunked by Fauci. 


We need to focus on three specific issues posed by COVID-19 to the connection between science and policy: 

  1. the first is the scientific community's ongoing limited understanding of the virus and its long-term health effects; 
  2. the second is the lack of scientific research on how COVID-19, and the policies that implement it, work; 
  3. and the third is the lack of scientific research on how COVID-19, and the policies that implement it, work.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 Spread and Long-term Impact




COVID-19's theoretical interpretation. 


When politicians use factual findings to validate laws, justificatory civility requires that the evidence and the procedures used to gather it are uncontroversial. It's uncertain if these conditions were followed in the COVID-19 science report. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, scientists have devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to studying COVID-19. However, experts continue to disagree on core aspects of the virus, such as the feasibility of wearing a mask in stopping its transmission, the extent to which individuals who have been exposed to it become resilient to it, and how cases can be estimated and registered. 


The investigation of COVID-19 in real-world settings has resulted in more open questions. 


The majority of COVID-19 clinical research has concentrated on researching the virus in laboratory settings, rather than in the real-world contexts where it lives and spreads. 

This is a challenge since a complete knowledge of how the virus spreads necessitates an understanding of how it deals with ordinary things like furniture, elevators, and doorknobs. 

For example, a recent study found that several governments' implementation of the -meter social distancing law to minimize COVID-19 transmission could be based on insufficient evidence. ‘[s]afe transmission reduction strategies are dependent on various variables applicable to both the person and the environment, including virus load, length of exposure, number of people, indoor versus outdoor environments, amount of ventilation, and if face coverings are worn,' according to the report. This has far-reaching policy ramifications. 

According to the findings, healthy social distancing limits vary greatly depending on the setting, with outdoor areas possibly having a lower chance of transmission at a given distance. To recognize the role of the environmental background in assessing transmission risk, staggered social distancing laws, in addition to other public health strategies, may be needed. 


More research on COVID-19 in relation to air, water, and unique types of surfaces is also required, according to scientists. 


Although an increasing number of studies have started to fill in these holes, such as examining how COVID-19 spreads in restaurants, airlines, and humid vs. dry conditions, further research is needed.

The analysis of COVID-19 propagation on aero planes makes for a fascinating case study. The US Department of Defense collaborated with United Airlines and university experts to investigate the dangers of COVID-19 transmission on aero planes while stationary and in flight. 

The study found that a person would have to sit next to an infectious passenger for over hours to become infected by aerosol transfer, which is good news for those who want to see more regular air travel. In these regulated settings, continuous use of a surgical mask, along with seat structure and efficient air filtration devices, eliminates much of the chance of transmission. 

However, the study's shortcomings and many of its conclusions remain. ‘You cut the aspect of human nature out,' one researcher at Johns Hopkins University said of the report. Passengers are not expected to remove their mask, take a meal, use the restroom, or communicate with other passengers or flight crew, according to the report. 

Anecdotal proof of reported cases of onboard transmission seems to include actions such as using the restroom. Other researchers are optimistic about the possibility of longitudinal trials, but they are skeptical of some of the evidence included in a larger effort to present air travel as comparatively risk-free. 


Finally, there seems to be a great deal of confusion about COVID-19's long-term health consequences and their precise origins, such as in connection to the heart or the brain. 


Excessive exhaustion, muscle exhaustion, failure to focus, memory lapses, and trouble sleeping are among the long-term problems posed by former COVID-19 patients, according to a new report published in The Lancet. 

The authors stress the importance of more research in this field, citing their inability to provide patients with straightforward answers to a number of questions about the virus's long-term effects, such as 

  • "does acute COVID-19 induce diabetes?" 
  • Or are there any other metabolic issues? 
  • Is it possible that patients will develop interstitial lung disease? 

We are only in the early stages of the pandemic, and we are unsure what to tell our patients as they inquire about the course and prognosis of their persistent symptoms.' 


Many experimental studies of COVID-19 are surrounded by doubt and confusion, but this does not mean that the data presented by these studies can be ignored or that their results are always unsuitable for public justification. 


And if scientific research is debatable, it can also be used to justify public policy. 

Expecting all scientists to agree with any scientific discovery and procedure used in scientific inquiry would be unrealistic, considering that scientists often disagree with one another and that disagreement is a healthy part of scientific study. In this way, adhering to more general science principles that are widely accepted within the scientific community, such as Thomas Kuhn's five desiderata of hypothesis choosing, could be adequate in principle to yield scientific conclusions that can be used in public justification. Public reasoning, on the other hand, should not be seen in black-and-white terminology. 

There are different levels of public rationale, and the more contentious and ambiguous research studies are, the more complex it would be for politicians to justify public health policies based on them, especially when such policies restrict human rights and liberties. 

In contrast, policymakers can find it easier to justify public health interventions if they focus on less controversial research studies. For example, if clinical evidence reliably shows that COVID-19 will have serious long-term effects for certain individuals who contract it, including those from groups with lower mortality rates (e.g., young adults and children), this may escalate the stakes and have major repercussions for COVID-19 policy responses. 


The possibility of a generation of serious long-term health conditions, as well as the burden on public health systems that would result, would increase public justification for demanding COVID-19 policy solutions, even those that severely restrict people's rights and liberty. 


However, in some circumstances, the experimental analysis of COVID-19 can be not only debatable or doubtful, but also potentially inaccurate. 

Some researchers, for example, concluded that ‘several diagnostic and prognostic models for COVID-19...are all at high risk of bias, mostly due to non-representative control patient selection, omission of patients who had not witnessed the case of concern by the end of the trial, and model overfitting.' Other experiments were discovered to be dependent on erroneous evidence. 

In such circumstances, we are seeing what might be characterized as "gross epistemic mistake," rather than healthy empirical disagreement. The scientific conclusions arising from such shoddy studies cannot be used to explain public policy; doing so would be uncivil in the justification sense.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 in Social and Cultural Contexts





The significance of comprehending COVID-19 in various social and cultural contexts. 


Of course, a scientific explanation of the epidemic is essential for the population to justify government reactions to the pandemic. In addition, we discussed some of the existing flaws in the scientific analysis of COVID-19 in the previous section. However, in addition to the kind of facts and data that the natural sciences can offer, politicians must also provide evidence about the pandemic's social and cultural aspects. 

These factors include both the social and cultural climate in which the virus persists and grows, as well as the possible social and cultural consequences of virus-containment strategies—it would be impractical to extend the same policies to all populations, nations, and contexts. 

Without a wider perception, such policies can be inefficient as well as incompatible with the demands of justifiable civility. 


The critical need for more experimental studies on COVID-19 in daily environments in the previous section, in order to better understand how the virus spreads in different spaces and via different surfaces and materials. 


Studies done in the field, away from real-world environments, are not always able to have this kind of evidence. But, in addition to gaining a greater understanding of the physical aspects of daily settings, it is also important to investigate their social and cultural dimensions, such as how individuals communicate in various situations and spaces. 

Knowing what materials chairs and tables are made of, or how cooling functions in these settings, is not enough to consider how COVID-19 spreads in restaurants and cafes, for example. 

It's also important to know what sorts of experiences people have, such as whether they eat with others or alone, whether they swap plates or not, whether they sit or stand to drink coffee, and how much and for how long they visit these places. 

These questions, on the other hand, cannot be answered in a vacuum. Instead, it is important to gain awareness and understanding of various food and coffee cultures. Knowing that people in one country choose to eat in big crowds at restaurants for long stretches of time, while people in another prefer to eat fast meals on their own, for example, may have consequences for how COVID-19 strategies are planned, since such differing social and cultural patterns are likely to affect the virus's distribution in different ways. 


Beyond the natural science study of the virus, acquiring this knowledge necessitates interdisciplinary studies. 


It also requires politicians to rely on the experience of social scientists (e.g., sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists) who research the virus in relation to people's behaviors and values. 

It's critical to draw on this knowledge to better understand not just how the virus spreads in various situations, but also how to adapt. Knowing a country's religious makeup, for example, is critical because religious practitioners in certain countries have occasionally protested or refused to completely comply with lockout laws targeting places of worship. 

Knowing whether a country's political culture values individual liberty or unity will be important in determining how its politicians will better defend policy responses to COVID-19, as well as the degree to which they can restrict individual rights and liberties in ways that the majority of people will deem socially justifiable. 

For example, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently stated that one of the reasons why the UK's efforts to suppress the virus have been unsuccessful is the people' love for individual liberty. Johnson said in a parliamentary address, "Really, there is a significant gap between our country and many other countries around the world... That is, our country is a libertarian country. 

If you look at the country's past over the last few years, you'll see that almost every advancement – from free expression to independence – has come from here. And it is extremely difficult to expect the entire British population to follow guidelines in the manner that is required. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the other hand, has always highlighted the importance of German society's unity, an idea she emphasized in a speech to the country at the outbreak of the pandemic in March: There hasn't been a problem for our country since German reunification, no, since the Second World War, in which engagement in a spirit of unity on our part was so important. 

Anything I've said so far is based on ongoing discussions between the federal government and experts from the Robert Koch Institute and other scientists and virologists. This isn't just about numbers in a spreadsheet; it's about a father or grandfather, a mother or grandmother, a girlfriend – it's about individuals. And we are a society where every life and person matters. 

Recognizing these types of cultural distinctions will help politicians have more public justifications for their policies, i.e. justifications that are more in line with certain principles. After all, one of political liberalism's central assumptions is that policy reasons must be based on ideas that are implicit in a society's public political culture. 

Those proposals, or how they are prioritized in relation to one another, may vary across cultures, including liberal democracies. If politicians are unable to offer a public argument that is consistent with common ideas and values in their society's public political culture, new policies that are more consistent with those ideas and values may be required. 


Other social and cultural influences affect how we interpret and combat COVID-19, in addition to moral and political worldviews. 


Shaming, for example, may be an effective psychological tool for limiting social order problems during the pandemic. Many Australians, for example, began hoarding and fighting over toilet paper at the outbreak of the public health crisis. 

That conduct, as well as non-compliance with anti-COVID-19 policies in general, was described by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as "un-Australian." The significance of additional cultural influences is further shown by mask-wearing standards. The likelihood of people wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is highly dependent on local cultural norms. 

In certain parts of Asia, for example, everybody wears a mask by custom because it is considered safer and more considerate. In mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan, it is widely assumed that everyone, even healthy citizens, may be a carrier of the virus. 

As a result, in the sense of unity, you must defend others against yourself... And before the coronavirus epidemic, mask-wearing was a cultural practice in many of these nations. 

They've also been trend statements – Hello Kitty face masks were once all the rage in Hong Kong's street markets. Similarly, communities that value friendly kissing and hugs might be more favorable to the virus's dissemination. Furthermore, a society's ability to react to a danger such as the present pandemic is influenced by past natural disaster experiences. 

According to one report, environmental and human-made challenges intensify the need for strict standards and deviant behavior deterrence in the service of collective coordination for survival—whether it's to mitigate instability in high-population countries, cope with resource shortages, mobilize in the face of natural disasters, protect against territorial threats, or contain disease transmission. 


To effectively cope with such risks, nations meeting these specific problems are expected to cultivate strict standards and have a low threshold for deviant conduct [tight cultures]. 


Nations with little environmental and human-made risks, on the other hand, provide a much lower demand for order and social coordination, allowing for more latitude [loose cultures] and weaker social standards. 

Knowing whether a society's culture is "strong" or "loose" will help researchers better understand people's reactions to COVID-19, the degree to which social expectations can control behavior, and how well policy solutions to the pandemic are implemented. To summarize, justifying civility requires experience and comprehension of the social world in which COVID-19 operates and spreads. 

To restate our main argument in this section, such information is critical for two reasons. For starters, it will assist politicians in better understanding the epidemic and improving the effectiveness of the measures put in place to combat it. This will improve the public case for such policies' epistemic dimension. 

Second, a greater understanding of a country's political culture will aid politicians in better aligning the normative component of their public justifications for policies with the theories, beliefs, and standards that are widely held in that society.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



COVID-19 Medical and Science Policy Disconnect and Subversion



The challenges to societal argument faced by limitations or shortcomings in our scientific interpretation of COVID-19. 


This may be due to flaws in the virus's natural or social science analysis, or a combination of both. In, we look at a particular collection of issues that are often impediments to justifiable civility. The first is concerned with a lack of direct contact between politicians and the research community (even though solid scientific data is available); the second is concerned with issues relating to science politicization, subversion, and corruption. 

The first issue has been labelled a flaw of the so-called "science-policy interface." 

The science-policy interface is a shorthand summary of the mechanism by which the best scientific expertise and guidance is given by the most competent agencies and specialists, acted on by key decision-makers in government, and made available to the general public. 

Many of the failures were caused by government weakness, but there were also failures by research organizations and advisors who understood the threat but were unable to rally support for prompt and successful intervention. 


Other considerations, we believe, can obstruct the smooth transfer of scientific results from the latter to the former, in addition to policymakers' incompetence and scientific community failures. 


The manner in which scientists express their results to politicians, in particular, may have a significant impact on how they are viewed. Take, for example, the case of Fauci, which was previously addressed. Fauci's realistic style, which is marked by an apolitical, non-ideological, and goal-oriented attitude, is likely to have led to his willingness to affect US Presidents and other important political leaders for many decades.

 Furthermore, the politeness with which scientific findings are shared may also affect the uptake of scientific findings by politicians (and people in general). 

That is, respectful interactions will aid absorption, demonstrating the importance of politeness as a "social lubricant" as discussed in the previous post. When sharing scientific information during a pandemic, when pressures between people and politicians are always high, exhibiting caution and adhering to politeness standards will help promote the uptake of the evidence by those in charge of policy-making, resulting in measures that are more in line with public rationale. 

This further shows an intriguing synergy between civility in the sense of politeness and justifiable civility. 


The unwillingness of scientific data to lead to the collective rationale of policies during COVID-19 may be due to policymakers' politicization, subversion, and misuse of research, in addition to the breakdown of the science-policy interface. 


These phenomena can manifest in a variety of ways. Politicians may make false scientific claims, such as when Trump claimed that "[t]aking hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 is safe and reliable," a claim he maintained even though the scientific community questioned him. Trump's argument was based on a statistically inaccurate French analysis. 

This example also highlights another issue: policymakers can mistakenly believe that their views on what is clinically feasible and useful in addressing the health crisis are on line with evidence-based policies. Following Trump's assertion, Fauci replied, "[t]he response is no" when asked whether the drug hydroxychloroquine is successful in preventing coronavirus. President Trump then returned to the podium to respond, saying, "It might work, it might not work." It makes me happy. That's all there is to it; it's just a thought, right, smart guy?' '[y]ou know the word, "[w]hat the hell do you have to lose?"' he said. 'I've been right a lot, let's see what happens,' he reasoned. 


This argument demonstrates that Trump used a faulty approach in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, namely, appealing to his emotions rather than conclusions focused on sound science methods. 


Drawing on emotions about faulty research will intensify justificatory incivility because public justification and justificatory civility require claims to knowledge based on sound science in favour of legislation. In other contexts, policymakers can use scientific evidence selectively, citing research that is sound but incomplete. 

When Trump quoted low rates of contagion and mortality among children in July to defend his support for reopening schools, he ignored crucial facts about community spread, especially among the elderly, who are much more susceptible to the virus. 

We've often seen lawmakers misrepresent or misapply sound science findings throughout some cases. 

When Trump learned that COVID-19 kills quicker in the presence of sunlight and humidity, and that bleach or isopropyl alcohol would destroy it in minutes, he speculated that the virus might be cured by exposing patients to UV light or injecting disinfectant into their bodies. 

Scientists, on the other hand, immediately rejected his ideas. Although Trump's assertions were based on solid science facts in theory, he made a severe epistemic mistake by assuming that the efficacy of sunlight and disinfectants at destroying COVID-19 outside the human body mean that these "treatments" would be successful inside the human body as well, and by ignoring the serious damage that these "treatments" could cause the body in the process. 


Aside from the faulty or selective application of factual data, another impediment to science's commitment to justificatory civility is its politicization. 


When science's results are strategically troublesome, policymakers often make blatant attempts to discredit it. Under pressure from different business sectors, Trump declined to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDCP) -page draught guideline for reopening the US, stating that he prefers pre-COVID-19 opening regulations to the CDCP's more conservative guidelines. Beyond the decisions of individual politicians, the politicization of science will have a broader impact on society. Individuals' perceptions and responses to experimental findings about COVID-19 may be influenced and distorted by partisan divisions. 

For example, in the United States, people's attitudes about factual findings about COVID-19 have been highly divided along political lines, with strong gaps in opinions about simple information about the pandemic. Most individuals, according to some commentators, are trapped in "alternative worlds." 

There is also proof that Republican supporters in the United States are more critical of scientific evidence relating to COVID-19 than Democrat supporters. Science's politicization may have far-reaching consequences. 

For example, collective bodies that otherwise refrain from endorsing particular politicians may see the scientific affront as a reason to take political positions. For example, in, the popular science journal Scientific American openly supported a presidential nominee for the first time in its -year history, claiming that ‘Donald Trump has seriously harmed the United States and its people—because he denies facts and science.' 

This kind of reaction could widen the chasm between certain policymakers and the science community, weakening the latter's acceptance of scientific facts. Finally, the presence and dissemination of conspiracy theories, such as the belief that "the COVID-19 pandemic is part of a scheme devised by global insiders — such as Bill Gates — to carry out vaccinations with monitoring chips that will later be triggered by G, the technologies used by cellular networks," will threaten science's commitment to justifiable civility. 


What should be said to fix these issues? 


We will need to use ethical mechanisms in addition to teaching people about scientific evidence knowledge and appraisal. We've already seen how these mechanisms can aid politicians in navigating challenging ethical dilemmas, particularly when balancing competing political ideals, rights, and liberties. They can, however, provide guidance on how to perform and communicate clinical experiments during a pandemic.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



Minorities, Race, Ethnicity and COVID-19



The pandemic has brought to light some of the profound racial social differences that exist in many communities. Because of gaps in access to health care, housing styles, degrees of economic precarity, and job types, COVID-19 has had a greater impact on some communities than others. 

The consequences and ramifications of systemic racial disparity for policy responses to the pandemic are the subject of this section. COVID-19 initiatives have had different economic consequences on different groups of the population. Although many people have faced greater financial instability, racial and ethnic minority groups will continue to be disproportionately affected by current unemployment rates and the resulting "global fallout." 


Financial safety-net services in countries like the United States would be particularly important in reducing racial disparities. 


Measures introduced in the interests of public health have resulted in a significant economic crisis, which has disproportionately impacted black people, who have higher unemployment rates than the general population. Many industries with a high percentage of black employees have been designated as "key," leaving those that are already employed more susceptible to infection. Policies that do not take into account the pandemic's disproportionate impacts on minorities and vulnerable communities are imposing further unjustified pressures on such groups. 

In the United States, measures to mitigate these burdens may include recognizing and targeting sectors with higher proportions of workers from precarious workforces (for example, nonprofit and public-sector jobs, which have higher proportions of minority employees), and modifying policy to provide targeted assistance and reduce burdens. 


Indigenous peoples are increasingly vulnerable to COVID-19 laws, and they face a particularly dire situation across the world. 


In certain South American countries, for example, measures aimed at easing the pandemic's economic impact on the general population will not be sufficient to offer relief to those in low-skilled and precarious employment. Any indigenous peoples in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru have been ignored and are in desperate straits as a result of policies. Even as economic assistance is delivered to some of the most needy populations, inadequate delivery methods such as cash transfers at remote regional banks have resulted in long queues and increased viral dissemination threats in the Peruvian Amazon.

Governments should fix these flaws in their programs if they wish to avoid engagement pressures that might jeopardize their public legitimacy. COVID-19 and race have both had strong political ramifications. 

In the United States, public health policies posed additional barriers to voter registration in the November presidential election, which are expected to lead to racial disenfranchisement patterns in the future. Access to polling places for in-person elections, long wait times that may discourage turnout for a variety of causes, and biases in mail-in ballot rejection rates may both lead to the continuing and unequal marginalization of voters based on race and ethnicity. 


Voting is often made simpler by English language skills, experience with voting processes, flexible work hours, and efficient transportation, enabling certain voters to exercise their political rights more effectively. 


A Human Rights Watch study on Abd'ullah, a Philadelphia elector, during the June primaries demonstrates the emergence of new barriers to voting during the pandemic, especially in minority communities. 

When he arrived at his usual polling place, it was locked. There was no sign of an alternative platform, and he was forced to travel around searching for one due to technological problems with the elections website. He soon reached a school and sat about an hour in line to cast a provisional vote. ‘Someone else may have been discouraged,' he reflected. I was completely disillusioned and on the verge of giving up. However, since I had a car, I was able to be more mobile. It would not have been possible if I had taken public transit. I must have surrendered.' 

He claims that since certain members of ethnic communities are mostly socially vulnerable, they will not often be able to get through the limits enforced during the pandemic to exercise their human rights and liberties. 


If policymakers wish to enact publicly justifiable policies, they should be mindful of the unjust pressures that such interventions place on these people. COVID-19 has also made it more difficult for certain people to exercise their right to free expression. 


Citizens' freedom to completely exercise the right can be limited by public health policies such as stringent lockdowns, stay-at-home directives, and bans on public meetings. When it came to organizing marches in reaction to many cases of deadly police brutality, the interventions became particularly difficult for blacks in the United States. Some questioned whether there was a trade-off between protesting bigotry and public health threats. 

The challenge of keeping physical distance in big crowds or adhering to mandatory mask laws, yelling and chanting, and some of the more violent police reactions, such as pepper spray, which causes gasping and coughing, will all increase the risk of catching the infection. 

However, for all those dedicated to mobilizing for transparency in the face of racial inequality, abstaining from demonstrations around such a critical topic will be a considerable burden, particularly for representatives of disadvantaged communities that are most affected. 

Over, health workers signed an open letter claiming the anti-racism marches were potentially beneficial to public health. The letter argued that "[w]hite dominance is a deadly public health problem that predates and leads to COVID-19," and that "[p]rotests against institutional injustice, which fosters the unjust pressure of COVID-19 on Black populations while still perpetuating police brutality, must be sponsored." 


Many social differences linked to race have been exposed as a result of the pandemic. Protests against police brutality against African-Americans became a platform for linking individual racial acts to systemic injustice in other areas, such as healthcare.


 At the start of the pandemic, blacks had dramatically higher infection and death rates, particularly among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Many have come to see being black in the United States as its own kind of health danger as a result of these structural factors. ‘[t]hey were born in rural neighborhoods,' said one black activist in Washington, DC, of people he met who died as a result of COVID-19. 

I was unable to get adequate care. Since they lived in such close quarters, it was difficult to maintain social distance. And they were nevertheless compelled to go to work and put themselves in danger'.


Finally, evidence indicates that massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations could not have had an effect on overall virus transmission rates. 


Any laws governing anti-racial profiling and anti-police brutality marches should take into account the possible threats and implications of public health. However, lawmakers must consider the impact that restrictions on marches would have on the willingness of ethnic minorities to address social inequality.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.



Policy Compliance and Commitment Strains During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Justifiable civility was concerned not only with the justifications offered in support of democratic laws and regulations, but also with their possible consequences. Public explanation liberalism is not consequentialist; it bases the validity of political laws on their justifications and motives rather than their consequences. 

The probable or foreseeable consequences of a scheme, on the other hand, are also important to public justification. 


A policy that imposes undue "strains of loyalty" on individual people is not publicly justifiable; those that would be overburdened by the policy cannot be persuaded to support the policy and its rationale. 


While laws should be unbiased in terms of their rationale, not necessarily in terms of their implications, as Jonathan Quong points out, it's necessary to be explicit about what justificatory impartiality entails. Justificatory impartiality requires, but does not need, nondiscriminatory purpose. 

Many laws may follow the criterion of being non-discriminatory in nature, but they are plainly unjustifiable due to the disproportionate burdens they place on some people. 


Justificatory neutrality necessitates not only the avoidance of arbitrary intent, but also the consideration of the effect of a program on all persons involved. 


If we don't understand how a policy's costs and benefits can be allocated, we won't be able to think objectively. In addition to the state of non-discriminatory intent, impartial reasoning necessitates a condition similar to Rawls' "strains of loyalty." 

If I accept a program whose costs and benefits are allocated in such a manner that I wouldn't agree to put myself in the shoes of someone who would suffer the most as a result of the policy, I am not reasoning impartially. In this part, we look at the issue of "strains of commitment" in relation to COVID-19. 

We pay special attention to the fact that every society has social inequality, which can lead to some groups being disproportionately burdened by policies that tend to be public-spirited on the surface. 


This is an issue for many of the policies adopted by liberal democratic governments in reaction to COVID-19.


They seem to be public-spirited at first sight, in the sense that they want to save lives, advance the greater good of public health (which, as we've learned, helps preserve human rights and freedoms in the long run), and promote economic prosperity. 

However, it is undeniable that, no matter how well-intentioned in theory, such measures have had uneven impacts on various groups of people and placed undue pressures on others but not others in some ways. In this segment, we concentrate on the unjust pressures that such policies have put on people of different races, genders, and ages. 

Beyond the immediate consequences of COVID-19, one of the key implications of our study is that justifying civility necessitates lawmakers' awareness of the social and political circumstances that define their culture, as well as how the strategies they plan to enact can interfere with certain factors and yield those results. 

There is no such thing as a policy that has no consequences. When states pass legislation, such as on taxation, it is unavoidable that some people would be negatively affected rather than others. 

Similarly, it is undeniable that certain governments' implementation of lockout and stay-at-home directives during COVID-19 harmed some people and companies rather than others. This consequences are inextricably linked to the collective legitimacy of policies that place undue pressures on certain individuals and communities. 

As a result, such policies' probable or foreseeable effects and societal effect should be factored into their public rationale. This is also significant because such policies can intensify socioeconomic disparities, making them excessively burdensome for certain people.


You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.