The Five-Fold Role of Government During Pandemic (Covid-19)

Published on 14th April 2020

A. Serve Sustenance 

1. Provide food, water and comfort;

2. Make sure that no citizen perishes because of anger or destitution

3. Search for the homeless, the poor and all those without means during “normal” times and fend for them;

4. Ensure that no-one is starved or vulnerable to the diseases; 

5. Ensure every citizen has shelter during the pandemic.

B. Secure Safety & Security

1. Protect the citizens from all forms of harm, including harm from the coronavirus;

2. Invoke any relevant laws, policies or emergency powers in order to limit freedoms for the limited purpose of protecting the citizens;

3. Secure the weak, the vulnerable and victims from those who will take advantage of the pandemic to defraud others, harm others or gain benefits on account of other people’s miseries;

4. Ensure there is peace and order in the country, during and after the pandemic;

5. Enforce laws, procure order and stop those who may disobey the law.

C. Stop The Pandemic 

1. Define the problem – Covid-19 – what it is; 

2. Educate and inform the citizens regarding the problem – Covid-19 – how it is acquired, transmitted; how it is prevented; and what civic, moral, legal and commonsensical duties citizens have in responding to the pandemic;

3. Reduce the impact of the pandemic at hand, i.e. Covid-19 – identify essential services and workers, supply them with materials, equip hospitals with beds, equipment, PPEs, medicines, and all necessities;

4. Manage the sick, the dead and those recovering, as well as provide for or facilitate for the decent burial of the dead victims of the pandemic;

5. Finally end the pandemic by finding a permanent cure or antidote – through research, cooperation with other governments, and if possible, by any means necessary!

D. Surrender Taxation

1. Waive or give people a break from taxation completely (for poor countries);

2. Minimize or waive taxation for certain afflicted sectors (for the rich countries)

3. Stop all non-essential services and workers from working (staying at home declarations);

4. Hire more essential workers, including recalling retirees and upgrading students to join the workforce;

5. Pay people who are staying at home, and pay essential workers a “Risk Bonus” up and above their normal salaries.

E. Seamless Economic Transition 

1. Try to avoid a depression at all cost - mobilize entire nation to offer free and pro bono services, volunteer their skills and abilities, donate time and energy, as well as care for everything;

2. Manage the ensuing recession (stimulate the economy through stimulus packages and etc.);

3. Enact pandemic and post-pandemic legislation that puts the citizens back to work immediately after the pandemic;

4. Enact pandemic and post-pandemic legislation that encourage business creation;

5. Minimize the overall impact of the pandemic on the economy of the country through a smooth transition to the economy pre-pandemic or close thereto. DO NO PREMATURELY DECLARE THE PANDEMIC IS OVER WHEN IT IS NOT - that will kill more people and do more damages to economies! This calls for wise political judgment!

By Charles Mwewa

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