The globe is facing a virus crisis which is not unprecedented because of previous pandemics such as flu pandemic of 1889-1890 and Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920 where there were huge death tolls. COVID-19 pandemic has happened when the world is more integrated and connected economically than ever (Spinelli & Pellino, 2020). This has resulted in higher infections and the spread of social and economic impacts than ever. The increased spread of social and economic impacts has made the whole event unprecedented. The infections and impacts of COVID-19 indicate the existence of common good and emphasize reasons why we should be committed to it.
COVID-19 crisis reveals how humanity is dependent and interconnected. The individualistic consumeristic culture which people have adopted globally believes that every need is available at a cost. People believe that the needs of their neighbors are quite different and independent. However, individuals are highly dependent on each other. COVID-19 has shown interconnections among people, the virus spreads because people spend time together and are interconnected across nations and cities. The pandemic shows that people need help from one another to stop its spread and reduce its impacts. Response to the pandemic requires a huge network including delivery drivers, cleaners, medicos, paramedics, researchers, corporations among others. According to Rose-Redwood et al., (2020), the increased spread of COVID-19 shows the interconnectedness of society, it shows that people need help from one another.
The economic impacts of the pandemic reveal the interconnections among people and nations. As China, Italy, and the United States of America struggles, other economies also suffer. Currently, the pandemic has spread to all countries globally interrupting transport and trade between countries. This has affected important economic activities such as tourism sending the global economy to its lowest point. According to Poole et al. (2020), the global economic structure is depended on a few major economies which have been affected by coronavirus pandemic. Even though the economy is restructured, its prosperity is depended on interconnections with other countries or nations and mutual interests. At national and local level hotels, clubs, and shops have closed. Concerts have been canceled reducing the business and flow of money leading to reduced income to families and households. Therefore, the effect of COVID-19 has spread to the community level. The local economy is depended on the local population, to enhance the local economy, people must work earn and trade. There is interconnectedness in local development.
Lives of people in communities are interwoven by social connections. Their personality depends on friendships, families, and communities which in turn depends on several other wider networks of people whom we may not know. Just like economics, our good which we share can expand and reach several other people whom we may not know. According to Frémeaux (2020), shared realities of life form common good. The common good is a common life that is shared by all members of the community in which each and every individual has an interest. The main material elements of the common good are sports ground, roads, local shops, public toilets. Legal systems within the state, or community are part of our shared cultures, activities, and symbols.
The present pandemic emphasizes the importance of common good. This is because the shared life of people has been destroyed by various events such as canceled gathering and closure of institutions aimed at reducing the spread of infections. The cancellation of important life events has made people poorer. COVID-19 crisis challenges people to pursue the common good. However, the pandemic has been characterized by the hoarding of important commodities and panic buying without any concern about others in society. Important retail outlets are characterized by empty shelves due to the hoarding of commodities and panic buying. This explains how individual actions can affect the common good.
Another strategy which people should employ to achieve a common good is by following WHO guidelines which are aimed at reducing the spread of the infection (Spinelli & Pellino, 2020). However, several people are not ready to employ the strategies because they believe they are young and healthy therefore the disease may not cause serious harm. According to this group of people, the inconvenience experienced is about a proportion of people who are at risk of developing complications.
According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which the majority of countries have adopted, every individual has a right to achievable physical and mental health. Therefore, governments have an obligation to prevent, treat, and control the pandemic (Rose-Redwood et al., 2020). At the same time, governments have an obligation to protect other individual rights such as the right and freedom of expression. The government should ensure its citizens have access to critical information. To effectively reduce the spread of infection, the government must impose restrictions on the movements of people. Imposing restrictions on people is a challenge to the common good. Even though reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a common good, quarantines, lockdowns, and travel bans should be in accordance with the law has been a challenge making the pandemic continue spreading.
Spinelli, A., & Pellino, G. (2020). COVID‐19 pandemic: perspectives on an unfolding crisis. The British journal of surgery.
Rose-Redwood, R., Kitchin, R., Apostolopoulou, E., Rickards, L., Blackman, T., Crampton, J., ... & Buckley, M. (2020). Geographies of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dialogues in Human Geography, 2043820620936050.
Poole, D. N., Escudero, D. J., Gostin, L. O., Leblang, D., & Talbot, E. A. (2020). Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19(1), 1-2.
Frémeaux, S. (2020). A Common Good Perspective on Diversity. Business Ethics Quarterly, 30(2).
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