In recent history, in situations when the world was facing global calamity, our leaders countered with great initiative and unflagging hope. The Lincolns, Churchills and Roosevelts rose to the challenges and overcame extreme odds. In the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, hope, positivity and confidence have largely been absent.
Politicians, never bastions of integrity, reached new depths of duplicity. They flip-flopped from one day to another, casually damaging the economy, education, and entire segments of society. They have robbed the populace of hope. Daily “statements” to a submissive press became partisan political tools. Government officials consolidated their powers, and continue to act unilaterally, declaring one emergency power after another, with no parliamentary surveillance in sight. Unfortunately, top-level decisions were made to protect the “system”, and not the health of individuals. No hope here.
Public health administrators and consultants were stunned by the first major pandemic in a century. As they flailed at the unfolding disaster in human lives and societal costs, they constantly shifted target goalposts and supported political expediency rather than focusing their energy on developing scientifically sound treatments and prevention. Instead of openly discussing pertinent facts with an adult population, administrators pontificated repetitive mantras about handwashing and personal distancing at a juvenile level. Their inept “models” and “projections” were consistently wrong; they responded by doubling down with increasingly dire and incorrect predictions and restrictions. Scientists cannot always be right, but they should learn from their mistakes. Where was the hope?
Today’s post-journalism media is a mere empty shell of its former status as the honest broker of information. Activist writers have displaced honest journalism with blatant propaganda, fact finding with virtue signaling; fear mongering headlines, daily gloom and doom stories, and scare journalism drive ratings and “clicks” but have created a major credibility gap with the public. Hope never had a chance.
These groups have a responsibility to be the leaders of society in a pandemic. Sadly, they have failed. Even as people are beginning to experience a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, they have lost trust in politicians, public health administrators and media who offer no leadership, no confidence. In fact, these same “leaders” do their best to stifle any nascent optimism of a populace that has been virtually imprisoned for a year and a half.
They let us down. They destroyed hope. Shame!
About the Author
Dr. George Freedman is co-founder and past president, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry; co-founder, Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry; Regent and Fellow, International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics, and Diplomate and Chair, American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry. He is Adjunct Professor of Dental Medicine, Western University, Pomona, California and Professor and Program Director, BPP University, London, UK, MClinDent Programme, Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry. Author of 14 textbooks, 900+ dental articles, and numerous webinars, lectures internationally (esthetic restoratives, adhesion, implants, veneers, 3D printing, and dental technologies), and maintains a private practice limited to Esthetic Dentistry in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
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