As COVID-19 circles and re-circles across the globe in 2020 and 2021, a territory remains stubbornly immune to its attack. It is not a backwater rural country protected by low population density. Nor is it a remote island like Fiji that is cut off from the outside world. Amazingly, it is one of the most densely populated metropolises on the planet and shares borders (and central government) with the country where the virus originated. For nearly two years, Hong Kong has been one of the greatest COVID success stories, being able to maintain a zero COVID strategy long after many other countries abandoned them, and without the shocking and draconian measures of mainland China. By February, only 213 people had died from COVID in a city the size of New York City. Over the next month, things took a catastrophic turn.
Once the Omicron variant breached Hong Kong’s public health defenses, COVID spread like lightning, overwhelming hospitals and killing 7,000 people in March alone. Granted, that’s less than half of New York City’s death toll in April 2020, but considering Omicron’s reduced severity and a full year to establish vaccine immunity, it represents a stunning policy failure. After all, Hong Kong’s strategic focus is to keep the virus alive long enough to vaccinate all vulnerable residents, but by the time Omicron surged, only a quarter of residents over the age of 80 had received two doses. What’s out wrong?
thoughtful analysis The New Yorker Not only the tragedy of Hong Kong, but also the general predicament facing our risk-averse modern society. According to Hong Kong doctors, the problem is simple: Vaccination rates are very low, because actual risk often has little to do with perceived risk.us perception Risk based on first-hand (or at least second or third-hand) experience. If you know a friend or family member who has died of breast or colon cancer, you are more likely to schedule pre-emptive screening.In Hong Kong, hardly anyone knows anyone Have COVID, let alone dying from it. However, just by virtue of the law of large numbers, quite a few people know that someone has (or at least thinks they have) had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. As a result, many residents, even older adults, see vaccines as a greater threat to their health than the virus.
Hong Kong’s recent failure to zero Covid-19, repeated in nearby Shanghai, is just one example of a much more serious problem facing our society, where authorities at all levels – from parents to teachers to prime ministers – have embraced this notion , i.e. their responsibility above all is to protect those in their care from any danger or risk. This belief manifests in everything from outdoor mask requirements to the proliferation of “safe spaces” on college campuses. Too often, this “nanny state” or “helicopter parent” mentality ends up being counterproductive, increasing risk precisely because it doesn’t prepare anyone for it. As a society, we’ve become so preoccupied with trying to prevent “micro-aggression” that many of us don’t know what to do in the face of real aggression. So Will Smith’s slap in the face at the Oscars, and the inability of many in the West to even handle Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine rationally, is a semi-hysterical pain for America’s “culture of violence.”
One of the most important voices against this doting culture in recent years has been Jordan Peterson, who in his 12 life rules“Don’t disturb your kids while they’re skateboarding.” In his new book, beyond orderhe returns to the same theme, using fairy tales sleeping Beauty Emphasizes the dangers lurking when parents try to protect their children from worldly threats until they reach adulthood. Just as vaccines help the body arm itself against larger threats by exposing it to enough danger, sensible parents know how to expose their children to small but real threats so they can be empowered to face adults A dangerous life that cannot be avoided.
The task of a political leader, which our Christian doctrinal tradition often likens to a citizen’s father and mother, whose tasks are similar.them Do Have a God-given responsibility for the safety and health of the people.But paradoxically, this responsibility is best fulfilled by allowing its citizens Some Exposure to threats of violence, tragedy and disease. After all, civil authorities cannot play the role of God – they cannot stop every threat forever.At some point, the forces of fallen nature will come forward, and civic leaders will wish they had trained their societies not to safe The most important thing is courage and tenacity.