(Continued from part 1)
GREATER THAN OUR PARTS
Scientism, or Reductionism, which currently frames our reaction to disease in general and to COVID-19 and its variants in particular, has also been a strong motivator for civilization’s progress during the past century. Reductionism, Materialism, and Isolationism, at the time of their emergence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, offered refreshing alternatives to the prevailing medieval religious superstitions of the day. And indeed, the scientific method at the heart of the reductionist paradigm has solved many problems and improved our quality of life for a time.
The campaign to vaccinate a nation during a pandemic has brought into sharp relief a dimension that we, individual-freedoms-loving Americans often resist, that of the “common good”. “In ordinary political discourse, the “common good” refers to those facilities… that the members of a community provide to all... in order to fulfill a relational obligation they all have to care for certain interests that they have in common.... The term itself may refer either to the interests that members have in common or to the facilities that serve common interests (The Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy).”
It takes everyone to fight a pandemic, and as such embracing our common interest becomes necessary so we can prevail over COVID 19 and its variants. The transmissibility of the virus taught us early on that as individuals we must protect not only ourselves but also those around us, as we did originally with the simple COVID 19 prevention practices of social distancing, and mask wearing, followed later with the “Warp Speed” vaccine campaign. This demanded that we act as a collective. We learned that a scaled up response coordinated by the highest levels of government would be best suited for this level of challenge, as the virus did not recognize local, regional, or state borders, nor did it distinguish between people’s conservative or liberal ideologies.