We are approaching the two-year mark of the coronavirus outbreak. With our hard-won understanding of how it functions and how to stay safe, one might expect a more balanced approach to leadership, perhaps the gradual return to normalcy promised at the outset. Protecting those at risk should remain our priority, but considering the heavy societal cost brought about by reactionary decision-making, calm and reason-oriented leadership is desperately needed.
Despite this expectation, many of our leaders maintain their protective policies, conveying significant fear about the virus in their approach to governance, and urging the same approach to the populace. Considering the prevalence of the virus, this tactic might seem reasonable. After all, if our leaders are still this worried about the virus, we should be too, right?
Here’s the problem: our leaders are not afraid of the coronavirus. At all. Of course, they present themselves as such, addressing the public in worried tones, donning masks and face shields, continuing restrictions in the name of public safety. Off-camera, however, they continue their lives as they please: like going to the salon amidst a complete shutdown, hosting fundraisers at exclusive restaurants with their financial backers, or attending large family gatherings.
This tendency is not limited to a few duplicitous politicians, either. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been deemed the authority on the coronavirus to many, simultaneously called for double masking and nationwide vaccines, while advising colleagues to not bother with masks and exempting his staff from his own vaccination directives. Incidentally, Biden’s staff also share that luxury. Strange coincidence, that.
Hypocrisy in politics is an old hat, and the fact that these leaders have a rules-for-thee-but-not-for-me attitude isn’t surprising. However, the main issue is that these leaders are not motivated by fear, but they want us to be.
Let me be crystal clear: the virus is a danger and should be treated as such. Protecting ourselves and the most vulnerable is our responsibility and effective prevention efforts are warranted. At the same time, be wary of those trying to prey upon your emotions in the name of safety. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, we have “not been given a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Let’s conduct ourselves as such.
Opinions expressed in letters and other editorials, unless otherwise stated, are those of the writers and not of The Horizon staff or the college collectively.