The Construction of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Designing Societal Solutions That Would Prevent a Full Lockdown

A. Georges L. Romme


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered one of the deepest economic recessions in human history, largely as a result of the full lockdown strategy adopted by many national governments. This lockdown strategy was primarily motivated by the limited capacities of Intensive Care Units and a lack of medical staff and equipment. In this essay, I argue that the COVID crisis and the widely used lockdown response are socially constructed, which invites a public discourse on how we can design societal solutions that would prevent the need for an indiscriminate lockdown response to a future pandemic or any other similar crisis. One potential solution is further developed in this essay: the design of latent capabilities for responding to any future emergencies. These latent capabilities, embedded in many host organizations, can help in quickly resolve shortages in professional skills and resources, which are likely to occur in any future crisis. Here, the COVID-19 crisis provides a major learning opportunity, to be exploited as soon as possible.

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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

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