Alright. There is a LOT of chatter on this website bashing those who are saying most of the country still isn’t ready for a safe reopening. So, as we approach what would normally be summer pool season, here’s a short analogy about pooping and accountability.
Imagine you’re at the pool, and a kid poops in the water. It happens a few times every summer. What happens next? Everybody clears the pool. That’s the initial step to protect people from the poop.
But it’s not the end of the story.
There’s a next step – some poor soul on pool staff has to go fish out the poop. It’s a pretty thankless job.
Then they have to shock the pool with chlorine to kill off bacteria.
And then everyone waits half an hour or so til it’s safe to swim again.
You can see where I’m going with this.
If the lifeguards tell everyone to clear the pool, but the pool staff declines to actually get rid of the poop, what happens?
No one can go back in. The poop is still there. Limbo.
Whose fault is it that it’s not safe to go back in the water? Who is accountable?
Do you focus on the people saying “clean up the poop before we can go back in safely!”?
Or do you focus on the staff whose job it is to clean up the poop?
And what would you think if the staff started saying – look, just get back in. Be a warrior.
The answer is pretty obvious
Jeremy Konyndyk is a global outbreak preparedness and humanitarian response expert and former director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance.