The Transylvania Times -

Long View Of The COVID-19 Experience


Last updated 4/14/2020 at 9:57am

As our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, I expect we each have listened to a wide variety of sources to understand what is going on. The messages are often mixed and clarity eludes us.

Years ago, when I worked at the U.S. Army War College, one of the military practices I grew to admire was the “after action report.” I had the opportunity to go twice to one of the army’s land warfare training centers to observe mock tank battles between “opposition forces” and “U.S. forces.” What was impressive was the immediate analysis process after each battle, where no commander’s feelings were spared. I think that we can learn some lessons from that process. Current debates about how we are handling the coronavirus will rage as they should in a free society, and the fact that we are in a major election year guarantees that the debates will be heated.

However, as we get beyond next November’s political contests and the immediate pain of losses currently engulfing our nation, I hope we can pull together as a nation for some honest “after action” analysis. We should enlist a consortium of universities that have well established reputations in immunology and health care management, as well as federal and state agencies invested in public health and research, such as the CDC, the NIH, and selected states’ departments of health and human services, to identify what went well and what went wrong, here and abroad, and how we might derive lessons for the future.

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate will have investigations, but I fear that they will be lost in partisan debate. Perhaps a non-partisan U.S. commission on the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to a past non-partisan commission on 9/11, might make some headway. In view of the tragedy endured by so many families and the heroism of so many health care workers, it would be only fitting that we seize this opportunity to take a hard, honest look at the full range of our health care practices – what works and what doesn’t - to ensure a more equitable and resilient health care system for all of our people and to prepare ourselves for the unwelcome possibility of future pandemics.

-- Marshall McCallie, Brevard


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020

Rendered 09/20/2020 20:38