As we reflected on Friday, with little fanfare, on the 75th anniversary of the Allied forces’ victory in Europe in World War II, one truth stuck out like no other; most of the world was unified in the goal of defeating the Nazis and fascism in Europe, the one front of the war that drew so many forces from the United States to wage battle.
We have been so caught up in our battle with COVID-19 that we practically overlooked V-E Day.
But there should be lessons from that great war 75 years ago that could be applied today.
The fight against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been described as a war. President Donald Trump has invoked war powers authority on a few occasions to direct certain domestic efforts toward the fight, most notably ordering automakers to convert operations to the manufacture of medical supplies and the ordering back to work meat-packing plants.
When it comes to many of the wars over the years — with some exceptions — since WWII, the United States has usually formed coalitions to fight a common foe, most obvious being the war on terrorism we have fought for nearly 20 years.
Today the world has another common enemy in COVID-19. We are fighting it on many fronts but not on a united front. Many nations are using their own strategies to try to beat down this monster that, to the best of our knowledge, can’t be connected to a madman or a rogue regime bent on some sort of sick annihilation of certain parts of the human race.
Instead of having a coalition of nations working together to fight this viral scourge, we are all going it alone. That’s not to say we are not sharing information among nations, it’s just there is no single entity that has taken up the proper arms to win this war.
There should be a coalition of nations putting together the best minds in science and medicine to attack this virus. We should have a national strategy instead of one that leaves it all up to the individual states. Then the best of what our nation has to offer could be teamed with what other countries have to offer.
Nobody knows what it is going to take to beat COVID-19. There are some easy answers, like a vaccine, social distancing, more testing, contact tracing and on and on. But we have not come up with one global strategy to what essentially is a global problem.
One look back to the most recent wars America has found itself in, we didn’t go it alone. And we certainly didn’t leave it up to states, cities, counties, etc., to come up with their own strategies. But that’s where we have found ourselves.
States are following their own plans, and even our own Gov. Eric Holcomb has more or less called the opening of churches this weekend an experiment. We like the direction Holcomb has taken Indiana, but this in and of itself is an example of how we’re making this all up as we go along.
We need top-level planning, top-level strategy. We need it on the national level and on the international level. This is how we have scored victories in the past and how we must score a victory now.
One of our greatest generations led us to victory in WWII. We need to make changes in the strategy to fight COVID-19 so someday we can look back on this battle, beyond our healthcare workers and first responders and the others on the frontline of this war, and be able to cite a similar sort of bravery that brought us to victory.
OUR VIEW is written on a rotating basis by Dave Kurtz, Grace Housholder, Michael Marturello and Steve Garbacz. Publisher Terry Housholder is also a member of the editorial board. We welcome readers’ comments.