Covid-19: Make Way for an Enlightened Citizenry!


This article is published in Futuribles journal no.444, sept.-oct. 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has now passed through several successive waves, each with its own restrictive measures evolving to cope with the virus, has generated not only anxiety related specifically to the risk of contracting the disease, but also annoyance, doubt, and distrust or even rejection of those in government and their advisers — scientific experts from the medical and other professions. In the context of an epidemic receiving wall-to-wall media coverage in real time — even before the relevant knowledge-base was properly settled — and an environment of constant, unrestrained comment, the citizen is left adrift and struggling to find the right information channels to gain an objective grasp of the situation and the most relevant responses to cope with it. In this opinion piece, Jacques Testart confronts these present-day ‘grapes of wrath’, examining the particular — legitimate — reasons why French citizens may have become dubious and mistrustful about the management of the pandemic by their leaders. He argues for a general, inclusive pooling of effort so that public opinion may be driven by enlightened and enlightening, unbiased information, enabling citizens to participate effectively in decision-making with regard to the crisis (barrier measures, lockdowns, vaccination etc.). As he writes in conclusion, “The aim of the measures we are proposing is to restore the essential trust between population, knowledgeable sources and government by instituting a genuine health democracy.”
#Citoyenneté #Connaissance #Covid-19 #Démocratie #Épidémies #État #Experts