Despite a seeming resurgence as of this writing, our government was internationally recognised for acting effectively to contain the disease. The Covid war is far from finished, but their initial battle strategy was sound.
Imagine if the next government treated the economic and social issues we face with the same degree of urgency that the Rowley administration gave to the coronavirus.
Using the Covid-19 playbook our country's future management would be:
Bold & Decisive
Shutting down a country is nothing else if not bold, and it was the large-scale, scary, big and hairy decision we needed.
The Titanic changed course and slowed down but not in time, and that's a mistake our government did not make. The actions taken were done when they were needed.
It's easy to say that looking to science was obvious, but science—as our friends to the North have demonstrated—can be disregarded in favour of politics and ego. Our leaders respected the experts.
In Constant & Frequent communication
The leadership of the responsible agencies were front and centre with frequent, sometimes even daily updates, and this reigned in our imaginations, helped to quell rumour, and shared helpful information. Agree or disagree, everyone knew what the government was seeing and intending.
Managing our mood
Managing the mood of those you lead is the most important thing a leader can do, and the updates helped to manage our mood away from despair and towards hope. Even if you think the government failed in this, they did try, and going forward this is what matters.
Any new government must make us feel that we can do it, that one day soon, we can be enjoying the view from Laventille, eating at world-renowned restaurants and staying at guest homes owned by former gang members with the story of violence and crime the subject only of movies being made by our burgeoning Triniwood industry. (OK that name may need some work, but you get my meaning.)
For this to happen though, the next govt needs to acknowledge one fundamental truth: Even without this pandemic, Trinidad & Tobago is in a Covid-like existential crisis. The future prime minister, even if it's the same one, would do well to acknowledge this and set up the same Covid-like action and communication structure to deal with it.