The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of civic society in building resilience in the face of a crisis. Learning from this, we need to give power to people in their local communities and heal the fracture lines that have been exposed—especially by addressing the health and wealth inequalities that have put the most deprived and vulnerable at the highest risk of dying from COVID-19.
We can choose to protect our health and increase our wealth by empowering our citizens rather than relying on state control. While South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have used tracking applications to control the spread of the virus, they have benefitted far more through quick, extensive testing, accurate reporting, and the willingness of their populations to cooperate. But to achieve such a level of compliance, you need trust. People need to trust science, to trust public authorities, and to trust the media.
We also need shared values that bind us together as...