"Collective Accountability : A Review on Columbia News" By: Dharma Rajesh

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

As Mother Teresa once said, “only humility will lead us to unity, and unity will lead to peace”. Especially during this pandemic, I can see how this quote applies. We all must be humble enough to realize that unity is the key to keeping everyone safe. If we all wear our masks, get our vaccines, and be diligent on protecting ourselves and others, we can ensure safety for everyone. To explain this idea of unity further, let's take a look at a Columbia News interview with Dr. Linda P. Fried, the first woman to become the director of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

When asked about the most important takeaway from COVID, Dr. Fried explained that with unity and collaboration we can beat this virus. As she states, “we have somehow been sold a bill of goods that individual independence absolves one of collective responsibility. That is really harming us in this pandemic, because we can only solve a pandemic by together preventing the spread of the infection”. As we steer away from collective accountability, it will be much more difficult to overcome issues like this pandemic. Not only this but, this lack of accountability can also be seen in our declining climate.

Though we have a lot to work on, our public health offices have led a fairly successful containment of the virus. As Dr. Fried states, “Public health knows how to lead the containment of the spread of infectious diseases, [...] the incredible effectiveness of masking, hand washing, physical distancing, having the right ventilation, and contact tracing”. With the development of these simple precautionary measures, the virus has spread considerably less than it could have. Amazingly, scientists have been able to develop a vaccine in less than a year using MRNA research.

Here at Princeton Foundation, we see unity as something of great importance. It is only with collaboration that we can meet our goals. Just as Dr. Fried stated, the way to solve the pandemic is to work together so I ask everyone to take responsibility, to be diligent, and to unite with one another.

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