They’re Both Wong

A Washington Post columnist wrote Thursday, regarding the Wuhan Virus (my term, not hers) lockdowns and the impact they had on our children,

I am basically totally uninterested in who was right and who was wrong in the summer of 2020. Kids don’t need adults’ self-justifications. They need us to get moving and looking forward.

The thrust of her justification centered on

It’s time to start thinking about how to pay them back[.]

That’s mistaken. Blowing off who made the mistake goes too far.

There was a fair amount of demurral regarding her position. A Deseret News contributor offers what I think is the canonical objection.

I am very interested in who was right and who was wrong because we need to make sure that the people who made bad policy will never make policy affecting children again[.]

She’s wrong also, but from the opposite side. Emphasizing fixing blame goes too far in the opposite direction.

Finding out who made the error matters to the extent that it’s important to track trends of good and bad performance so we can emphasize the successful and lessen the impact of the unsuccessful. Mistakes occur, including serious ones, but if those are not part of a pattern, the corrections still need to be made and the lessons learned, but the individuals, in the main, should be continued.

The most important aspect of a mistake, though, especially the large ones like these lockdowns, is the fact of that mistake. Investigations into the mistake need to focus on how the mistake occurred—its mechanics—so efficient, focused corrective action can be taken and the likelihood of that mistake recurring greatly reduced, if not prevented altogether.

If that investigation into the mechanics of the mistake leads the investigators to a who as the what that led to the mistake, that’s when who did it becomes important. That’s when responsibility (not blame) can be attached and personnel-related corrective action, as efficient, focused corrective action, can be taken. And not before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *