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  • Rev. Dr. Harris Travis

ETHICS DURING A PANDEMIC

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

(Dr. Travis delivered this paper to Kennesaw University Student which has approximately 40k students.)



The purpose of this paper is not only to encourage you to act during this pandemic, but also that you would encourage others to act during this pandemic. IT IS OUR PATRIOTIC AND ETHICAL DUTY TO DO THINGS THOSE THAT WILL SAVES LIVES DURING A PANDEMIC. The ethics of care describe our responsibility to our country during the pandemic.


Russ-Shafer-Landua said in their book, “A Concise Introduction to Ethics” that: “Care is an emotion or a network of reinforcing emotions that involve some combination of sympathy, empathy, sensitivity and love. Like all emotions, care has elements that involve thinking and feeling. The relevant thoughts are focused on the wants and needs of others around us. The feelings are positive, friendly, helpful, nurturing and often loving.

Patriotism is the love of country. Patriotism can activate people to do what’s best for the country. It can motivate us to carry out our ethics of care. A great example of this was during the first Pandemic.


In the 1918 pandemic, there no treatment and no antibiotics to treat complication such as pneumonia. Streets in some towns and cities were sprayed with disinfectant and people wore anti-germ masks as they went about their daily lives. Then, as now fresh air was seen as a potential bulwark against the spread of the to some ingenious solutions to keep society going. Back then, they only had masks to protect themselves.


Now, if the military can follow war ethical guidelines to save lives during a war, then shouldn’t “We the People” be following the CDC guidelines to save lives during the pandemic?

After the Second World War a number of nations from around the globe came together to form the GENEVA ACCORD. They agreed not to use the atomic warfare in the future, neither germ warfare during future wars.


I am a Korean War veteran and after serving on active duty 3 years, I went to college and graduated in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, I went to work as a design electrical engineer for the Navy. When designing weapons one of the requirements was to design a weapon system that would protect civilian life.




During the Korean War, aircraft had to fly directly over it’s target in order to drop the bomb on the target. However, the weapon system I worked on for the aircraft did not have to fly directly over the target. The bomb had a video camera in the nose of the bomb and a lock on circuit where the pilot could lock onto the target. Once the pilot locked onto the target, he/she could be flying away at 500 mph watching on the monitor as the boom heads to the target. If the bomb appears to veer off course, the pilot had the capability to hit the non-destruct button and the bomb would not explode. I am a living witness that wars have ethics.


Many Americans are serving in the United States Military all around the world keeping us safe. They show their love of country their patriotism, by sacrificing so that we can be safe. They show their love of country, their patriotism, by sacrificing so that we can be safe. Therefore, we should be willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to save lives during this 2020 pandemic.


What is amazing years ago nations from the world with different languages could come together and agree on ware ethics guidelines. Yet, today people who are around each other daily cannot agree to follow the CDC Pandemic Guidelines.

The Pandemic is a war, thousand of lives have been lost. “We the People” are the soldiers of this ware and there is NO BASIC training for “We the People.” There is no direct training for us, like the military provides to their soldiers. In the military, you receive is called approximately 16 weeks of basic training. Soldiers are issued their weapons and they are given some type of training so that they have some idea of what to do. But with the Pandemic, there is very little formal training on what “We the People” are to do. Basically, we are getting most of our information through the media. Instead of using weapons of Military war like guns and grenades, we must use weapons suited for this Pandemic War, the CDC guidelines. So I recommend that you go to the CDC website and get the guidelines. Read and follow the guidelines that apply to your lifestyle.


In conclusion, a pandemic is a Call to Action! Geisler and Douglass in their book, titled “Bring Your Faith To Work” had a unique way of describing this action. They went on to say that “SALT is Ethics in Action” which “We the People” are referred to as SALT. You know that Salt changes things. Salt activates the flavor in food. Salt activates ice to freeze when churning ice cream. Salt activates tight muscles to loosen up, when soaking Epsom salt bath. So, “We the People” or SALT must activate our ethics. We are choosing to take a stand to do our part in this Pandemic. And when we do so, then others who are liked minded, will take notice of your actions and begin to activate their ethics.

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