Every country in the world is grappling by itself with the woes of Covid-19. Germany is on its way to yet another lockdown; France is already under lockdown; India breaks records in new confirmed cases, and Brazil breaks records in Covid deaths. There was a time when we felt that the pandemic is everyone’s problem, and then presidential candidate Joe Biden said “An infection anywhere is an infection everywhere.” Now, each country is fighting the bug on its own. The UN Director General complained about inequality in administering the vaccines, and while some countries have vaccinated half of their population, others have not received a single dose of any of the vaccines.
If we continue this behavior, there will be no end to this pandemic. Variants will keep emerging and the spreading will continue. If we want to resolve this crisis, we must return to the perception of the pandemic as a global problem and treat it as such. There needs to be a global vaccine bank, and we must produce enough vaccines for all of humanity. Afterwards, we must prioritize who should get it first: by age, by country, etc. It needs to be as impartial as possible.
Currently, each country thinks of its own interest and behaves as selfishly as we always have. At the same time, the global nature of Covid-19 requires that we start thinking globally about our health rather than locally, since every country affects every other country. Also, financial ability to afford the vaccines should not be a consideration in administering it.
To put it simply, we must treat humanity the way we would treat our own family. If we do this, we will at least try to send the vaccines where they are most required, and that way we will all recover from the pandemic much faster. We must keep in mind that until we all recover from it, no one is safe. In a way, the plague is a lesson in consideration that nature is giving us. So far, we have been poor students.
[Residents wait to receive the Sinovac’s CoronaVac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the community Quilombo Quilomba, descendants of African slaves, in Mage, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil April 7, 2021. Picture taken April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares]