Skip to main content

Why Humanity Hasn't Learned From the Covid Pandemic



In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic began ravaging the world, succeeding the 1918 flu pandemic. 

Many found it unbelievable that despite all the scientific progress that the world has made since 1918, from composite jets to modern healthcare to going to the moon, the world was still susceptible to a pandemic. 

Ironically, some of these advancements largely played a role in the spread of the pandemic. Thousands of global flights every hour and air conditioning fanned its spread like a dry wind would in a forest fire. 

There was even further disbelief in mid-2020 when it became apparent that many countries were even struggling to keep a pandemic in check. Developed countries, supposed to have the best healthcare, suffered the worst outbreaks amidst disagreements on measures such as quarantines and wearing of masks. 

In yet another twist, technology advancement finally came to our rescue with the speedy development of vaccines, including the safe pioneering of never-tried-before mRNA vaccines.


Flying under the radar was the role social media played in the swift spread of information on the pandemic. In turn, the information helped determine what measures worked and which didn't in combating the spread and managing patients. 

At this point, we would be tempted to heave a sigh of relief and pat our backs thinking that the situation had been salvaged. 

A closer looks though shows that we may be very much where the pandemic found us when it comes to preparedness. 

The same countries that struggled with first and second waves continue to grapple with continuing spread, flying in the face of all wisdom. Specific examples here would only contribute to a feeling of self importance for  the rest rather than act to stress the point. 

Vaccination, supposedly the world's redemption, has failed to launch in many countries. A biting shortage continues as the developed world keeps vaccines and the manufacturing process secret for their economic gain. 

The United States continues to drag its feet in opening up the manufacturing process while countries like Germany have fought the opening up altogether. Ironically, most of the manufacturers for the additional vaccines would still end up being in Western countries in contrast to their fears that life-saving healthcare would leak to their economic competitors and no longer be profitable. 

Some of the arguments the West has taken against being more involved in successful vaccine roll out in developing countries is that those countries only have themselves to blame for bad governance. 

It misses the fact that the West has actively played a direct role in these countries being governed poorly, and one way to achieve better governance is through improved access to healthcare. 

Meanwhile, the West itself is struggling to vaccinate its entire population thanks to misinformation and lack of proper structures to support vaccination amongst their vulnerable. 

More than a year later, it would be more accurate to say the world is at a better place towards eliminating the pandemic. 

However, governments all over struggle to make any learnings. This is because pandemics are much less a medical problem and more of a political one. 

The only way politicians and governments learn is when their very existence is threatened. 

Only a few politicians have lost their jobs to the pandemic, notably Donald Trump to some extent. The only country leaders to lose their lives come from 2 East African countries - Burundi and Tanzania. 

It would be wrong to conclude that there are no consequences, for much of the political reckoning is yet to come. Like a pandemic, few see it coming until we are in the thick of things. 

As for pandemics, perhaps it is important to remember scientific advancements don't get rid of them. They only mean that the pandemics we get are those best suited to the lives we live - be it the comfort of thousands of flights every hour and air conditioning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  12 to 16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not.  Dormans instant coffee tastes better than Sasini instant coffee. Ramtons electronics are manufactured for Kenya's Hypermart Limited, yet maintain a high product quality Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus.  This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you

When none of your business becomes your business

Martha Karua, one of our most hyped politicians, was in the news again. This time round, it appears her god-like status is now fading as quickly as it came up. Some of her constituents were demonstrating against her; odd it was that they were motor-cycle taxi men, not demonstrating against her motor cycle policies, but against her so called support for the mungiki. It is odd, since the activities of the mungiki do not affect cyclists alone, but the constituency as a whole. This had reeked a strong oduor of hired demonstrators, as she claims. As for the demonstrators and the planners, they appeared to have made a judgemental error when they claimed that their MP was supporting the mungiki. Martha Karua, been a sensible person and a lawyer, has been against the stance that the government is taking against the mungiki, by allowing other so called vigilante groups to hunt for mungiki and kill them. Been against this method, does not mean that you support the mungiki;the two aren'

Twitter? What the hell?

Twitter has been in the news on several occasions in the recent past. It all began with a few celebrities using twitter, then it caught on to CNN and Ashton Kutcher going head to head for who gets a million followers first. Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in what was the first demise of CNN on Twitter. This event was closely by Oprah's grand entry into twitter. It was at this point that many people actually joined twitter. Oprah happened to be a major occasion on twitter, with many geeks anticipating that twitter would be overwhelmed by the interest brought on it by Oprah and her millions (if they haven't hit a billion) of fans worldwide. In fact, we gave a Before Oprah and After Oprah Twitter ages. Twitter has continued growing, with it been claimed to be the fastest growing social network in the world, with a growth rate of about 1300% per month. Ironically , a Harvard research says that only 10% of twitter users contribute to 90 % of the content on twitter; the content is known as