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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.

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