Lessons from the Virus: Equality and Justice

We live in an age of irrationality. Or, to put it another way, parallel reality systems.

On a political level, on the one hand, we have President Trump, who fails to accept the harsh reality that he lost the election – despite all the facts to the contrary. And on the other hand, we have Biden staffing his government that will be sworn in on January 20, 2021.

On the subject of health, the number of Coronavirus cases and victims are both setting a record every day. The U.S. pandemic map has turned red. We are paying for the delights of the Thanksgiving holiday, when for the first time in nine months millions of Americans traveled. However, we also live with the hope of the vaccine. There is no other salvation.

These two parallel worlds will one day merge, or rather, one will give way to the other.

In the political case, we can see past the horizon. Trump will leave and Biden will stay.

The case of the pandemic, however, will continue to be overshadowed by uncertainty and doubt.

Man is accustomed to living with anxieties in his daily life. But today’s anxieties are more intense than the previous ones – and, unfortunately, they will last much longer.

We have been anxious to find a vaccine. Thankfully, this is becoming a reality. Right now there are only a few large companies that have produced a vaccine – but more will follow.

Presently, we are anxious about the distribution of the vaccines and who will get priority.

If all goes well – as it seems to be going – the Pfizer vaccine will be approved by the FDA by Sunday. Within 24 hours of that, 6.4 million doses will be distributed to the 50 states and the Washington, DC area.

These are enough to cover 1% of the population – a double inoculation is required. At that point, then, a battle will be fought. Who will be the first to get the vaccine? It makes sense for those who are on the front lines, doctors, nursing staff, etc. to be the first.

What about the rest of us, those who need it now? What about vulnerable groups, such as the elderly?

The majority will be covered, experts tell us, by spring or summer. The summer? And what about the other countries?

Wealthy countries like America, Australia, Canada, Japan and those in the European Union have already reserved nine billion doses (the Moderna vaccine also requires a double dose).

They are keeping enough doses to vaccinate their population many times over.

At some point, they will dispose of their unneeded doses, after first taking care of their own populations.

Then they will sell them to poor countries.

One of the great lessons of the Coronavirus is that all lives are equal. The virus does not distinguish between white and non-white victims. Between the rich and the poor. Men and women.

But the pandemic was not able to teach us that life is fair. And since the Coronavirus could not teach us that, I am afraid nothing ever will.


Nikos Androulakis, the president of PASOK-KINAL, preferred to celebrate Panagia in Montreal, together with his expatriate friends, instead of in Greece.

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