I shot the headline of evolutionary biologist Edward Wilson, who once asked for his views on communism, and remarkably replied: “Nice idea. Wrong types.” Wilson was a student of social insects, such as bees and ants, and he knew that these swarms formed ideal organizations with astonishing ease. With the possible exception of the queen, the individuals there count only as numbers and do not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for the good of the cell. Wilson ironically believed that communism would be an excellent insect colony theory, but it did not work for a species like us, made up of free, monetary, and reflective factors, as well as other harmful, corrupt, or antisocial factors, yes, but individually and unrepeatable. Nice idea, wrong types.
Earlier this month, the Director-General of the World Health Organization and nearly thirty world leaders supported the signing of a binding international treaty that would prepare the world for the next pandemic. The idea is a global agreement coordinated by the World Health Organization that obliges signatory countries to share their knowledge and experiences for the benefit of global health. Who can oppose this goal? We’ve never seen anything like it, except in this bad science fiction series. A global agreement would significantly limit the harms of a future pandemic, and it could even be reconciled in its infancy. Our ability to act in an optimal, altruistic, rational and sensitive way, however, is not profoundly known. How Editor argues natureIt suffices to look at what is happening in this epidemic to suspect it.
The governments of rich countries do everything they can to achieve herd immunity within their borders, and their interest in African health workers is to amass little, nothing.
Governments had – and the World Health Organization informed them – to agree to an international distribution of antiviral vaccines that would prioritize the world’s vulnerable populations and frontline health workers over the world’s young and middle-aged people. It was doubtful they would, and in fact, they did not. Rich country governments are doing everything they can to achieve herd immunity within their borders, and their concern for health workers in Africa is, little, nothing.
The result is that the rich world will be vaccinated by the end of this year, and developing countries will have to wait until 2023, with optimism. But the pandemic is a global catastrophe, and it can only be solved by vaccinating the entire world. Political philosopher Daniel Ennerarity will reprimand me for being arrogant – read his insightful essay Monday, a true lesson in thought – but one of the functions of science is to transmit data and ideas that inform politicians and the public. Governments, of course, have to make the major decisions, and the best example we just discussed: vaccinate the world or boycott you. It is clear that a politician may go through difficult times to justify the first, but this is not merely an argument in favor of the latter. Maybe, after all, we’re the wrong species.
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