COVID’S BIGGER LESSONS
By Richard Davis
It is two years since the emergence of the first versions of the COVID virus. The world was slow to figure out what was going on and even slower to figure out ways to deal with this new deadly disease. Despite all of the technology and science that we have developed over the years, COVID continues to make fools of the humans who are trying to beat it.
On the surface it may seem that the best way to contain COVID and to make it less of a threat to humans is to develop effective vaccines and get those vaccines to as many people as possible. It sounds like a simple plan and it makes sense from a scientific perspective.
But the real problems we have to deal with in order to suppress COVID have nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics and human nature. If one steps back and looks at the situation it almost seems as if an imaginative science fiction story is playing out around the world and all of us are characters in this story.
This story talks about how a virus figured out that the weakest link in the human chain is the inability of humans to act in concert to defeat a common enemy. The virus knew that if it emerged all over the world that the richest and most powerful would make some efforts to hold it at bay and the poorer and weaker countries would be ravaged by the disease.
As the story unfolds the virus becomes the narrator and it tells the reader that it has learned how to change itself at will as it mutates into different strains. It also explains that in order to make those changes it relies on the poorer countries to be incubators for change as most of its people do not have access to vaccines.
The virus also talks of the human weaknesses of greed and insularity and how those weaknesses help to spread the virus, even in the richest of countries. It surely is ridiculous to think that a virus would understand human nature and then exploit those weaknesses to its advantage. But it almost seems as if the virus is relying on the ignorant politics of the rabid anti-vaxers to help it kill more and more people. The U.S. will approach a million deaths from COVID in the months to come and many of those deaths could have been prevented if not for the self-destructive politics of too many Americans.
Viruses are fighters and they want to survive just as much as we do but it is starting to look like the COVID virus has the potential to wipe out a significant portion of the human species if we do not realize that this is a world problem that can only be dealt with if we all work together.
About six percent of Africans have been vaccinated against COVID and, until now, the continent has had low numbers of cases and death from the virus. There are a number of explanations for this phenomenon. But the newest, and possibly most virulent strain of COVID is emerging from Africa.
The narrator of this less than believable science fiction story will tell you that it is easier for the virus to become stronger in places where it does not have to deal with the vaccine battle. As the OMICRON mutation of COVID spreads we need to realize that people are dying not because of a lack of technological knowhow but because humans cannot work together to defeat a common enemy.