Covid-19 Pandemic has now been in the world since one year. It has been a great leveller, touching all countries and all sections of the society. While this author does not intend to dwell on the spiritual aspect (if any) of this levelling force, there are certain facets which mankind would do well to think about. One cannot but agree that the pandemic has upset the way we live and conduct our affairs as individuals, groups or even as nations.
Some lessons not learnt which could possibly alleviate the Pandemic and other harmful undesirables are discussed briefly.
COST OF VACCINES
Greed of business entities continues to rule fate of mankind even in this desperate situation.
It is reported that three vaccines are in advance stage of consideration for acceptance as on date. The cost of single dose of these vaccines as reported are- $3 for Oxford Corona vaccine (code named AZD1222), $20 for Pfizer vaccine and $30 for Moderna vaccine.
Assuming that all the above three are equally good (technically, i.e in effectiveness and safety), leaders of the world should get together and force all vaccine manufacturers to make and distribute the cheapest one.
Each nation can achieve this by resorting to emergency measures and legislation if necessary. There are provisions for forcing private sector to produce what the governments want. Instead we hear about how one would transport the Pfizer vaccine at -70ºC. What a waste of precious time and resources!
We have to make people see beyond profit.
We have heard of hacking of laboratories where research for vaccine development are going on. This desperation may be for quick access for information or for commercial reason.
The situation calls for voluntary sharing of information and knowledge for speedy development of a safe vaccine. We forget that this virus does not recognize man made boundaries! No nation is safe in this age of mobility and speedy transportation.
This idea may appear utopian, but let us remember that this is an exceptional situation. We need to pool in resources to save lives and the way we live.
For a change we need to forget about patents and copyrights.
We have seen U.S.A’s President Trump communicating in threatening tone for anti-malarial drug Chloroquin which he perceived as panacea for this pandemic. His own medical team of advisers never advocated this solution and were silent for obvious reasons. Some consignments in transit were even reported to have been forcibly diverted (yet to be verified).
God knows only what this gentleman would have done if some nation really had a vaccine or something like that. Surely this is not a way to address national security concern.
One hopes there will not be fake vaccines in the market once vaccination starts.
One also hopes there is no black marketing in vaccines similar to when prices of N95 Mask jumped twenty times or more in March / April 2020. Common man needs to be protected.