Capitalism is Allowing the Pandemic to Survive

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Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

The damage that Covid has done to our societies has been staggering.

It caused the closure of many small businesses and the loss of jobs, caused long-term health problems (physical and mental), and has ignited ignorance and hatred.

Personally, the pandemic has definitely affected me negatively.

My tutoring business was hit hard and is still recovering from the initial lockdown and subsequent restrictions.

And every time it seemed like there was light on the other side of the tunnel, we were hit with a big spike and had to take a few steps.

But these spikes in cases, according to Dr. Madhukar Pai, a Canada Research Chair in epidemiology and global health at McGill University, were caused by variants of the virus.

Thus, Pai believes, that if world leaders want to nip the pandemic in the bud, they need to focus on making vaccines more accessible on a global scale to prevent the development of variants.

He told the Canadian House of Commons that the virus will continue to spread and the more it spreads the more likely that it will mutate. And if it mutates, the variant can be stronger than the current vaccines.

Via Global News:

“Can we afford a Sigma variant? Are we ready to go into another lockdown? We are not,” he said.

He added that to prevent this, Canada -and other wealthy nations- need to make global access to vaccines a priority.

Pai added that this shouldn’t be achieved mainly through donating vaccines, as this isn’t the most efficient and effective method of getting them into the hands of lower-income countries.

He says patents for the vaccines need to be waived, which will allow other nations (or pharmaceutical companies) to develop and manufacture their own shots.

In his understanding, this is the best way to end the pandemic.

“[Pai] said the only way that happens is if a World Trade Organization rule protecting patents for pharmaceuticals is waived for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the needed technology information is transferred, and countries like Canada invest in vaccine production hubs to make them.”

I agree with Dr. Pai and have pondered this idea before. It’s so annoying to me how capitalism has a say in almost everything.

I am pro-business and am cool with people creating things to get rich. But there are certain things -things that can have negative effects on the world if it’s inaccessible- that shouldn’t be for profit.

And the vaccine is one of those items.