It made 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 surprising 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 quipped that communism would be an excellent insect colony theory, but it did not work in 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 states 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 dramatically limit the damage to a future pandemic, and could even reconcile it in its infancy. But our ability to act in an optimal, altruistic, rational, and sensitive way, 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 are doing everything they can to achieve herd immunity within their borders, and their interest in African health workers is, collect 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 almost 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, optimistically. 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 the politician will find it difficult to justify the first, but this is not merely an argument in favor of the second. Maybe, after all, we’re the wrong species.