The Last Pandemic?

The Last Pandemic?
Fecha de publicación: 
25 March 2022
Imagen principal: 

It had just begun this month when the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published an interesting text: "Preparing for the next pandemic."

After everything mankind has gone through, and continues to go through, for two years now, it is frankly unpleasant to read titles like the one in the aforementioned document.

You feel like crossing your fingers to "scare away" the bad omen, and afterwards, you just move on.

But you will be only behaving like the ostrich: putting your head in a hole to pretend to ignore what is happening.

And anyway, reality prevails despite everything. Therefore, it would be paramount for every person in this planet to dwell on the warning calls issued by the UNDP when it goes over what we have learned in these two sinister years.

In addition to acknowledging that the world was not ready for an event like this, they warn that, at present, countries continue to be "dangerously unprepared" for a similar event in the future.

For such a statement, they cite the 2021 Global Health Security Index report, which indicates so, even acknowledging progress.

Inequalities were one of the worst breeding grounds for the pandemic to take over our existence, not only by exposing them all with their darkest nuances, but deepening them as the quoted text reads, "those who were already staying behind, are the ones suffering the most…”

The vaccine distribution is one of those edges in which inequalities have become most evident. Such has been the lack of equality, that in low-income countries only 13.3% of the population has been vaccinated; while in high-income nations, that indicator reaches 68.6%.

The lack of universal health coverage has been evidenced in the responses to this pandemic, which has also reversed the progress made in confronting diseases such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Aid to the countries furthest behind in vaccination and in their recovery from this global health crisis may contribute to the foundations of a more equitable world, but achieving so does not depend, of course, only on it.

Leadership and competition have mattered more than money in responses to the pandemic. There is a clear opportunity to build a future beyond the pandemic based on sources of wisdom from all over the world," highlights the UNDP.

This United Nations program recalls that "the cost of an effective and fair response to a pandemic is only a fraction of what a poor response may cost us," and they foresee that COVID-19 will cost the world economy 500 times more than some effective pandemic preventive measures.

Undoubtedly, we live in a decisive moment for the future of our species, because what we achieve as a civilization from this moment on, could set the course to face future catastrophes such as the one experienced; above all, if we do not remain idly before so much inequality.

What we do now could make this pandemic the last of its kind. But, is the world willing to do what it takes?

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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