I agree with you. When the pandemic first emerged and scientific communities started working together to create a vaccine and advance research so that we could all better understand what was going on, I was hopeful. I’ve worked with UNODC in Vienna on the HIV epidemic over the past year, and I do think the pandemic has pressured a lot of people to actually acknowledge the disparities that exist. But you’re right. High income countries continue to protect only their own, offering some sort of sad charity only when the situation elsewhere is so unbearable that they’d be reprimanded for doing anything less. Reopening in wealthy nations while low-income ones continue to struggle exposes those inequities further. My argument was that much of the American population (and Canadian, where I’m originally from) is very happy to complain about any contest to their ‘freedom.’ I’ve Had the same experience in Vienna, that people are genuinely more willing to do what is necessary to protect their community. Mask wearing is normalized, testing is normalized. In the States those things never were.

Striving to live a life defined by empathy | writing about climate change, public health and social justice

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