Ant Admonition

Ant Admonition

Have you figured out the block chart above yet? According to OurWorldInData.org the color blocks represent the percentages of vaccine doses administered by region of the world. Any surprises?

Of course not. The poorest region, Africa, always gets the short end of the stick. What a shame it’s also where the variants are having their heyday.

The table on the left is the world’s population by regional percentages. The table on the right is the numbers table of the color representations under it: the doses of vaccine administered by regional percentage.

So North Americans have a three times advantage for getting vaccinated over the rest of the world. Europeans have twice the advantage. Africa? Its advantage is negative. It has less than a tenth of a chance of getting a vaccine compared to its population.

Now before we get into the dirty stuff about variants and global health, any tears for these basic numbers? Isn’t it fair, or at least doesn’t it stand to reason that the country with the most cash for paying pharmaceuticals gets to save the most lives?

Or – put another way – aren’t the people who make the most money the most valuable part of the species? If you were God, wouldn’t you give Jeff Jeff Bezos a boarding pass for The Ark before me?

We’ll leave these heady questions aside. I had a hard enough time deciding if Times Roman was the right font style for the graph.

The Beta variant may be the worst so far. It seems that the awful India variant, known as the Delta variant, made its way to Africa in May and transformed within a month into the Beta variant that is now the virus infecting more than 90% of South Africa’s cases, today.

South Africa, like the rest of the continent, is experiencing its third wave. It’s currently only half as bad as the last wave, but the trend lines are troubling.

It’s uncertain if the small number of vaccinations (less than 2% of the population) will be enough to curtail an emergency. We also don’t know if the natural phenomenon of herd immunity achieved by so many infected will also inhibit the full-out emergency. After all this is exactly what happened with the flu pandemic a century ago.

We don’t know with enough certainty yet if those persons vaccinated will be adequately protected against these new variants. And thank god we don’t! Wouldn’t we just dump Africa if we non-Africans were certain we were all completely protected?

It’s the fear of the variants that gives Biden enough support to be generous … at last. Couldn’t rely on human empathy, alone. We’ve got to stoke that fear that if we don’t put out the fire on the neighbor’s garage it’ll jump to our porch.

The inhumanity of man to man, the untenable inequalities our global society condones couldn’t be on display any better. I’m not faulting Biden or Fauci or any soldier on the line. They’re just doing what they’ve been paid to do, what we’re paying them to do.

So nobody’s at fault individually. I’m not haranguing you.

But when this sorry chapter is finally over, those of you still alive and unharmed, please take stock of your position. You didn’t earn your birth. Despite movie phrases you don’t get lucky through anything but luck.

Secular and non-secular, such non-intuitive phrases but you need to really understand that there is just one human species. There’s a clock ticking and if the human species doesn’t start acting like ants do, it’s doomed.

With luck the ants might survive and start the whole thing over.