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Imagining an Alternative Pandemic Response

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I received my first shot of the Moderna vaccine yesterday -- which naturally got me thinking about how this should've been accessible much, much sooner.  I don't think anyone's particularly happy about the way that our pandemic response played out, but there's probably a fair bit of variation in what people think should've been done differently.  What alternative history of COVID-19 do you wistfully yearn after?  Here's mine (imagining that these lessons were taken on board from the start)...In early Feb 2020, with Covid declared a "global health emergency" by the WHO, American scientists prioritize preparing a low-dose "challenge strain" of the virus in case it is needed for emergency immunity research.By early March, as the seriousness of the pandemic becomes clear, the emergency research protocols are approved by the president, and hundreds of volunteers enlisted (mostly young and healthy, but also some terminal patients and elderly altruists who want to help produce a better world for their great-grandkids).A strict (but temporary) lockdown is implemented for the last two weeks of March, to buy time while the nation waits on the results of the emergency immunity research.  "Immunity passports" grant lockdown exceptions to those who have already recovered from the illness.  Those in possession of immunity passports are highly favoured for "essential work" to minimize transmission risk to others.  There are reports of occasional "pox parties" as some groups pursue immunity via uncontrolled infection, but these are widely condemned as premature and irrational with immunity research results expected any day now...Finally, the early results are revealed, with the tested vaccines proving surprisingly effective.  Deaths in the placebo group spark public outrage that high-risk individuals weren't given access to a life-saving vaccine (while scientists push back against this, writing op-eds to explain to the public the importance of. . .

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