Rich nations, poor nations amid pandemic

By Al S. Mendoza


A glaring global truth resurfaced amid the pandemic: the yawning gap between the rich and poor countries.

Power versus powerlessness.

Haves versus have-nots.

Wealth versus weak.

In the fight against the COVID-19, the First World countries are on the front lines.  Naturally.

They have the wherewithal.  He who has the money rules.

The Third World countries are mere spectators.  Beggars even.

They applaud when the rich succeed—they always do—in discovering the cure aka vaccine against the virus.

Because the poor are always relegated to the sidelines, they applaud loudest when they receive scraps—never mind if they are crumbs.

The rich nations have the money to finance their vaccine research.

The poor nations borrow money to buy their vaccines—even it means sinking the economy deeper down the gutter of bankruptcy.

Oh, yes, the poor nations have also their own scientists that are as equally good like their counterparts from the other side, if not even better at times.

But, alas, the poor nations have no money to finance such cost-heavy studies on medical frontiers—let alone laboratories to house scientific data.

Thus, they rely on the rich nations’ kindness and generosity.

Like, did not France and Sweden donate their excess vaccines to some poor nations but not including us?

The US said it is now mulling over doing the same thing, after having virtually inoculated almost three-fourth of its 250-million population.

Have we been included in America’s list of beneficiaries from Third World countries?

I doubt.

Not after China had already done the alms-giving ahead of the rest of its rival superpowers, including Russia.

These days, one can never get ahead of China, the only country able to finish what God had left undone.

Look, when God rested on the seventh day after six straight days of working, did China not take over and the world was never the same again?

We have bought several American vaccine brands, thank God, after several months of being dribbled, and of smarting from a fumble that saw someone allegedly “drop the ball” when a sure lay-up was in sight.

They have hit town, weeks after China’s vaccines had arrived and been administered to several hundreds of our countrymen nationwide.

As of this writing, a total of about eight million doses are in freezers, with some two-and-half million jabs already done.

The remaining six million or so must be disposed by July due to expiry issues.

That eight-million total is still miles away from the targeted 70 million doses needed to nail the herd immunity necessary to totally eliminate the COVID-19 virus.

Recently, I found it funny that people in the cities of Paranaque and Muntinlupa rushed to vaccination sites for a jab of American-made Pfizer.

Before that, no queues seen when China-made Sinovac was on tap for inoculation.

America always better than China?

Or, must be another case of colonial mentality?

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