COVID-19: a political virus

COVID-19 is probably the first political virus in human history. Their birth and development are linked more to political factors than to the sole mutations of their genes.

Certainly other pandemics have been amplified by human behavior. For example, in the Middle Ages, trade by ship and the Crusades accelerated the spread of the plague. But in the case of COVID-19, it is likely that the virus would not have spread in China and around the world without the very special conditions of the Chinese communist regime that favored it. Similarly, it’s no wonder that the Omicron variant originated in a country like South Africa. And the severity of the current wave is carried by people who have been convinced by social media that vaccines are bad.

1. How does the origin of the epidemic depend on the Chinese communist regime?

The Communist Party of China has done everything possible to prevent the coronavirus from being explicitly associated with China, rejecting, for example, the name “Wuhan flu.” This rhetorical precaution was not only intended to save the national pride of the Chinese. He also tried to divert attention from the functioning of the Xi Jinping government. Without the terrorist regime and the hyper-centralization of powers imposed by Xi, it is likely that Chinese doctors and political authorities in Wuhan would have managed to alert the world much earlier. They could have contained the virus. The Chinese authorities would not have knowingly lied by stating that the coronavirus was not transmitted by aerosol, in order to stock up on medical equipment to the detriment of other countries. And if the virus had come from a laboratory accident, then the alert would have sounded earlier.

2. How political is the spread of the virus?

Donald Trump and, in turn, leaders like Jair Bolsonaro have knowingly downplayed the severity of COVID-19 to reap political gains. In doing so, they have played an important role in accelerating the spread of the disease.

3. How political is the Omicron variant?

South Africa had received multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, only a small part of these vaccines have been used. Poor infrastructure, as well as stupid beliefs about vaccines, have slowed down vaccination. It is the organization of the country as well as the low educational level that is in question. The same scenario has occurred in many developing countries: their backward political organization has favored both the spread of the disease and the mutations of the virus, despite the goodwill of the rich countries.

4. How political is the current wave?

The numbers are cutthroat: The vast majority of hospitalized and COVID-19 patients are made up of people who have not received a vaccine. In Quebec, less than 10% of the population is responsible for the overcrowding of hospitals and, therefore, for the extreme measures that the government must take during the holidays. Anti-vaccine movements are a new political phenomenon, carried by social networks.

5. How would the solution be political?

Paradoxically, the solution will not be political. Our societies are crossed by too many contradictory or irrational interests. At least vaccines and the efforts of various governments will have reduced mortality. Otherwise, the pandemic should eventually normalize itself.

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