The race to contain the coronavirus

"This pandemic has united the world."



How I wish nations would act as one in the race to save mankind to come out with a vaccine against the coronavirus. China, Russia, the US, Japan, UK, France, etc. are now racing against the pandemic that is threatening to eradicate mankind. Unlike previous history, including the threat to rekindle the Cold War, countries are one in their endeavor to erase this threat to civilization.

The dawning of civilization saw man inventing his tool as means to gather food for his survival. Because he had to subdue wild animals, it became necessary for him to defend himself.

Through the ages, the tool that became his weapon suited his needs. During the Stone Age, men devised them as their earliest tool. Primitive men used them to hunt animals or as flint to start a fire. It was equally converted to weapons used to defend themselves against ferocious beasts.

As man’s knowledge for survival advanced, bows and arrows were invented. Each has their specific purpose like allowing men to hunt in wider areas, and later against their fellowmen who might wrest from them their prized catch.

Tools formally became a weapon to kill. The invention of gunpowder for their guns, rifles and cannons were intended against their fellowmen whose depravity developed alongside with their concept of property something far above the concept of survival. Thus, the tool to gather food was radically transformed to a weapon to kill anybody who might deprive him of what he earned from his labor. Hence, the right to kill in defense of one’s property became morally right. Philosophers like Marx elevated to a second level man’s consciousness, that defense of property be accorded moral justification.

The third level is the ultimate transformation of tools as weapons was the invention of nuclear weapons. The atom bomb shed off whatever hypocrisy man has to protect himself and his property. Its purpose is to wipe out humanity from the face of the globe. Those that have nuclear weapons are driven by the negative object of totally destroying mankind.

The only contraction is that it gave birth to members of the nuclear club the deterrence of restrain for fear of its awesome consequence. It instilled a universal fear that nuclear weapons could wipe them out of existence. Military strategists call this the mutually assured destruction (MAD) theory.

Despite that, the balance of power concept remains precarious. Once that imbalance is felt, the old instinct to dominate will resurface. The two world wars were the result of power imbalance. The Marxists attribute this to imperialism, which is an inherent contradiction in the capitalist system.

When the US has the monopoly of the atomic bomb, it entertained the notion that it was its passport to dominate the globe. The US saw the destructive capacity of the nuclear bomb when it was first used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, the concept of MAD became an unwritten deterrence between the two superpowers. It proved that a nuclear weapon has its frightening limitation that promoted the negative theory of sum zero game, which is a contradiction in terms.

The advent of the pandemic reverted back the philosophy to the positive and universal cycle of protecting mankind. As political observers noted, there was nuclear disarmament but it remained precarious because other nuclear club members continue to entertain the notion they still have a chance to survive in the event of nuclear war.

The pandemic resurrected the universal objective of man, which is to preserve mankind irrespective of race, religion, ideology and economic status. Unlike the doctrine relying on the use of nuclear weapons, in the case of the current pandemic, nobody can say somebody started it. It was nature taking its vengeance against mankind for the mess brought by their own progress. The greatest drawback to this is it now engulfs the whole of mankind, and all are seemingly helpless to stop it.

As the pandemic takes its toll on human lives, it becomes far more difficult to control than that of a nuclear blast because it is an enemy one cannot see, feel or smell. It is this characteristic that urged mankind to revert to the strategy of preserving their species or of making the whole of humankind their ally against this deadly virus.

Notably throughout the millennia, mankind has been visited by a pandemic. During the Medieval Ages man suffered the bubonic plague or “black death.” The plague nearly wiped out one third of the entire population of Europe. In exploring the New World in the 14th century, white colonizers practically wiped out the entire native population in the Caribbean by bringing new and unknown diseases. They accidentally introduced tuberculosis, cholera, measles, smallpox, and diphtheria to the continent. At the turn of the 20th century, nearly 50 million were killed by a deadly virus known as the Spanish influenza.

In all these cycles of pandemic, men were united in their endeavor to contain it. Coronavirus reunited mankind not for their need for food, but for their very survival. Nonetheless, the US used the occasion to politicize its version of "freedom" and "democracy" by withdrawing from the WHO all for the charge of being “China centric.”

The pandemic of our time already infected 19.7 million, about 12 million have recovered, and there have been 729 thousand deaths worldwide. The unity to fight against Covid 19 was not warranted by international convention but by the necessity to counteract the threat. Among the countries racing to develop the vaccine are:

Russia - Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said his country already developed an “effective and safe” vaccine. According to Kirill Dmitriev, the vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology. vaccine. Russian vaccine for COVID-19 is named Sputnik V and is now being manufactured and readied for world distribution.

China – SinoPharm is the Chinese pharmaceutical firm that approved the experimental vaccine. The vaccine is expected to be on the market by the end of the year. The vaccine was jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. China’s ambassador Huang Xilian assured the Philippines will be given priority.

Britain – The vaccine is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Studies show 90% of people developed neutralizing antibodies after taking one dose. Only ten people were given two doses and all produced neutralizing antibodies. UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca pledged to supply that vaccine at cost price.

France - The Institut Pasteur, is now leading the way.  France teamed up with three other EU countries to form an “inclusive vaccine alliance” to EU nations.

US – The US announced an agreement with Pfizer for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Japan – announced the delivery of oral antiviral drug Avigan for clinical trials to be administered to 100 Filipino COVID-19 patients. The Japanese embassy said Avigan tablets, generically known as favipiravir, Avigan has drawn interest for its potential to prevent viral replication.

rpkapunan[email protected]

Topics: COVID-19 , Pandemic , Japan , Russia , France , Britain , United States , World Health Organizations
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