It is often said that a war brings out the best of people and the worst of people. I think a pandemic works the same way. There have been some genuine heroes. I remember hearing about this nurse who went around the US to help out hospitals in the worst possible circumstances when they were on the verge of being overwhelmed and would not have survived without heroic people like her. She was not able to get health insurance anymore because the insurance companies were smart. They knew she was taking crazy chances by going to hospitals swamped with Covid-19. And then she had to deal with people who did not believe the disease was real, even as they were dying. If the nurses had good sense—like the insurance companies—they would have said sorry I can’t help you. But they went any way.
Then there were the people like me from rich countries like Canada complaining that our government was not getting the vaccines out fast enough. Every government was criticized. Usually, the governments were all doing the best they could in novel circumstances without a proper playbook.
Yet, there were also people who cheated. Like the rich people who flew to the Yukon to pose as local people who were getting the vaccine faster than the people down south because indigenous people were suffering disproportionately.
Yet we are all in the west benefiting from dubious morality. This is what The Guardian reported when the global deaths from Covid-19 exceeded 2 million:
“Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization has said the world is on the edge of a “catastrophic moral failure” in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines with just 25 doses administered across all poor countries compared with 39 million in wealthier ones.”
Hoarding vaccines is not the same as hoarding toilet paper.