Pfizer Vaccine Announcement

Reading the news regarding COVID around the world, it's easy to see what the drivers are in the political arena which decides on the measures to deal with the pandemic. The countries where politics puts people and their safety first are few and far between. For example, it looks as though Israel is looking after it's people - of course there is no altruism involved, but vote catching, as a new election is due in March. 

In the UK, you can see that the wind blows in many directions, but the primary driver is the economy - not surprising as the Tory MPs are mostly, and represent mostly, the moneyed class . Thus we see Jacob Rees-Mogg stating that the help provided by UNICEF to children in poverty in South London is a publicity stunt. The man is so impoverished in empathy as to completely misunderstand what poverty is and how it affects people. He's a typically sad case but representative of the greedy people.  As local authorities have very few powers, the response is steered centrally, with the ensuing chaos of exceptions all over the place and no clear hard and fast rules. There the old and health workers are first in line.

In China, control of the people is all, as is the case in so many other countries. There we see the focus not on the mass of people, but on those deemed important to maintain control. So, skills such as those needed to develop a vaccine, are now part of the armed forces in China, and guess who gets the first bite at vaccination. The general population has been taught rigorously  that complaining will get them into trouble, so they don't dare complain.

In Russia the Russian-made vaccine will first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers and social workers because they run the highest risk of exposure to the disease. Makes sense. In Russia, unlike China, the danger of a people's revolt is higher, as they have not been as suppressed as the peoples of China, since Glasnost. And there is no outcry of "me first" from the general population.

France is also a centrally managed country. The effect is that  bureaucracy is at work and everything will get done very, very slowly. They are starting with retirement homes (residents and staff), followed by health workers, followed by....... Very slow - effective but certainly not efficient.

In Switzerland, where I live, there is the federal system based on the 26 Cantons and a total population of around 10 million. The Central Government allows the Cantons to decide what to do and as a consequence it varies by Canton, with some relatively fast and others staggeringly slow. it looks to me as if it's the Cantons ruled by the right wing parties which are the slow ones, including in applying restrictions. More Chaos, depending on where you live. Here, it's kind of middle-of-the-road politics. The problem here is not enough vaccines - conservative countries have been conservative in placing their orders. So, they write: "In the first phase, inpidual cantons can begin the first vaccinations for people in vulnerable groups on a step-by-step basis. Vaccinations will take place in specific settings such as old people‚Äôs and care homes. Starting 4 January 2021, the vaccination of people in vulnerable groups and other priority groups will then start all over Switzerland."  But very slowly.

Populism is the keyword, wherever there isn't a dictatorial government in place. Sad, but you can't please everybody all of the time. Our politicians demonstrate that on a daily basis!

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