SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2020
The way the world works, continued: We didn't see the news report when it appeared in the New York Times.
In print editions, the report was published on page A6 on Wednesday, December 16. In this morning's editions, it's linked to in this front-page report.
The original report concerns the hoarding of the world's supply of Covid vaccines. Earlier this week, we wrote about this very topic. The Times report from December 16 fleshes out the information we were able to provide.
Below, we'll even mention what we thought when he first encountered the little-discussed facts involved in this report. For now, headline included, here's the start of the Times report from December 16:
TWOHEY ET AL (12/16/20): Rush by Rich Countries To Reserve Early Doses Leaves the Poor Behind
As a growing number of coronavirus vaccines advance through clinical trials, wealthy countries are fueling an extraordinary gap in access around the world, laying claim to more than half the doses that could come on the market by the end of next year.
While many poor nations may be able to vaccinate at most 20 percent of their populations in 2021, some of the world’s richest countries have reserved enough doses to immunize their own multiple times over.
With no guarantee that any particular vaccine would come through, these countries hedged their bets on a number of candidates. But if all the doses they have claimed are delivered, the European Union could inoculate its residents twice, Britain and the United States could do so four times over, and Canada six times over, according to a New York Times analysis of data on vaccine contracts collected by Duke University, Unicef and Airfinity, a science analytics company.
“The high-income countries have gotten to the front of the line and cleared the shelves,” said Andrea Taylor, a Duke researcher who is studying the contracts.
So the report began. Here in the United States, we'll be able to inoculate our residents four times over. In Canada, they're even better supplied than that!
Meanwhile, the rest of the world will just have to wait. The lovely shall be choosers, much as the poet said!
Is something wrong with this behavior on a moral basis? The Times reports, you decide! Meanwhile, the paper's portrait of the haves and the have-nots continued as shown:
TWOHEY ET AL (continuing directly): The United States has provided billions of dollars to back the research, development and manufacturing of five of the most promising vaccines against Covid-19, pushing them forward at a speed and scale that would otherwise have been impossible. But the support came with a condition: that Americans would get priority access to doses made in their country.
Other wealthy nations joined the United States in placing large preorders, often with options to expand the deals and acquire even more—undermining many countries’ ability to make timely purchases.
But the outlook for most of the developing world is dire. Because of manufacturing limits, it could take until 2024 for many low-income countries to obtain enough vaccines to fully immunize their populations.
Is this inevitably the way the world works? Nations like ours will buy up the supply? The wretched of the earth will just have to wait their turn in a very long, very slow line?
We're not suggesting that some such fact should necessarily be shocking. We are inviting you to notice that this state of affairs isn't being discussed on our favorite "cable news" programs, or by our favorite pundits.
Should some nations be hoarding the world's vaccines while the rest of the world has to wait? In this morning's front-page report, the Times discusses the economic effects this may have on the world's less wealthy nations.
Should Rachel stop fantasizing about locking Rudy up, if only to devote a few minutes to this state of affairs? It's pretty much as you like it!
But as these unfortunate facts were unfolding, largely in silence, what was being discussed at New York magazine? At New York magazine, they were urging us to think about this:
Living With Karens
A white woman calls the police on her neighbors. Six months later, they still share a property line.
"Living With Karens!" No really, that's what it says—and it was the cover story of the magazine's print edition!
At New York magazine, we were being urged to think, at great length, about an apparent foolish neighbor-on-neighbor dispute which occurred in Montclair, New Jersey.
To make it even more exciting, the headline came complete with a reference to the Karens, a newly-coined term of racial / gender stereotype and denigration. These are the kinds of stereotypical denigration the others used to dream up!
For the record, inane next-door neighbor disputes occur all over the United States, among all demographics. You may have heard about the time Rand Paul's neighbor almost killed him in a neighbor-on-neighbor dispute concerning the alleged placement of a pile of old sticks and cut grass.
The writer of the report about the Montclair Karen may have had the best intentions. So too for her editors at New York.
Indeed, the incident was used to drive a Storyline which is currently extremely popular here in the streets of Our Town. Our question:
Will that writer, or her editors, be concerned with the way their own vaccinations will take place even as their lessers, all over the world, are being told that they'll just have to wait? Will New York magazine ever get around to spending its time on that?
A so-called Joshua generation has emerged within Our Town. They're successors to people like Rosa Parks and Dr. King and a great many others.
Mrs. Parks and Dr. King put their lives on the line, day after day. Their successors have heart attacks about a bit of stupid behavior by one person in Montclair—by one person who may need a bit of help.
Adding to the sense of outrage, the people whose time she seems to have wasted own a six-bedroom suburban house!
Increasingly, the Joshuas and the rest of us are proving Dr. King's original point. In the end, we're all a great deal alike. Once we get a few legs up, we're all pretty much the same!
There's no evil person in this tale. That said, the story may help us see the possible limitations of the values and presumptions now widely held in Our Town.
Our posturing is quite impressive. But who have we ever helped?