This is a day for celebration, and should be marked as the beginning of the end of coronavirus in the UK. We have a long way to go and we’ll see NHS overwhelming levels of death if we relent or become complacent now, but that doesn’t change the fact we have a day to celebrate something, easily the best news day since the beginning of March.
Matt Hancock sobbed on Good Morning Britain, we’ve seen a man named William Shakespeare receive his inoculation, and we can all jump for joy. It feels too good to be true, but it has the weight of scientists, and independent regulators behind it; make no mistake: this vaccine is both SAFE to take, and it’s EFFECTIVE, far more so than we hoped originally.
This has all happened far quicker than us, the realists who now look like pessimists, would have reckoned. False hope spread by the likes of President Trump were foolish, because they weren’t factual, but they did (as various have pointed out) turned out to be more or less bang on, so well done. If we learn anything from this it’s that sometimes things go our way, it’s that in no way will we be stuck in this hellscape for years to come, and it’s that when we actually wield the power of human ingenuity on one collective thing we achieve it.
Bravo and hats off to everyone even remotely involved in bringing this about, because they’ve contributed to saving humanity. Vaccines should be made available free of charge to poorer nations and the Global South, anything else is a dereliction of duty by the countries fortunate to be wealthy, and often so off the back of pillaging those poorer nations in the past; think of the vaccination programme as 0.0001% or so of reparations payed, or equally as just the very bare minimum those nations should expect.
Nationalism and bravado doesn’t own this, internationalism, solidarity, and cooperation own this. Just think how much we could achieve if we addressed our common problems as a species this way.