Sunday, 21 March 2021


 One of the justifications for the extreme measures taken by governments during the COVID crisis is "This is like a war". Increasingly, it seems that the nationalism, vaccines, politics, misinformation and death suggests that this isn't just "like" a war - it IS a war. Like all wars, the winners will be those who are least damaged physically and economically, and able to wield their political advantage after the "conflict".  

It seems that vaccination is the route to "victory". This is increasingly the kind of rhetoric that is emerging from the UK, US and Russia (China has a different story, although it will eventually settle on the question of vaccination). As an emerging understanding of what "victory" over COVID might mean, there will also be an emerging realisation of new potentials for international conflict and strategic advantage through a combination of science, data and governmental control. 

It's not beyond the imagination that a future North Korean (or British or US or Chinese!) administration might give up on expensive missiles and instead invest in bio-engineering - simultaneously developing a virus, and a vaccine for its own population. Hasn't there been a Bond film with a similar plot? COVID tells us it doesn't have to be anthrax - it could simply be a flu variant if what is required is economic calamity in other states.   

Now perhaps there would be logistical hurdles (France, Russia and many other countries can't convince their own populations to take a vaccine!) but the potential economic advantage this kind of strategic bio-sabotage could inflict would be massive when viewed through the lens of global conflict. It would also, of course, be global lunacy. But there is something wrong with our consciousness that stops us from seeing the lunacy in such a plan, and see only the "advantages". God help us. 

No comments: