Does Covid destroy Solidarity in the name of Humanitarianism?

The official arguments on the need to vaccinate British children against Covid appear to present a blatant illogicality that no one in the corporate media wants to highlight.

Health Risks associated with Childhood Vaccination

A few days ago, the UK government’s vaccination experts, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), withstood strong political pressure and decided against recommending vaccination of children aged 12 to 15. Indeed, the JCVI concluded that vaccination could not be justified in the case of children for health reasons.

This is because the known health risks associated with immunizing children – primarily heart inflammation – outweighed the health benefits. The JCVI also indicated that there could be unknown longer-term health risks, given the lack of follow-up of young people and children who have already been vaccinated.

But while the JCVI challenged the government, it did not completely ignore its political demands. They offered the four chief medical officers of the government a notwithstanding clause that could be exploited to streamline the approval of childhood immunizations: they conceded that vaccinations could offer other benefits, not related to health.

Utility Arguments

As might be expected, this utilitarian rationale for immunizing children was taken up by the UK government. Here is the Guardian uncritically regurgitating the official position:

There have also been concerns about the indirect effects of the virus on children. Most significant has been the disruption of schools, which has had a severe impact on their mental and physical health, as well as their education.

It is mainly for this reason that the four CMOs said that children between the ages of 12 and 15 should be able to benefit from the vaccine.

They believe that vaccination will reduce the risk of disruption in school and extracurricular activities, as well as the effect of these disruptions on their mental health and well-being.

Let’s break down this argument.

The Covid does not pose a serious threat to the overwhelming majority of children, agree to say the JCVI and the chief doctors. (The few children who are at risk can be vaccinated according to the existing rules).

But, according to the government, the Covid inflicted physical, mental and educational suffering on children because classes had to be closed for long periods to protect vulnerable adults before the adult population could be vaccinated.

Today, most adults, and almost all vulnerable adults, are vaccinated against Covid, which offers them a significant degree of protection.

But children have yet to be injected with a vaccine that, all things considered, can do more harm than good to their health.

If this is the official argument, we should all ask ourselves: Why?

Two scenarios

There are two possible scenarios to assess this argument.

The first :

The vaccine is effective against transmission and serious illnesses in adults. It is therefore no longer necessary to close schools to protect the adult population. Adults are now largely safe – unless they have decided not to get the vaccine. This therefore means that the “indirect” damage caused by the closure of schools to the mental and physical well-being of children should no longer be taken into account.

If so, then there is no reason – whether sanitary or indirect and non-sanitary – to justify immunizing children.

The second :

The vaccine does not stop transmission and serious illnesses, but it does reduce some of the transmission and alleviate the worst effects of Covid. This is what the evidence increasingly suggests.

If this is the case, not only will the vaccination of children not prevent some of them from catching and transmitting the Covid, but it will also not achieve its stated goal of preventing the future closure of schools and the consequential damages to children.

Worse yet, at the same time, vaccination can increase the risk of children suffering damage to their health from the vaccine itself, as the initial finding of JCVI suggests.

Speculative Advantages

Neither scenario offers compelling medical, or even non-medical, reasons for vaccinating children. A speculative and marginal advantage for the adult population is privileged over the rights of children to enjoy bodily autonomy and to avoid being subjected to medical experiments which could have short or long term effects on their health.

Just to be clear, as the throng of “science enthusiasts” once again prepares to be outraged, these are not my arguments. They are implicit in the official reasoning of experts who assess the advisability of immunizing children. They have been ignored for political reasons, because the government prefers to appear as if it is actively trying to get us back to normal, and because it has chosen to put all its eggs in the easy basket (and cost-effective) vaccines.

If vaccines are enough to solve the pandemic, there is no need to look at other aspects, such as the gradual dismantling of the national health service by successive governments, including the current government, our economies of overconsumption, nutrient-poor diets promoted by the agriculture and food industries, and much more.

Straightforward Racism

There are, in fact, much more obvious and unequivocal reasons to oppose immunization of children – apart from the fact that immunization makes the health of children dependent on the well-being of the adult population under the slightest pretext. .

First, the vaccine doses wasted on British children could be put to much better use by vaccinating vulnerable populations in the South. We have good self-interest reasons to support this position, especially since it comes to tackling a global pandemic in a modern, highly interconnected world.

But more altruistic – and ethical – concerns should also be at the forefront of discussions. Our lives are no more important than those of Africans or Asians. To think otherwise – to imagine that we deserve a third or fourth booster shot or that we need to vaccinate children to reduce the risk of death from Covid in the West to almost zero – is outright racism.

Second, a growing body of medical research indicates that natural immunity confers stronger and longer lasting protection against Covid.

Since the virus poses only a low medical threat to children, the evidence gathered so far suggests that it is better for them to catch the Covid, as is apparently already the case for half of ‘between them.

Indeed, it serves both their own interests by developing in them a better immunity against future more dangerous variants and the interests of the adults around them – assuming (and admittedly this is a big guess) that the goal here is not to make adults dependent on endless boosters to prevent weakening immunity and enrich Pfizer.

The worst of both Worlds

In contrast, the approach taken by the UK government – and applauded by most corporate media – is the worst of both worlds.

British officials want to treat Covid as a permanent threat to public health, a threat that can apparently never be eradicated. The permanent state of emergency allows the government to grant itself ever greater powers, including surveillance, under the pretext that we are in an endless war against the virus.

But at the same time, the government’s implicit ‘zero tolerance’ approach to Covid – in this case, a futile ambition to prevent any hospitalization or death from the virus in the UK – means that the interests British children, and people in foreign countries that we have helped impoverish over the course of our colonial history, can be sacrificed for the sake of adults in wealthy Western countries.

The combined effect of these two approaches is to foster a political climate in which Western governments and institutional media are better placed to replicate the colonial political priorities they have traditionally pursued abroad, but this time applying them to the home front.

The so-called war on the virus – a war in which children seemingly must be recruited to fight on our behalf – is a pretty sharp echo of the now discredited and endangered “war on terror”.

Both can be presented as threats to our civilization. They both require the state to reallocate vast resources to corporate elites (the “defense” industries and now Big Pharma). Both have created widespread fear among the population, making them more docile. Both demand a permanent state of emergency and the sacrifice of our freedoms. Both have been promoted in terms of bogus humanitarianism. And neither of the wars can be won.

The law of the Jungle

Acknowledging these parallels is not synonymous with denial, although the government and the media have every interest in maintaining this assumption. There have been and still are terrorists, although the term is easily distorted to serve political agendas. And there is a dangerous virus from which vulnerable populations must be protected.

But just as the threat of “terror” arose in response to – and to mask – our arrogant colonial control over other people’s resources and their plunder, this pandemic threat seems to have arisen, in large part, from our arrogant invasion. less habitat on the planet and our increasingly less healthy and consumer-oriented lifestyles.

At the start of the pandemic, I wrote an article that went viral, titled “  A Lesson the Coronavirus is About to Teach the World ”. I affirmed that our capitalist societies, with their ideologies of the “law of the jungle” type, were the least able to face a health crisis which required solidarity, both local and global.

I noted that Donald Tump, then President of the United States, was trying to get an early and exclusive agreement for a “quick fix” – a vaccine – of which he planned to reserve the first doses for Americans to gain votes in his. countries, then use it as leverage over other states to reward those who conform to its interests, or possibly those of the United States. The planet could be divided between friends and foes – those who received the vaccine and those who were deprived of it.

It was a quintessentially Trumpian vanity project that he did not carry out. But in many ways it came to fruition in a different way and in a way that could be more dangerous than I expected.

Divide and Rule

The vaccine has indeed been sold as a quick fix, a panacea that not only relieves us of the burden of lockdowns and masks, but also of the need to think about what “normal life” means and whether we are to want to return to it. .

And just as Trump wanted to use vaccine distribution as a tool for division and domination, the vaccination process itself ended up serving a similar end. With the rapid deployment of vaccines, our societies almost immediately split between those who demand passports and vaccine warrants as the price of inclusion and those who demand the protection of fundamental freedoms and the culture of unconditional social solidarity.

In popular discourse, of course, this is presented as a fight between responsible vaxxers and irresponsible anti-vaxxers. Divide and rule is another absurdity. Those in favor of vaccination and those who have been vaccinated may be just as concerned about the direction we are taking as the ‘anti-vaxxers’.

Fear is at the origin of our division: between those who fear above all the virus and those who fear above all the Western elites whose authoritarian instincts are manifested as they are confronted with imminent economic and environmental crises for which they have no answer.

Increasingly, our stance on pandemic issues has little to do with “science” and depends primarily on how each of us stands on the fear spectrum.

The hoarding Drive

The vaccination of children is particularly evident, which is why I have chosen to focus on it. We want children to be vaccinated not because research suggests they need it or society benefits from it, but because knowing they are vaccinated alleviates our fear of the virus a bit more.

Likewise, we want strangers to be deprived of the vaccine – and this is the choice we make when we prioritize immunizing our children and demand reminders for ourselves – because that, too, will allay our fears.

We accumulate vaccines, as we once did with toilet paper. We try to fortify our borders against the virus, just as we do against ‘immigrants’, even though the rational part of our brain knows that the virus will land on our shores, in the form of new variants, unless more nations. poor people are not able to immunize their populations as well.

Our fears, the power complexes of politicians and the profit motives of corporations combine to fuel this madness. And in the process, we are stepping up the ostrich ideology that we call Western Civilization.

We turn on each other, we prioritize the stranger, we pit parents against children, we pit the vaccinated against the unvaccinated – all in the name of false humanitarianism and falsehood. solidarity.