BAGUIO

Ward: Vaccine wars

Stranger in a Strange Land

AT THE time of writing, there is a war ongoing. This time around, it is not three superpowers trying to land first on the moon. Rather, it is China, Russia and the USA seeing who can come up with an effective tested coronavirus vaccine first. Three leaders who have by my reckoning three distinct approaches to it.

Trump would like to be first as he came up with an adventurous name for the effort "operation warp speed." Plus it would perhaps give him some credibility as he has had a very disconnected approach since day one. But even if a US effort wins the race this author wouldn't give credit to the guy who didn't even support the basics like masks till the fourth quarter. No, if ever that win goes to the Fauci's and Gate's of the USA.

Xi would no doubt like China to be successful as they have had the longest experience in dealing with the virus. Plus he would surely like to shut Trump up on "the China Virus" tagline and instead be recognized for "the China vaccine" that saved humanity.

Putin is so anxious that he is saying "we got it" already. Even to the extent that it seems his daughter was one of the early ones to receive it. The problem here is it seems WHO and experts worldwide are wondering how many short cuts were indeed taken.

Remember a vaccine like this has traditionally taken 24 to 36 months to reach the stage of being developed, trialed and produced. Here we are at the six-month point only... it just seems longer as the virus has been so brutal.

I don't think the vaccine will in the end have much effect politically. Both Putin and Xi are already in the exalted "President for Life" status through careful positioning. As for Trump I truly predict he is a spent force and will lose big time this November. Just a "one-hit wonder" in the end. Biden will have his work cut out to correct all the damage Trump has done in four short years.

When Biden takes office in January 2021 he will be the oldest President ever installed...yes even older than Reagan. That is why his VP pick is so important as if they do a creditable job than "she" (we don't know which she but we know It's a she) has the advantage to become the first women President of the United States. That breakthrough has sure taken a long time, overdue if you ask me.

Back to the vaccine, in closing I feel that whoever develops the vaccine will indeed be kind and share it with us here in the Philippines. We are widely well regarded due to our kind nature and presence all over the map. We may not get it as quickly as we like or in the immediate quantity we need it but we will get it, anyhow that's my take.

But in the meantime, we must continue to flatten the curve and follow the basics. Indeed it is worrying that just this week we passed Indonesia and now have the largest number of active cases in Asia. This is a matter of timing a "waiting game" but it is one where we can't wait to be saved but rather we act prudently and smartly while we wait.

I'm just here with you in the same boat. Doing my bit to be kind and compassionate while at the same time remembering impermanence as the one basic fact of life.


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