Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday March 26, 2022
Neo-colonialism and the Covid response
Approximately 35 per cent of the world’s population has not received at least one dose, while more than 42 per cent of the world’s population has not been fully vaccinated. One can easily observe the inequitable distribution of vaccines between the Global North and the Global South.
In a globalised world, the Covid19 pandemic tested human immunity and the relevance of global international health regulations to fight it at the individual and global levels, respectively. The pandemic has demonstrated how unprepared we were, as warned by public health experts, and it should be a wake-up call to not let it happen again.
The pandemic has also exposed that control and power do not necessitate invasion or military control over poor and less developed countries. In the modern world, power and control exist in different forms, unlike in the old history of colonialism.
One can observe significant distinctions regarding the emergence of global health in the 1990s and early 2000s, which has become a tool for influencing country-led decisions (primarily rich countries) in favour of aid-giving countries – a sort of soft power political control. These relationships built on reliance, subjection and Shylock-like indebtedness are problematic in their intent and consequence.