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A year of solidarity? | COVID-19 pandemic

Already at the beginning of a pandemic, one could often hear that humanity is able to cope with such a crisis only through joint efforts. Over time, however, little has remained of solidarity and willingness to make sacrifices. The press writes that fatigue and disappointment are largely due to the blunders of the authorities.

Instead of community — distrust

In a column for the NRC Handelsblad newspaper, writer Tommy Wieringa bitterly notes:

“The coronavirus, as they say, was used by politicians for their own purposes. From a threat that united us all at first, it turned into a breeding ground for conflicts. Close identification with personal opinion very quickly stifled the ability to question things and freely exchange opinions. The virus has not only exacerbated the already familiar tensions between different social groups but also divided friends — and even families. Applause ceased to sound at the medical staff, but on the contrary, curses began to be borne; scientists have ceased to be trusted, now they are threatened. ... Patience with regard to the weak, the sick, and the elderly burst out surprisingly quickly. What is the reason for the majority of healthy people to somehow consider the needs of these groups? ... Was it worth it?”

Without global cooperation...

Hopefully, the pandemic will force everyone to face the truth, Adrian Onchiu writes on his blog on the news portal Mediafax:

“A deadly virus is an ideal terrorist: you can't see it, you can't hear it and you can't feel it! You will do everything possible to make it disappear — and even give up your fundamental rights and freedoms. ... You will be ready to accept help from anywhere — just to ensure your own survival. In order for everything to become as before. We are all not averse to living up to deep gray hair. But a pandemic is not a toy; you cannot fight it alone. Whether it is the United States, Russia, or China: no matter how strong you are, your survival depends on the efforts of the entire world community, which at the same time must be well coordinated. ... Only together will we be able to eliminate this new and extremely sophisticated terrorist.“

Prioritizing economics — troubles are inevitable

In 2020, people in Sweden have felt particularly acutely the consequences of the liberalization of recent years, writes Aftonbladet:

“The pandemic has allowed us to realize how important the practical value of such a concept as solidarity. ... Over the past decades, the prerogative of decision-making has largely shifted from politics to economics and business. The areas of health care, schooling, and care for the elderly have been largely privatized, as have the railways, post office, and housing construction. As a result, politicians have practically no voice left on important social issues, with companies and concerns now setting the tone. ... The only thing we can still argue about at a time when economic power is concentrated on the hands of corporations and governed by international agreements is culture, norms, and our identity. ... This year has shown us how much we all depend on each other and how much we need each other.”

Not a drop of sympathy...

Journalist Domenico Kvirico recalls the fate of the refugees who are now freezing in the snows of Bosnia and Herzegovina and whose fate no one cares about. In the pages of La Stampa, he writes:

“We believed in the solidarity of the poor with the poor, we believed that people who themselves experienced disappointment, bitterness, and misfortune would sympathize with those who are experiencing it now. But there is no such sympathy. We were also deprived of this consolation, it disappeared, evaporated without a trace — after all, now in Bosnia, three thousand migrants are trying through a snowstorm and bad weather to find a path that will lead them to Europe they dream of. Three thousand people homeless and homeless — isolated, forgotten, and rejected. ... Bosnia has become a reminder that we can plunge into darkness and horror at any moment. ... Even there were no human words of sympathy and support. Hate finds words much easier.”

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