The top priority in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic is global vaccination. The second is changing the behaviour of many countries that have still not learnt to prioritise disease control over wealth creation and economic growth. In both respects, the virus is winning, even if we are being told that we are well over the worst of it.
Take the UK, for example, where the free market believers exert increased influence in the cabinet and the government is about to end the great majority of restrictions. This is just as the Delta variant is expanding rapidly across the population, the new Lambda variant has arrived, and England is experiencing thousands of repeated mini-spreader events because of the impressive performance of its football team.
Prime minister Boris Johnson is either taking a necessary risk to achieve herd immunity or playing with fire. The current global experience, where the pandemic is not remotely under control, points strongly to the latter. As Dr Jack Ryan, head of emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO), put it, the UK’s COVID-19 policy is a matter of “moral emptiness and epidemiological stupidity”.