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Changer, par précaution | Change, as a precaution

Changer, par précaution | Change, as a precaution
Changer, par précaution | Change, as a precaution


Translated from French

By  Jacques Attali |

History teaches us that humanity only evolves significantly when it is truly afraid: then it first puts in place defense mechanisms; sometimes intolerable (scapegoats and totalitarianisms); sometimes futile (distraction); sometimes effective (therapeutics, setting aside if necessary all the previous moral principles). Then, once the crisis is over, it transforms these mechanisms to make them compatible with individual freedom, and to include them in a democratic health policy.

The beginning of the pandemic could trigger one of these structuring fears.

If it is not more serious than the two previous fears linked to the risk of a pandemic (the mad cow crisis of 2001 in Great Britain and that of avian flu in 2003 in China), it will first have consequences. significant economic (drop in air transport, drop in tourism and the price of oil); it will cost about $ 2 million per infected person and lower the stock markets by about 15%; its impact will be very brief (China’s growth rate declined only in the second quarter of 2003, only to explode higher in the third); it will also have consequences in terms of organization (In 2003, very rigorous police measures were taken throughout Asia; the World Health Organization has set up global alert procedures; and certain countries, in particular France and Japan, have built up considerable reserves of drugs and masks).

If it is a little more serious, which is possible, since it is transmissible by humans, it will have truly planetary consequences: economic (the models suggest that this could lead to a loss of 3 trillion dollars, i.e. a 5% drop in global GDP) and political (because of the risk of contagion, the countries of the North will have an interest in ensuring that those in the South are not sick and they will have to ensure that the poorest have access to medicines today ‘hui stored for only the richest); a major pandemic will then raise, better than any humanitarian or ecological discourse, the awareness of the need for altruism, at least self-interested.

And, even if, as we can obviously hope, this crisis is not very serious, we must not forget, as with the economic crisis, to learn the lessons, so that before the next inevitable one, we must not forget. set up prevention and control mechanisms and logistical processes for the equitable distribution of drugs and vaccines. For that, we will have to set up a global police force, a global storage and therefore a global tax system. It will then, much faster than economic reason alone would have allowed, to lay the foundations for a real world government. In fact, it was through the hospital that the establishment of a real state began in France in the 17th century.

In the meantime, we could at least hope for the implementation of a real European policy on the subject. But here again, like on so many other subjects, Brussels is silent.

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