A few days ago, the United States declared the end of the covid-19 pandemic.
Winter is coming and no, we are not talking about the cycle of the seasons of the year. It is an estimate of the times to come based on the moment the world is going through. The Secretary General of the UN said so, Antonio Guterres, on the first day of the body’s general assembly: “Let’s have no illusions. We navigate rough waters. A winter of discontent is coming on a global scale. The cost of living crisis is raging. Confidence crumbles. Inequalities skyrocket. Our planet is burning (…) We are stuck in a colossal global dysfunction. The international community is neither ready nor willing to face the enormous and dramatic challenges of our era. These crises threaten the very future of humanity and the fate of our planet (…) We need hope and more. We need action…”
A few days ago, the United States declared the end of the covid-19 pandemic. The fact that this declaration has been issued means that, in that country, the virus has taken a place in the daily dynamics, more than it has not disappeared, but this implies that there are conditions in that territory for the coexistence of the human being and SARS- CoV-2. In the immediate future, more and more countries will join this long-awaited announcement. And is that, do you remember the various reflections that arose at the beginning of the pandemic? We believed that once this episode was behind us, we would return to the world with a new perspective, that the world would have understood the various lessons that isolation would have taught us. However, the entire planet began to resume its life, ignoring the very serious pending issues in social matters, as well as the great gaps in political matters. The pandemic evidenced the enormous inequality that cohabits with humanity. We saw how many countries did not have access to vaccines or medicines until months after the superpowers secured their supply. We also witnessed business decisions that were detrimental to workers and their well-being. In many ways, the operational route did not stop. In political matters, not even vulnerability, which was the same for everyone, was enough to settle the conflicts in various parts of the world or to trace a new democratic path.
So here we are, with a more controlled covid-19, but with our pre-pandemic slopes even more robust. There is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the conflicts in the Gaza Strip, the tension between the United States and China over the recognition of Taiwan as an independent country. There is also the deep social division, that culture of Manichaeism in which there are no grays, in which there are only good and bad, official and opposition; two unique (and small) parts of a whole that are not enough to feed and generate a debate that leads us to find solutions.
2022 is the first in three years that the world has developed in a much freer way in terms of health, but even the moment it lived in 2020 and 2021 was not enough to close the enormous political, social or cultural gaps. So the UN Secretary General is right: a cold winter is coming (and not only because of record temperatures due to the climate emergency), but also because the world,