The coronavirus pandemic has claimed nearly 700,000 lives since its emergence in China late last year, yet it is not the most dangerous disease we face.
Malaria, a disease that threatens nearly half of the world’s population, kills more than 400,000 people each year. The AIDS epidemic has killed more than 33 million. Perhaps even worse is air pollution, which has been described by the World Health Organization as the “deadliest threat to humanity.”
‘From a pan-African perspective, we need to keep in mind that other diseases are active,’ explains Dr. Louis-Georges Tin, Prime Minister and founding father of the State of the African Diaspora.*
Speaking last month during a webinar I was fortunate to attend, Dr. Tin explained that a virus is ‘not only a matter of biology. It is a social phenomenon…It is most likely to affect the poorest, most vulnerable people. That’s a matter of politics.’
The same is true with COVID.
’Too often, the people making decisions are not affected by those decisions,’ says Dr. Tin. For example, it’s easy for someone who works in an office to work from home and stay away from others. This is not possible for a majority of workers. In Africa, roughly 65% of the population work in the fields. If they can’t go to work, they will starve. The same is true of many working-class families and individuals in the United States.
‘Telling people to work from home is not a solution because it does not work for the majority,’ argues Dr. Tin. For the majority, the real threat during this pandemic isn’t catching COVID; it’s losing the ability to put food on the table.
‘Cooperation is the only solution,’ continues Dr. Tin. ‘We must work together and not just keep the rich people alive. Cooperation is the only way to survive and perhaps improve the world because now it is affected; [COVID] is revealing a lot of problems. Perhaps we can find better things for tomorrow because of this pandemic.’
*The African Diaspora is a young government representing nearly 350 million people descended from sub-Saharan Africa. SOAD has a constitution, a parliament, and is recognized by the African Union. All quotes in this article are paraphrased as I did not have access to a transcript.