CORONAVIRUS will likely kill tens of thousands around the world, decimate economies and change humanity forever.
Every country will suffer – that’s a given.
But there’s a stark difference in how various politicians and administrations have chosen to deal with the crisis.
Sunday night’s CNN debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden started and finished with questions around coronavirus.
Sanders rightly highlighted the class nature of healthcare in his responses.
He said: “As a result of the virus here, the coronavirus, what we have got to do also is understand the fragility of the economy and how unjust and unfair it is that so few have so much and so many have so little.”
Meanwhile, Biden claimed that “people are looking for results, not a revolution.
“They want to deal with the results they need right now.
“That has nothing to do with the legitimate concern about income inequality in America. That’s real.
“But that does not affect the need for us to act swiftly and very thoroughly and in concert with all of the forces that we need to bring to bear to deal with the crisis now so no one is thrown out of their home.”
While the status quo capitalist will put a band aid on the pandemic, the social democrat will look to address the root causes.
(Try replacing the words ‘stop coronavirus’ with ‘stop Trump’ and this seems oddly familiar.)
In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn called for the suspension of rent and increased sick pay for all those affected – but he is up against a government which admitted it underestimated the virus’ impact, a misjudgement that could cost thousands of lives.
In France, after all, President Macron – the world’s favourite centrist – announced all household bills and rents would be suspended during the crisis.
In a way, he was forced by nature to give his people what they deserved all along.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown the necessity for governments that respond to people’s needs.
One only need compare the response of the Cuban and American governments to highlight this.
Cuba, having developed an antiviral due to their economic emphasis on scientific research, is now working with the likes of China to fight the virus across the globe.
China, whose people have suffered undeserved hatred and racial prejudice since the outbreak, has successfully contained the virus and is now working to help other nations.
The US, meanwhile, is complicit in Iranian deaths due to their refusal to lift sanctions that stop medical supplies crossing the border.
It is also complicating efforts in Germany to develop a vaccine by offering millions to try and poach the potential producer.
The pandemic has, more than ever, shown the need for a co-operative, socialist economy.
If governments refuse to serve their people in this great time of need, the end of humanity is in sight.
It truly is a choice between socialism and barbarism.