14 March 2020

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos: “[A]t this stage, CoViD-19 is mostly a developed-world disease that threatens the elderly and the vulnerable in terms of either underlying health issues or repeated exposure to the virus. This means that the majority of the population… can afford to ignore it. … So we are mostly ok. Right? No. Because if we think like that, we have failed. We have already succumbed to the disease. The challenge of Covid is monumentally ethical. … Covid demands an ethics of self-positioning (physically and at the same time ethically) in relation to other bodies, of removing ourselves from the collectivity that we might harm despite our best intentions, of thinking beyond the edge of our skin. Covid must be stopped from reaching the vast refugee camps across the world. Covid must remain a developed country disease where national health systems are generally better equipped to deal with the crisis. … The ethics of withdrawal before Covid is a show of a planetary collectivity, where we finally understand that our bodies are all connected, and that taking precautions in London will mean that more people will survive in the refugee camps or in the less developed world with more fragile health systems. It is ultimately a show of removing oneself from the mania of ‘progress’, with its global pollution, climate change and anthropocenic irreversibility, and allowing the planet to take a breath.