With SARS-Cov-2 after H5N1 (or avian influenza), SARS, MERS, swine flu, Ebola, and Zika, we are living in an age of pandemics.
A widening circuit of agricultural production, consumption and exchange is pushing deeper into forests and back out into cities. Host species that historically would have been confined to deep forests are now transported to peri-urban regions with high concentrations of human bodies. Traversing a globally integrated air traffic network, pathogens previously not on the global stage are being brought to it.
In the first half of October, Storm Linfa hit Vietnam, followed by Storm Nangka, causing floods and landslides which left almost 100 dead, flooded over 100,000 houses, and forced almost that number to evacuate — while causing serious damage to agriculture and infrastructure. Towards the end of October well over one million people were evacuated in Vietnam as yet another storm, Typhoon Molave, wreaked havoc: destroying over 50,000 houses in total and leaving over six million without power.
In response to the Conservative Government voting down a Labour Party motion to extend free school meal provision during school holidays, swathes of cafes, pubs, and restaurants across the country have stepped up to the plate, as it were, pledging to provide free meals to anyone who needs them.
This article by the Algerian socialist-feminist Marieme Helie Lucas, responding to the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist assailant on 16 October, was first published on the Feminist Dissent website.
We republish it, with the author's permission, to promote discussion.
In recent weeks there have been protests denying that Covid-19 is a problem. Many of these people are also against vaccinations. Why?
Nowadays, vaccinations are very safe. Like all medications they do have side effects, but the chances of a vaccine causing significant harm are many times smaller than the harm that would be caused by the disease that they are vaccinating against.