By Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant
Over the course of the pandemic it has been popular to claim that we have “learned lessons from COVID,” as though this plague has spurred a revolution in how we treat illness, debility, and death under capitalism.
Management consulting firm McKinsey, for example, writes that COVID has taught us that “infectious diseases are a whole-of-society issue.” A Yale Medicine bulletin tells us that we successfully learned “everyone is not treated equally, especially in a pandemic.” These bromides reflect the Biden administration’s evaluation of its own efforts; a recent White House report professes to have “successfully put equity at the center of a public health response for the first time in the nation’s history.”
We have learned nothing from COVID. The ongoing death, debility, disability, and immiseration of the pandemic are testament only to a failed political economy that pretends at magnanimity.