How many people have cheated their way to the vaccine?

The answer to this question is much more complicated than it seems. In fact despite its dreadful toll in human lives and economies, the pandemic is a wonderful opportunity to see societies, governments and well, all organized systems in our world, tested.

Capitalism or globalization or whatever you want to call it was already in trouble before all of this. Demonized and blamed for all sorts of problems. But if it was all about money, rich people all over the world would just buy a vaccine, wouldn’t they? We all have a sneaking suspicion many of them have, but then what about…

the rule of law? Because sure, you could get your hands on a couple of doses but then how would you do the paperwork? I am pretty sure that in Greece thousands of people have been vaccinated much earlier than they had the right to. They jumped the line by using political connections even though they are 40 or 50 years old. This should be impossible because of…

transparency and digital accountability. It is after all a most valuable item, every dose of vaccine should be on a computer system and accounted for. But it isn’t. Nobody wants the bad press that would accompany news that 1000 doses expired unused due to a mistake and in very few countries do governments allow their citizens access to such data.

Social cohesion has been tested in these conditions. You can bad mouth Sweden all you like about the way they handled the pandemic, but you have to admire them in this respect. Depending where you live you have a very different approach to what you consider “normal” in terms of somebody jumping the line to get vaccinated before you. In Greece we consider it almost normal but…

group country behavior was spectacular. The European Union flexed its muscles to protect its members. It seemed a wonderful move which would protect smaller countries. It backfired. Other, small countries in the region did better. But like with masks and PPE, the gloves came off when it mattered, global cooperation went out the window when it mattered. So efforts like the…

green passport are in great danger of proving to be a joke. If I live in a country where I can get vaccinated just because I know a politician or a journalist, of course they can also produce any fake document or assurance with any dates they like afterwards. It will only work within countries, for their own use, like they did in Israel.

So I don’t know exactly how many Greeks cheated their way into getting the COVID-19 vaccination before me. I am pretty sure it is several thousand. But I am even more sure we will never find out. If you live in a country which inspires more certainty you are lucky.

Hopefully this pandemic will teach us all the value of institutions we can trust.

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