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Arquivo para September, 2020

The Covax vaccine agreement

21 Sep

The agreement of several countries to streamline the vaccine (Covax), including Brazil that signed at the last minute on Friday, provides for a minimum vaccination of 10% of the population (the option of Brazil) up to a maximum of 50% of the population , which once signed could not give up the compromised values, so Brazil signed at least, but this gives 42 million doses, it is not small and the risk is evident by the non-compliance with the whole testing protocol.

The government has not given up on the agreement already signed with AstraZeneca with the so-called “Oxford” vaccine that has the participation of the prestigious Brazilian Institute of FioCruz, while the government of the State of São Paulo promises to accelerate the process of the vaccine that is developed in China with participation USP – Butantan Institute.

The Brazilian agreement however provides that if the Oxford vaccine reaches the market first it may choose to maintain the bilateral vaccine purchase agreement, giving up the supply by the alliance, but it is likely that in the rush the Covax alliance will arrive first, then we will have to accept vaccination, which is fearful.

WHO director´s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on August 13 that “COVAX already has nine vaccine candidates in its portfolio, which are in phase 2 or 3 of the trials”, but interestingly Janssen Pharmaceutics and Pfizer vaccine are not there.

To work the alliance needs U $ 38 billion, but it has less than U $ 3 billion, so it may be that this falls on the shoulders of countries that enter the alliance just to comply with international agreements, also in the social and economic aspect the agreement it’s w orrying.

A priori the agreement is so that the poorest countries have the same access as rich countries to the vaccines that are most likely to succeed, less than 10 are in the testing phase, and the financial volume can make the game of interest more serious. , as well as letting the use in poorer countries not have the concern of rich countries, these would be a kind of guinea pig, the WHO claims the opposite says that “it is to guarantee the access of poor countries”.

Brazil will receive 42 million vaccines, if there are any problems who will be responsible for this, it is clear that they will say that it is the country itself, by signing the agreement, it becomes “aware” of the “risks”, although they are not mentioned.

Even if it is very camouflaged it is a game of interests that seems very clear, it is likely that the less wealthy countries will receive doses of the vaccine first, and if verified safe will be used in rich countries, it is not an easy thesis to be proven, but the pressure in the less wealthy countries it was huge and Brazil signed at the last minute without saying the real reason.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela are among the countries that signed the agreement, and the Covax agreement is only part of the “Covid-19 Tool Access Accelerator”, or simply ACT Accelerator, which is the mechanism for response that WHO created for the pandemic, despite the term “accelerator” being avoided in interviews.

I hope to be wrong, but the economic game continues to prevail over the health of the population, especially the poor.

 

 

Justice and unemployment in the pandemic

18 Sep

The number of labor lawsuits and injustices that do not even reach the courts is expected to grow during the pandemic, according to expert data (some newspapers cite the Brazilian companies Datalawyer and FintedLab), indicate that this data should grow, among the complaints are the payment of monies. severance pay, for example the salary balance and a 40% fine on FGTS, Guarantee Fund for Length of Service in Brazil), and working conditions in the pandemic.

We have already stressed in previous posts the importance of seeking employability models that combat the sharp change in unemployment during the epidemic, which was already high in Brazil, now according to the Ministry of Economy, from March to April, about 8 million people. people lost their jobs or had their wages cut, with 1.1 million formal jobs having their contracts terminated, and informal ones have even more voluminous data.

It is fair to help and pay fair wages to these people, of course, the logic of reducing wages and abolishing jobs is not justified because the pandemic does not reduce demand in essential sectors, in addition to creating new demands such as online services, services home office, assistance in areas such as health, education and security is there.

The situation becomes even more serious with the increase in prices, this means that some sectors are benefiting from the crisis, in addition to the amazing corruption in the health area, with unused hospitals, embezzlement of funds and even medicines and equipment is simply criminal, burdens states and municipalities, and disfavors public policies for emergency assistance and aid.

There is a biblical passage where the parable of the vintner is told that needing workers for his vineyard, he leaves at 9 in the morning to pick up more workers and then at 3 in the afternoon to pick up more workers, he combines a silver coin with everyone, it seems unfair , but it is he who pays and combines the salary, and in fact corrects the injustice of unemployment.

He tells the workers that he hires at 3 pm (Mt 20, 6-7): “´Why are you there all day unoccupied they replied: ´Because nobody hired us´. The boss said to them: ´Go to my vineyard too´ “.

And they all received the same salary, nothing more fair, this should be the logic of combating unemployment in the pandemic.

 

 

The law of the weakest

17 Sep

All the logic, including part of the scientific logic, is in defense of the law of the strongest, the pandemic shows that also the weakest should be thought of, people who have comorbidities, the elderly, diabetics, obese, in short, those who are weakened by some disease or living conditions (age, for example, and life on the outskirts).

It was the name of a film by Hector Babenco, Pixote: the law of the weakest, which is based on a true story, and which was starring by actor Fernando Ramos da Silva, the real Pixote of real life, that the director of the film knew, came dying shortly after the film, killed by police in city Diadema, in the neighborhood of  São Paulo, Brazil.

The film tells the story of a boy who, without having met his parents, goes to live on the street, and after the theft of a wallet by a judge, he goes to a juvenile recovery institution in Brazil, FEBEM, which should be a re-education house, but in fact it is where they suffer abuse, violence, humiliation and may even lose their lives.

Thinking about the weakest means looking at a society and wishing for greater balance, in addition to income distribution, the treatment of dignity for all, respect and protection for those who for some reason become fragile in a social context of competition, consumption and inhumanity , where they will inevitably suffer even more if there is no protection.

The situation of the pandemic, in addition to exposing the medical fragility of many people, aggravates the situation of income distribution, which puts millions of people in a situation of despair and anguish, only a major turn of love and fraternity can prevent social and social chaos. even a civilizing crisis already in process.

Of course, each one can do their little part, but the policies developed by governments at different levels of public administration must be thought about those who work in the informal sector, in addition to the unemployment rate that was already high before the pandemic, those who need immediate help. and the way out of the crisis.

If you think only of the central engines of the economy, the result takes time to reach formal employment, then other emergency solutions can be thought of, such as: work fronts, micro-enterprises and assistance to small businesses that can employ a lot of people in the short term.

It is time for solidarity, unfortunately it is not what is seen anywhere, not even in those who say they are really concerned and who seek more denunciation than initiative and support for good initiatives, it is time for solidarity.

 

 

Because the issue of poverty is not resolved

16 Sep

It is not only due to the factors of inequality, the flow of wealth that always runs in one direction depends on the imbalance of areas such as education, infrastructures not only for health, but also for transport and sources of regional and national wealth, and for this external assistance is essential.

The relationship between foreign aid and combating global poverty is positive and effective, say reports from many forums.

Perhaps some of the strongest examples of the effectiveness of foreign aid are the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, but the goals have not been achieved, domestic corruption and inefficient foreign aid.

These goals, proposed by the United Nations and ratified by all countries in the world, aimed at: reducing poverty, hunger and child mortality, but local and regional development plans were timidly attacked.

The so-called Borgen Project was actually aimed at the actions of local capitalists and outside interests,

Global Poverty and Foreign Aid: What Works

The objectives proposed and ratified by all were:

– reduce poverty, hunger and child mortality;

– achieving universal primary education, gender equality and environmental sustainability;

– improving general health, fighting treatable diseases; and

– act as a global partnership for development.

They seem praiseworthy and hardly anyone would fail to support these plans, but the local application was to reduce birth rates, environmental sustainability without development, and treatable diseases are not really attacked, still childhood diseases persist, malaria is common in many regions of the country. Africa and there is a risk now of the pandemic.

There remains the fundamental problem of the global partnership for development, where one must look at interests, culture and what is socially valued locally, and unfortunately the colonialist mentality still prevails, the so-called decolonization comes to face this issue.

A process that contemplates this new process must be considered, observing authors and local cultures.

 

 

 

 

Effective aid to poverty

15 Sep

If, on the one hand, emergency aid is necessary, mainly because the pandemic prevents informal work and many families have saved with domestic workers, a medium and long-term recovery plan is needed to avoid even worse degradation and income distribution than the one that already exists.

Economist Muhammad Yunus is known throughout the world as “the banker of the poor”, but he is not really a banker in the conventional sense, as he assists people who have never had access to any banking system, what he fosters is an entrepreneurship, especially among women, and their results are surprising. It is true, however, that he founded a bank, the Grameen Bank in 1983 in Bangladesh, but today what he does most are lectures, he is one of the most requested speakers on the planet, and received among other awards, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

In his lectures, he censors and criticizes bankers who aim only at easy profits, exorbitant interest and little or nothing look at the social reality in which they live, one of his well-known phrases says: “Dealing with economic theories in the face of people dying ], for me it was a joke ”, this is even more true in a pandemic.

Utilitarian productivism, production is necessary mainly in essential goods, is one that targets only the most attractive sectors where profit is high and the social impact is not always so high, with regard to the poor, and in the case of education and health, it is necessary even if profit is not considered, as it is an investment.

The idea that invaded several sectors, and unfortunately also in education and public health, that these sectors need to be productive is nothing but a reproduction of a savage capitalism incapable of managing the current crisis, and is only on the rise because of disinformation of the population, in dark times authoritarian theories gain a voice.

What Yunus says about jobs is very interesting: “An essential issue is the idea of ​​employment. Who said we were born to look for a job? The school? The teachers? The books? Your religion? Your parents? Someone put this on people’s heads.

The educational system repeats: ‘You have to work hard’. Human beings were not born for this. The human being is full of creative power, but the system reduces him to a mere worker, capable of doing repetitive work. This is shameful, it is wrong ”, here we must also overcome left´s-wing economism.

The digital world in which anyone can have an online system and work in it, where “informal” jobs can make people from any location, including the periphery entrepreneurs, goes against Yunus’ proposal, to make “services” closer to the population periphery is made possible by the ubiquity of digital.

Entrepreneurs exist in all social strata, I even venture to say that they are concentrated in the periphery, the problem is who risks putting capital there, who could finance these “microentrepreneurs” from the periphery, there is a solution, the number of jobs can grow quickly and circulation of goods and income in fragile environments

 

Number of covid grows in Brazil and vaccines

14 Sep

The number of data has returned to grow, if we look at the valley of September 7, national holiday in Brazil, we see the valley of decrease with 10 thousand cases, in this short-term evaluation is better the number of infected, because the number of deaths will only be affected from 7 to 14 days, which in this period also returned to grow.

It was a scandal and commented throughout the country the descent of São Paulo to the coastal beaches, coincidence or not, is a real and scientific data, the number of cases has returned to grow and the number of deaths has returned to close to a thousand daily.

While the vaccine does not come, we will have to live with this reality, the period of a possible lockdown passed the virus is in every country and the only isolation that works is the social to prevent infection among people close, starting precisely from the idea that everyone can be carriers of the virus now and all care is necessary.

Now we are waiting for the vaccine, and the case of a side effect of a woman in London of the Oxford vaccine, which uses the viral vector principle, the effect was a transverse myelitis that causes a neurological problem and high blood pressure, being possible that the cause was an external factor the formula, the woman passes well, there is evaluation of the case by a committee that is independent (see how complex and serious the tests should be) , and the resumption of testing has already been authorised, there are 6 more in testing phase.

It is important to note that the problem was the side effect and not the infection, the vaccine from Oxford and the Laboratory Astrazeneca, which has participation of the laboratory of Brazilian Fiocruz, has no possibility of infection, it does not replicate the virus, so it is considered safe, but side effect exist in any medicines and vaccines and should prescribe cases, such as those we found in the leaflets , of type, children or adults cannot take, etc.

The case was important for all of us to be aware of the seriousness and slowness of the tests, which are necessary.

Other vaccines go up in the “quote”, the Pfizer vaccine. which follows the nucleic acid (RNA) principle, and with good quotation in the medical area, but this is also subject to testing and without the evaluation of “contraindications” should not be rushed its use, therefore, the delay is necessary and this phase cannot be dispensed with.

Socially what we expect, after a period of help (it should go until the end of the year, but that is already there), we must already start thinking about the economic, social and educational consequences, they will be strong and will require the effort of all and one should think not as a weight, but as a social need that certain groups have protection.

This is the case of the elderly, children and socially marginalized groups, if society and public policies do not embrace these people, the social consequences that are already serious, could go to the field of out of control and it would be a tragedy.

 

Forgiveness, utopias and change

11 Sep

Not only personally, but mainly socially, forgiveness can move history in the opposite direction of hatred, war and oppression, this is no different in many religions, after all the “golden rule”, does not make the other here who would not like it was done to you, it is present in the great contemporary religions and cultures.

There are several texts and speeches about forgiveness that are not connected with reality, for example, those who forgive do not always forget, forgiveness must repair the damage, but it does not mean that this is proportional, often it is not.

Each repeated offense should not be forgiven, let us remember Jesus’ teaching: “seventy times seven” (Mt 18, 21), just to say many times, and if we understand that the error is more common than we imagine (see several posts in this week) one can better understand the prayer given by Jesus himself: “forgive our offenses, just as we forgive those who have offended us”, this is the possible way of Love in many dimensions.

I remember that this passage comes right after the passage that Jesus asks for the unity of the people (they don’t need to be Christians, but be “in his name”), “where there are two or three in my name, there I am in their midst” (Mt 18 , 20), so there are no owners of this “presence”, even it may not be among people who are religious.

Karl Jaspers (1883, 1969), who influenced many of the modern thinkers like Hannah Arendt and Heidegger, in their book Introduction to Philosophical Thinking, asked about the path that we had trodden many years ago:

“We irritate each other. Deep psychology appears as an all-obscure refuge. Scientific superstition leads us to resort to pseudosciences for the search for salvation. And they tell us: when all fictions and ideologies have disappeared, man, until now sick and alienated (in etymological sense), will recover health. And health is happiness, the ultimate end ”(Jaspers, 1965, p. 30).

It is clear that there is true science that is not pseudoscience, and that happiness that has no bull or formula, can and should be desired, but the recovery of emotional health depends on reviewing history and then moving forward.

 

 

 

Where does anger lead and where does forgiveness lead

10 Sep

One can consider the first idea of ​​Western political wrath, from the 8th century BC, Homer’s Iliad the one that raises the first voice about wrath, already in the first sentence: “sing, O muse (Muse) the wrath (mènin) of Achilles”.

It seems that this is the current voice of the West from Zizek to Sloterdijk everyone seems to agree with this, except Edgar Morin and of course some pacifists, but who are embarrassed in the face of such contempt by conservative leaders.

But there are very few chronicles that speak of the success of these leaders, and it seems that the pandemic has helped them, fearing the idea of ​​a strong government that takes care of the weak is stronger than the voice of insurrection and liquidity.

The idea of ​​forgiveness is ironic and revenge and anger seem to be the potential for change, but the feeling of compassion and forgiveness is inherent in human ethics, however confused it may be with the ethics of the state, which often dispense with morals, it is the only hope that the cholera situation can be reversed, of course with regret from the oppressors, but the current discourse is that this is impossible and that people would never change, and with the pandemic!

It is clear that forgiveness without repentance and without reparation is not acceptable, and it is not true that it is enough to confess and show repentance that you are “saved”, there are social effects and punishments that can lead the oppressor to his reparation, even though this may be very less than the damage done, but there is no way to change the route, the course, without forgiveness.

What we need to understand is that offenses when they spring up around a polarization they can rarely favor those who dont have a defense, social, political or ideological, and this favors the strong, fear punishes the weak and never the cruel, accustomed to doing with him a game of risk and sadistic pleasure.

Edgar Morin clarifies that: “Understanding neither excuses nor accuses, asks that we avoid the peremptory condemnation, irremediable as if we ourselves had never known the weakness or made mistakes. If we know how to understand before condemning, we will be on the path of humanizing human relations ”, and it is the other way around at the moment, which favors authoritarian leaders and those who want hate to grow.

To be in solidarity with the Other, who is not our mirror, we have to “become aware of the uncertainty of the future and of its common destiny”, the pandemic can also make us aware that we must take care of the Other.

Forgiveness does not change events, but it can change the feeling towards them, it does not change the course of history, but the destiny of personal and / or collective stories when the problem is faced head on, overcoming anger and resentment.

If we are honest in the mirror, if we are capable of self-criticism, as we posted earlier, as stated by Popper: “Self-criticism is the best criticism”, it is from her that a criticism with positive consequences can be born.

 

 

 

Error, cholera and thymós

09 Sep

Just as scientific error is assumed to be part of scientific research, errors in human and social relationships should not lead to disruption and the return to connection between people or groups will inevitably involve some type of forgiveness.

It is often possible that the error is not assumed, but implied, this is because, we justify the path we take and make considerations about our lack and end up not assuming it, but the return should always be tried once forgiveness sana, and allows the dialogue to move forward.

Peter Sloterdijk wrote about the “timotic” situation of our time, Thymós is at the base of Plato’s theory to designate the “organs” from which the impulses, the excitations, the most inflamed affections are born, it seems something present in our time and so its book Ira e Tempo (Cholera and Time, in Portuguese translation by the publisher Relógio d´Água).

The preferred subject could not be anything other than politics, it is undoubtedly the pole of catalyzing hatreds and grudges, where forgiveness and dialogue seem to be increasingly a distant point that will never be reached, and the reverse of this is …

These impulses cross not only social networks, they pass through political journalism and polarize between parties, people and social groups, what Sloterdijk does in the form of “analysis” is that there is a state of proliferation (attention, it’s not what Byung Chul Han will call it psychopolitics, or the old “mass politics”), we have already drawn attention to Karl Kraus, who in his time between wars, drew attention to the discourse of the press and intellectuals.

In one of his comedies, “Walpurgis’ third night”, he said that “about Hitler nothing comes to my mind”, it is logical that he did not ignore the danger of that speech, but he warned journalists and writers who insisted on just mocking and he said that the media seemed to like the indignant but impotent citizen, so it has the opposite effect of the desired one.
An analytical look at the psychopolitics that Chul Han does is not dispensable, even though we are equipped with little knowledge on this matter, it would verify that the state of high tymotic tension, established by the media to guarantee the success of individuals who are charged with “ thymós ”, leads us to an endless (apparent) civil war.

It is as if all anger finds its “political economy” only in what Sloterdijk calls “rational” cynicism, a kind of “world bank of anger” that catalyzes, not by chance, opposite sides of the current polarization. Just look at politicians of different trends to see how attached they are to this trend, so resentment and legitimation of crimes make popular indignation impotent, claiming appetite and becoming a blank slate for any conversation, even if it comes from one. liberating feeling that should point to the new.

The absence of forgiveness or at least tolerance, makes violence and false radicalism visible and hides impotence.

SLOTERDIJK, P. (2012) Rage and Time – A Psychopolitical Investigation. USA:  Columbia University Press.

 

 

Error and better world

08 Sep

Karl Popper was concerned with science, with nature but mainly with ethics and error, and established twelve principles to be observed in his book “In search of a better world” (Popper, 1995), we only comment here some:

The first is to understand that our knowledge is conjectural, that is, “it always goes beyond what an individual manages to master, therefore there is no authority. This is equally valid when it comes to specializations ”, as authors warn about Transdisciplinarity, specialized knowledge can become a new type of obscurantism, say Edgar Morin, Barsarab Nicolescu and Lima de Freitas in the Arrábida Transdisciplinarity Letter.

A second principle that we highlight is that it is ‘impossible to avoid all mistakes or even all mistakes in themselves avoidable”, idealism and perfectionism lead people to disappointment because they do not consider this essential aspect of human nature.

The third principle states that one must try to avoid mistakes, even if creative scientists who follow intuition can and should avoid mistakes, but it is almost inevitable that they will make it.

Even the most confirmed theories, those that may seem perfect hide errors, this should be thought of for those who live in “bubbles”.

This should lead us to what Popper proposes as an “ethical-practical” reform that leads to a way of thinking that it is impossible to avoid all errors, which changes the old notion that it is possible to avoid errors by “scientific criteria”.

The sixth principle is that the “new basic principle is that in order to learn how to avoid mistakes as much as possible, we have to learn precisely from them”.

So it is healthier to look for mistakes, and the attitude of self-criticism and sincerity are consequences of this duty.

So accepting to understand and accept mistakes, even thanking others to warn us about them, Popper recalls that the greatest scientists made mistakes, and always bear in mind that we make mistakes, that is, not neglecting our vigilance, proposing the author.

We have to understand that we need others (and the rest of us) to be able to understand our mistakes, in particular those that have added with different ideas, but in different environments, which means increasing tolerance. Self-criticism is the best criticism, but criticism through others is the most necessary, according to Popper, as useful as self-criticism.

Here comes the crucial end point of Popperian ethics-practice, rational criticism must always be specific, it must indicate specific reasons why certain statements, certain hypotheses appear to be false and certain arguments cannot seem valid, rational criticism provides an approximation to the truth objective, in this sense it is impersonal, and although Popper does not say, it must be above beliefs and ideologies to be the basis of some ethical truth.

POPPER, Karl (1995). In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years. NY: Routeledge.