Healthcare workers wheel the body of a deceased person past construction workers to a makeshift morgue outside the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on April 6 2020. Picture: REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Healthcare workers wheel the body of a deceased person past construction workers to a makeshift morgue outside the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on April 6 2020. Picture: REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

Nothing shows the gulf between East and West more than the Covid-19 pandemic.

For decades developed economies have been happy for the East to make all the things they cannot be bothered with, while ignoring the East’s rapidly changing economies, infrastructure and standards of living.

While China, Hong Kong and Singapore reacted rapidly to the coronavirus threat, Britain bumbled, Europe hesitated and the US ignored the matter. Now, two months later, we see thousands dying each day in the West, while the East has things relatively under control.

To add insult to injury, the West is still dependent on the East for life-saving items such as masks and test chemicals, and countries in the West fight among themselves for supplies.

Here in Africa we await the coming storm. People will die by the tens of thousands courtesy of corrupt and incompetent leaders and hopelessly overcrowded townships. A breakdown of civil order cannot be ruled out and states will crack down hard to keep control.  

After it’s over and the dead are buried we will all discuss the lessons learnt while quietly going back to business as usual and waiting for the next disaster. I hope I’m wrong.

Bernard Benson
Parklands 

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