A few days ago, I caught an article at the AFP Forum that I could have glossed over, if not for the unfortunate timing I thought it brought to my attention. I first dismissed it as a byproduct of my overactive imagination, but the nagging thought persisted—what if it were true? How do we address this problem head on?
The article is about a group of South African countries complaining that rich countries around them—UK, France, Spain, Brusells, the Scandanavian countries, etc. are hoarding and “nationalizing” the production of vaccine instead of sharing the wealth with poorer nations.
At first glance, the article looked like a legit article of inequality and subtle racism, but a deeper glance makes it more disturbing in the light of the coming Olympics in Tokyo and a smaller SEA Games event in Vietnam.
Despite their own reservations,Tokyo organizers said that it would not postpone the biennial event, the same stand being adopted by Vietnam, and both have good reasons to do so, but the accusations from South Africa may put a damper on the games, especially in the Olympics, where South African runners are traditionally strong in the long distance events.
Does this mean that we will suddenly have a full-blown vaccination for athletes competing in the Olympics to counter the accusation, or stay with the status quo?
I say that someone from the Tokyo organizing committee or the Vietnam side should make a full disclosure of what they plan for the games to avoid sure-fire disasters. This early, someone should make sure that vaccines are not used for political, economic and racial agenda.
And while we’re on the subject of full disclosure, may this corner suggest that all contributions to sporting events be published by both the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. As Filipino citizens, we all deserve to acknowledge the help given to our athletes.
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