34.927. Shame!

Covid19 has taken its first political victim. Two days ago, Kosovo’s government has fallen after a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to steer the country during the pandemic. The political fragility in this improvised democracy, built by NATO bombing, is perhaps not the best example to predict the trend. However, it sets up the tone for what is to come. It illustrates it with a banned raised at the entrance saying “The most dangerous pandemic in Kosovo is politics. Shame!” Once the confinement and restrictions end, many governments and political leaders worldwide will have to face the vote of confidence. When the time comes, we will all be reminded of the social certainty behind Paul Kruger’s statement: Everything is political.

Our everyday choices are political. What we eat, drink, read, listen, watch, and wear (or don’t). The way we commute and travel (or don’t). Who we talk to (or don’t). Who we pray to (or don’t). Why we work (or don’t).  Where we live (or don’t). How healthy we choose to live (or don’t). Who we love (or don’t). What turns us on (or doesn’t). Etc. Each and every one of these choices are political. Although they constantly shape and influence the system that sustains our social reality, we become aware of their impact every four (or so) years. It’s (more or less) when the elections come.

Every four years, we give a vote of confidence to the choices we wish to have in the future. We feel proud of the power we have to influence the outcome and it is all wonderful until the future passes the check. 34.927$. While we are looking around us for someone to pick up the check, it is when the reality kicks in. It shows us the main difference between making a choice of having the social welfare or not.

In the countries where the everyday choices led to having the social welfare state and universal healthcare when the check to 34.927$ is passed to us, there are institutions that will pick it up. They will not do it out of ideology or dogma. They will do it because these institutions exist thanks to your contribution. They need you healthy and back at your feet, as soon as possible, so you can keep on doing it.

In the countries where the everyday choices architecture was designed as a market competition. Where the amount of income and personal savings determines the quality of social welfare and healthcare, you will be left on your own. No one will pick up that 34.927$ check you’ve received after being treated against the Covid19 symptoms. You are one of nearly 30 million people that are left out.

But this is not simply the question of the USA vs. Europe or social welfare state vs. market competition. It’s an opportunity for the final leap towards the global paradigm shift. If this pandemic has not made us reconsider the values that steer the everyday choices we make, then I’m afraid nothing will. If the 2/3 of mankind, who are given this ‘opportunity’ to reflect upon what’s to be valued in life, comes out from the moths in isolation still choosing to benefit the same choices that eventually led us into the confinement, then the ‘most dangerous pandemic’ will keep us confined, tied to the bill that very few can afford. The ‘Shame!’ will remain. But if once the Covid19 pandemic is over we start choosing value over price, then we will learn that if everything is political, we are all politicians. Everyday. All-day.

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