One indisputable lesson of the Covid-19 pandemic is that the only sensible response to such a phenomenon must be cooperative and universal. As long as there is even one country where the virus can multiply and mutate – no matter which country it is – it will keep coming back. We will be facing a pandemic that will recur over time, just like the flu. We will need new vaccines, perhaps every year, depending on how quickly the virus mutates.
Masks, distancing, even lockdowns and home confinement will become part of our lives, fragmented lives because without human relationships, without a common space to meet and touch faces and bodies, what is left of our humanity? And what is true for the virus is also true for the Earth, our ecosystems and natural resources: only a cosmopolitics of cooperation will allow us to face the ecological challenges, posed, for example, by our dependence on fossil fuels.
There is no alternative to solidarity and cooperation, both within each of our societies and between nations. This is the only way humanity was able to eliminate smallpox in 1980. We must repeat the same feat with Covid-19 and the other viruses that may appear in the coming decades due to global warming and deforestation. Perhaps the great news today is that solidarity is no longer a utopia, a matter of good feelings or individual ethics; it has become a necessity in the interest of all.