In early November, 20,000 people marched out on the streets of Leipzig, Germany to protest coronavirus restrictions.

Flouting all rules, about 90% of the marchers refused to wear masks
A similar rebellion against social-distancing rules has happened before. Seeing quarantines and lockdowns as unfair and tyrannical punishments, people took to the streets.

The year was 1625, the place was London, the disease was plague
Back to 2020, people have marched, rioted or protested from Trafalgar Square to the Michigan Statehouse, sometimes armed with guns.

There have been more than 30 major protests in 26 countries between March and October just against Covid rules
But protests in Leipzig or Michigan, Britain or Australia, only represent one category of unrest.

These rallies vent the frustrations of relatively well-off people living in prosperous and functional democracies
In a different category, there are the many protests against governments or leaders suspected of being:

Corrupt (🇧🇬Bulgaria)
Incompetent (🇧🇷Brazil)
Demagogic, illiberal and even undemocratic (🇮🇱Israel, 🇷🇸Serbia)
A third type of protest mobilizes people who fear for their livelihood:

🇲🇼Malawi street vendors march with signs saying “We’d rather die of corona than of hunger.”
🇪🇨Ecuadorians riot against the shutdown of state-owned companies and salary cuts
Then there are protests that have little to do with Covid-19 but probably became more urgent or bitter in the pandemic’s context.

Black Lives Matter, for example, spread to at least 16 other countries, from France and Britain to Brazil and South Africa
In April, @AndreasKluth predicted that this pandemic would lead to social revolutions.

What we’ve seen so far is just the start. Despite hopes for a new vaccine, the effects of the virus will linger for years…
Covid-19 has rekindled old divisions across the world.

In the U.S., Black Americans suffer disproportionately from police brutality, but also from the coronavirus — now these traumas merge. And everywhere, the poor fare worse than the rich
Even before the pandemic, we were entering an “age of mass protests.”

The number of uprisings globally has been increasing by an average of 11.5% a year since 2009. Covid-19, like so many other plagues before, will now act as the fire accelerant

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More from @bopinion

19 Nov
We're perhaps weeks away from getting the first approved Covid-19 vaccine for use in the U.S.

Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines have been shown to be effective, with no significant safety problems so far
Now comes the hard part: Keeping public trust in the vaccine high.

One crucial element of this will be managing tracking and managing the reporting of vaccine side-effects
💉As with any new drug, the range of adverse reactions to the vaccine — that’s unintended events linked to the medication — will only be known when a very large number of people have been vaccinated
Read 12 tweets
18 Nov
It’s official: The FAA has finally approved Boeing’s 737 Max to resume commercial flights.

But are you ready and willing to get on board?
It’s been 20 months since a pair of fatal crashes forced regulators around the globe to ground the once top-selling jet.

The FAA’s blessing will allow Boeing to finally make money off the roughly 450 Max jets it has built but not yet delivered…
Although the approval represents a major milestone for a company that somehow repeatedly managed to make an already devastating crisis worse for itself.

But getting regulators’ approval is only half the battle Image
Read 10 tweets
12 Nov
After five states passed ballot measures for marijuana use last week, the drug will soon be legal in some form for 70% of the U.S. population.

A third of the country won’t even need a medical excuse
Unlike in the past, all of this happened without much of a public uproar.

This is the moment that cannabis companies and their investors have been waiting for: to be considered a legitimate industry rather than a hot voting issue
From here, the goal is to make weed every bit as normal as junk food, wine and other vices long found in stores across America 🍟🍔🍷🍻
Read 12 tweets
11 Nov
If the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine gains regulatory approval by Christmas, we can cheer the scientists for heroic work.

But tough decisions lie ahead: Who should get the vaccine first?
💉Pfizer expects to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion in 2021, to be split between several nations.

The U.K. has ordered 40 million, enough to vaccinate 20 million people in two doses
Countries have started to outline strategies to ration the vaccine:

🇬🇧U.K. plans to start with the very old, care home & health care workers, before moving down the age brackets
🇩🇪Germany will vaccinate at-risk groups first, along with nurses and doctors
Read 11 tweets
11 Nov
The U.K.'s Covid-19 communications have been somewhat... problematic.

Exhibit A: Image
Featuring, at times, instantly perplexing typography...

Exhibit B: Image
And, at other times, an awkwardly euphemistic slogan and ham-fisted takes on “hipster” aesthetics.

Exhibit C: Image
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov
In a 44,000-person clinical trial, Pfizer’s vaccine candidate prevented over 90% of Covid-19 cases so far.

It's fantastic news and a historic scientific accomplishment
Of course, there are still unknowns about the vaccine.

With limited supplies available until next year and two shots needed to complete treatment, it won't end a rampant pandemic overnight
The news does, however, substantially boost the chances of a quicker and easier resolution.

📈 Investors are justified in taking Pfizer shares and the broader market higher
Read 17 tweets

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