A divergence in recovery between rich countries and the rest would be bad news for everybody
Fully a year and a half into the covid-19 pandemic, the world appears to be at an inflection point in the management of the virus, and a clear divide is emerging between advanced and emerging countries. Last time, your columnist discussed the pros and cons of the UK’s re-opening plan, with the penultimate stage of unlocking on 19 July—dubbed “Freedom Day" by British tabloids—while cases were still on the rise, driven by the Delta variant. As I noted then (‘Boris Johnson is taking a big gamble with ‘Freedom Day’’, 26 July), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taking a a major risk. The gamble appears to have paid off. After coming to a crest, new infections have begun to taper off, and serious illness, hospitalization, and mortality remain far below the levels of earlier waves of infection that preceded widespread vaccination. If things go according to script, the UK is poised to remove the rest of its pandemic-era restrictions later this month.