surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

Teamwork

I don't know when this coronavirus crisis will end but it will probably bring us - that is, the first world - down a peg or two. It might serve to humble us, teach us a thing or two about ourselves as a society. There are things that we thought we could control just by being a country among those that consider themselves to be rich, but now it's clear that that's only partly true. We have a lot of advantages, of course, but we're all there in the mud, with the rest of the world - viruses don't ask to see your passport, or your ID, or your credit card. They get inside your body if they can, and that's that.

Possibly after all this we will start to value more highly our strong public health service which is for everyone, not just for those who can't pay for anything better. It says so in the smallprint of private policies, the bit we don't read. And now we've seen it for ourselves: if an epidemic or a pandemic is declared, your private insurance doesn't cover it. We're all in the same boat. Having money to go to Navarra or Houston is no use here.

I don't know if I'd like to know what would have happened if, instead of being tourists and travelling business owners, directors and professionals who unwittingly helped to spread the virus, it had been migrants coming in illegally from other countries. We would probably be hearing voices calling for frontiers to be closed.

For better or worse, getting over this crisis involves teamwork; what each citizen does affects others. We can't get inside a bubble, or press the 'pause' button.