Dr Alberto Giubilini

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No More “Competitive Victimhood”

by Dr Alberto Giubilini I suspect Guy de la Bédoyère and I might be more in agreement than his reply might suggest. It would probably not be too helpful to engage in a point-by-point response to his criticism, pretty much for the same reason why he thinks my original article (in which I claimed that lockdown is unfair towards young generations) was not helpful: it creates an unnecessary contrast between groups – an indulgence in “competitive victimhood”, as he says – when in fact a strong case can be made that every age group has been negatively affected by lockdown. I agree it might not be helpful to create divisions across age groups when we all want the same, reasonable thing: a comprehensive argument as to why lockdown should be lifted. My aim was not to be helpful in this sense, to be honest. It was just to highlight one aspect around intergenerational justice that I think is too often overlooked: lockdown is unfair towards the young. What de la Bédoyère brings are additional reasons why lockdown should be lifted, but these are not related to unfairness. They are about the burdens on the elderly and how they have been denied their freedom. His points and my points are perfectly consistent, as I see it: that the young are unfairly...

We Are Not in it Together

by Dr Alberto Giubilini The idea that “we are all in it together” has polluted ethical reflection about lockdown. Slogans often do that. At best, the idea is misleading. At worst, it is simply false. In either case, it has turned ethical analysis of lockdown into ideological moralism. COVID-19 did not put us in it together. That slogan is a legacy of the initial uncertainty around the virus. In February-March 2020, we knew very little about it and we thought it was way more dangerous and lethal across all population groups. We now know COVID-19 is a serious threat to the elderly and certain vulnerable groups. But to young people, it is not (that is, if we look at the data, not at individual stories). The mortality rate is estimated to be below 0.1% in the under 40s, to double approximately every eight years, and to rise above 5% in the over 80s. The mortality rate of COVID-19 in children is comparable to that of chickenpox, that is, almost non-existent. “Long-covid” is often invoked to justify restrictions also for the young, but it has a similar pattern to mortality rates: the risk is low for the young and increases with age. This does not mean that COVID-19 is a made up problem or that we should not take it seriously....

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May 2024
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