The UN Secretary General declared humanity “on its knees” because of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the fragility of the world and brought mankind to its knees. This opinion was expressed on Saturday, 18 July, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres.

“COVID-19 clearly illustrates <...> injustice. The world is in turmoil. The economy is in free fall. We have been brought to our knees by a microscopic virus. The pandemic has shown the fragility of our world,” Guterres said.

He said the pandemic has exposed risks that humanity has ignored for decades: weak health systems, the climate crisis, structural inequalities and problems in social protection.

Entire regions, he said, had been pushed back years in a few months because they had lost track of achievements in eradicating poverty and reducing inequality.

“COVID-19 is compared to an X-ray beam that detects cracks in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It illuminates pervasive misconceptions and lies: the lie that free markets can provide health care for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; the illusion that we live in a post-Soviet world; the myth that we are all in the same boat,” concluded the UN Secretary General.