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The Prospect editorial—Covid-19, one year on

Time to take stock of 12 months of British failure—and distil lessons for the future

By Tom Clark   March 2021

Some things are bigger than politics—including some very small things. Invisibly tiny bundles of genetic material wrapped in spiky protein coats began pouring out of Wuhan in early 2020, and within weeks had disrupted the world far more than any frenzied leader. 

But politics, or perhaps better to say more broadly “the way things are run,” profoundly modulates how everything else plays out. China rapidly cracked down and locked down; in Japan, people masked up, stood back and watched out; South Korea tracked and traced; and New Zealand bolted its doors. The war against Covid-19 is not yet won…

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