I used to be pretty optimistic about the future. The world had problems, but I naively thought that two things — modern science and mass media — meant that 21st-century humanity could overcome most challenges one way or another. During the Covid-19 pandemic, both those institutions have performed relatively well but have proven no match for willful ignorance.
Scientists developed a vaccine to combat Covid-19 in less than a year, and (now) medicines for treating it in less than two. While there is plenty of disinformation out there, the media made it possible for anyone paying the least bit of attention to learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones against infection. It has also offered ample examples of what happens when people fail to do so. In fact, Slovakia’s trajectory during the pandemic is a perfect example of how misplaced my earlier optimism was.