Coronavirus and Extermination Policy

Felipe Milanez and Samuel Vida

Tragedies are always socially unequal and expose in a striking way historically constructed inequalities, for example in the degree of exposure to risks and the way vulnerabilities are shaped. The new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is a non-human agent from a zoonosis that infects people and causes respiratory infections; it was not produced by humans in laboratories, as some conspiracy theories have speculated. It is a new virus that circulates among humans and has spread quickly to all continents. However, exposure to the virus and the treatment of its effects among human populations have been distributed extremely unevenly. While some people have had privileged access to medical care, equipment to ensure the ability to breathe and supply oxygen, other social groups disproportionately bear the negative effects, in a pattern structured by social classifications. This unequal distribution can be manipulated to control lives and how much different social groups are exposed to death, in a typical necropolitical exercise (Mbembe, 2018, 2020).

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