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Covid jingoism will not protect the west from the threat of Omicron | Nesrine Malik

It has been proved time and again that there’s more to tackling the pandemic than shutting out the rest of the world

A friend’s grandmother once told me a story about her late husband’s English golf club. It was the 1960s, and she was having a drink on the club’s terrace with some of the other wives. The men played golf on the links below, and one of them would swear loudly whenever he mis-hit a shot. The women complained to the manager, who promised he would address the matter. The next time the women went to go for a drink on the terrace they found a new sign. It read: “Terrace for male members only.”

I am reminded of this story as I watch western governments react to the new Covid variant. South African scientists alerted the world to Omicron and in turn, South Africa and several other African countries were promptly placed under travel and quarantine restrictions by the west. The first country to introduce a travel ban was, naturally, the UK. Thank you for informing us of the problem, our terrace is now closed.

Nesrine Malik is a Guardian columnist

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