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It’s an injustice

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (original source The Boston Globe)

“One of my favorite cartoon characters from the 1970s was the little Japanese-Italian chick Calimero, whose constant, plaintive refrain was: ‘It’s an injustice, it is!’

I have been hearing modern versions of Calimero’s lament a lot this week. ‘It’s true that more men are dying than women from COVID-19 around the world,’ wrote Ryan Heath and Renuka Rayasam in Politico, ‘but that’s not exactly cause for celebration.’ Not exactly? Then there was the Atlantic journalist Annie Lowrey, who wanted to persuade us that the economic burdens of the pandemic were disproportionately falling on millennials.

Growing up in Glasgow, my friends and I liked to quote Calimero sarcastically at anyone who complained about their lot. ‘It’s an injustice, it is!’

Let’s get one thing straight: The principal losers in a pandemic are the people the contagious disease kills before their time. They are disproportionately old and (to a lesser) extent male.”

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