Winners and losers in the covid-19 crisis

Jan 26, 2022

Date:26 January 2022

Content Sections

  • Some of the big winners and losers during the covid-19 crisis
  • Find out more

By Rob Verkerk PhD, scientific and executive director, ANH-Intl

It’s now over two years since the world changed after samples collected from patients in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 who presented with viral pneumonia were found to contain a novel coronavirus, later named SARS-CoV-2.  

It’s important we reflect, so here we go.

Aided by some peer-reviewed literature, including a Taoist perspective on bioethics, a book and a World Bank Report, we came up with a non-exhaustive list of some of the big winners and losers during the covid-19 crisis, presented in the table below. There are many industry sectors that have included both winners and losers, so we’ve excluded these.

Some of the big winners and losers during the covid-19 crisis



Authoritarianism (including centralisation/globalisation of human societal control)

Public surveillance

Pharmaceutical/vaccine industry1

Biotechnology industry1

Molecular diagnostics industry1

Large pharmacy chains4

Medical suppliers4

Online retailers1,4

Logistics/delivery firms2,4

Social media platforms

The billionaire ‘elite’

Financial institutions (many) 1

Health insurance companies3

Information & Comms Technology (ICT) sector2,4

Streaming media/entertainment services4

International business consulting firms4

Building of new networks for social, economic and health care reform


Democracy and associated values

Civil liberties (including freedom of expression, dignity (incl. freedom of choice), bodily autonomy, right to a private life, etc.

The productive (‘real’) economy of multiple nations1

Global economy1

Developing & emerging economies1

Economic equalities between ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’1

‘High street’/mall retail2,4

Oil industry4

Job security4,5

Travel & tourism2

Hospitality & catering industry2,4

Live entertainment

Cost of living2

Human health equalities1

Mental health6

Some banks/financial institutions4

Real estate industry4

Societal division and polarisation

Human dignity and progressive bioethics (incl. informed  choice and bodily autonomy)7

The therapeutic relationship (between doctor and patient)8

1 Sokol & Pataccini. Tijdschr Econ Soc Geogr. 2020; 111(3): 401–415.

2World Bank Group, Policy Research Working Paper 9268.

3 Plott CF, et al. JAMA. 2020; 324(17): 1713–1714.

4 Piotr & Sylwia. Risk Management in Crisis (2021). Routledge/Taylor & Francis. 252 pp.

5 Fanelli C & Whiteside H. COVID-19, Capitalism and Contagion. Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, 31(1).

6 Gurvich et al. Coping styles and mental health in response to societal changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2021; 67(5): 540-549.

7 Butchart LC. Taoism, bioethics, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Tzu Chi Med J 2022; 34: 107-12.

8Aafjes-van Doorn et al. Grappling with our therapeutic relationship and professional self-doubt during COVID-19: will we use video therapy again? Counselling Psychology Quarterly 2021: 34:3-4: 473-484.

The difference in the number of winners and losers in our table may not be very great (17 winners, 20 losers), but this in no way means the bad, disruptive or destructive elements of the crisis are outweighed by the good or constructive elements. In fact, there are no metrics available that allow you to objectively compare the winners or losers.

In the absence of such metrics, I ask you to look again at the table above, review the left and right columns, and decide if it’s worth it. Is the balance in favour of what governments and health authorities have done in cahoots with various billionaires, the vaccine, pharma, biotech, media and IT industry, as part of the ‘covid-19 response’ over the last 2 years worth it?


“The current crisis did not start as a financial crisis, but it may end up as one.”

– Martin Sokol & Leonardo Pataccini. Tijdschr Econ Soc Geogr. 2020; 111(3): 401–415.


For what it’s worth: my personal opinion – born out of intuition – is that there are a few items in the right column that immediately tell me it hasn’t been worth it. I’m made to think how hard our forefathers and mothers have fought to enjoy the freedoms many of us have enjoyed for much of our lives. The things we’ve lost for those gained, don’t make it worth it – for most of us – in my view. For the people – those nearly 8 billion of us minus those few who are shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic – it’s just not been worth it – and the greatest pain could be yet to come.

Restrictions have stripped away civil liberties in ways unprecedented by any other infectious agent, and billions have been sunk into one particular technological intervention, namely gene-altering therapeutics that have been misrepresented as ‘vaccines’.

Given the extraordinary investment in novel technology that turns the human body into an antigen factory by forcing it to express the cytotoxic SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, along with increasing evidence of harms, many are asking the question that we attempt to answer in our members-only piece: Are the jabs really worth it?

Please share this article widely. Thank you.

Find out more

>>> ANH-Intl Adapt Don’t Fight campaign

>>> ANH-Intl Pathfinder membership

>>> ANH-Intl homepage


Proudly affiliated with: Enough Movement                                        Coalition partner of: World Council for Health