Welcome to Pandemica. It’s a never-ending pandemic purgatory, where COVID-19 never goes away, but continues to mutate and cross borders. It’s the most deadly place on earth, where twice as many people die, the global economy loses an additional US$5.3 trillion over the next five years, and life as we once knew it does not return for anyone. Sound familiar?

We’re all in Pandemica. To escape, we need to act now. Having safe and effective vaccines within a year of the first reported COVID-19 cases is a historic scientific achievement. But if the vaccine isn’t everywhere, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere.

What is “Pandemica?”

“Pandemica” is an animated content series from ONE in partnership with COVAX to raise awareness and explain the critical importance of getting vaccines to all countries as quickly as possible. It’s an animated world full of creatures and critters living in a COVID-19 purgatory — illustrating the realities for people in low-income countries as they wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch the episodes now to explore just why Pandemica is truly the worst.

With illustrations by artist Andrew Rae and voiceovers from our talent friends you may have seen in ONE’s previous work like ONE co-founder Bono, Penélope Cruz, Danai Gurira, David Oyelowo, and more, the series is a reminder of why we all need to support efforts to get vaccines to everyone, everywhere.

What’s it like living in Pandemica?

Pandemica may not be a real place — but for billions of people, it’s a reality. Right now, less than 1% of doses administered globally have gone to people in low-income countries. Meanwhile G7 countries are estimated to have enough vaccines to inoculate their entire population with two doses and still have more than 260 million unused doses at the end of 2021.

This vaccine hoarding by high-income countries could mean that more than 60% of the world’s population — or 4.68 billion people — will live in countries that won’t see widespread vaccine coverage until 2022 or even later, allowing the virus to continue to mutate and thrive.

And don’t think you’re safe just because you live in a nation where you can get a vaccine. There are thousands of variants of COVID-19 and some — such as the Delta and Lambda — are more transmissible than other strains. The longer we allow this virus to thrive anywhere, the more it can mutate, putting everyone at risk of living in Pandemica.

Pandemica also comes with a steep price tag, no matter where you live. Unequal vaccine distribution could cost the global economy a total of US$5.3 trillion over the next five years. And if this vaccine inequity continues, developed economies could bear 34% of the global economic loss between 2022-25.

How do we avoid Pandemica?

The pandemic will only end when the people who need the vaccine the most have access to it, regardless of where they live.

If rich countries continue to buy up the first available doses of the vaccines and prevent their distribution across the world, the pandemic will last much longer. This will allow the virus to thrive and mutate and continue to spread across borders and threaten us all. Instead, we need a global plan to distribute vaccines.

A handful of rich countries have bought up enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate their entire populations almost three times over. Tell these governments to urgently share their surplus doses with countries in need.

ONE’s Vaccine Access Test is a great resource to understand and watch how countries and world leaders are either moving us closer to or further from an equitable outcome for the pandemic. Find out how your country has scored.

Watch and share Pandemica.

Find the full Pandemica Series here.

Pandemica is illustrated by artist Andrew Rae with animation by Titmouse and music & sound design by father, and created and produced in partnership with hive


Arielle Witter is the Social and Editorial Coordinator at ONE. Her areas of expertise are content on gender equality and vaccine access.

Partner content

This article is originally published on ONE 24 March 2021.


Subscribe to our newsletter