Let’s be honest about that word for a moment, shall we?

Today, Covid vaccines are beginning to be distributed across the United States. And the much-remarked “K-shaped recovery” continues.

We can’t discount the enormous progress that’s been made in the past couple of decades against diseases like AIDS, cancer, river blindness, measles, and other longtime scourges of humanity.

But we can still notice that it wasn’t before people started falling ill in wealthy countries that the world saw a vaccine sprint that outdid every previous push for a therapy by miles. Had Covid stayed in China and surrounding countries, like SARS, do you think we’d have a vaccine by now?

And then, as we talk about “building back better,” there’s a sense that everyone should have a fairer shot. Very well — but someone starting unhindered from her own 10-yard line is unlikely to score a touchdown before someone else who gets to start from only a few yards out of the end zone.

Perfect equality might not be achievable, sustainable, or even desirable. But that doesn’t mean we should let ourselves off the hook by talking about making life a little easier on people who can’t catch up no matter how hard they try.