- Feb 27, 2010
Some thoughtsThis isn't a meant to be a thread about the pandemic itself but whether and how it has made you view the world differently. We're still in the middle of experiencing an event most people will remember for the rest of their lives. Outside of the various imposts on our day to day lives, has anything emerged from the milling about that changes how you see the big picture? For me, #COVID19 is a storm (or rather, a slow-moving train crash) that has ripped away the trappings of gravitas, the sense of "It's OK folks. We know what we're doing." order in which governments necessarily clad themselves. A sense of just how close the bullet we just dodged came, firmly suggesting the limits of the ability of governments to deal with an engulfing crisis. You can almost glimpse this in the exaggerated calm and studied efforts to exude the sense of "We-know-what-we're-doing routines" in government announcements. They really don't. How much worse would it need to get before a storm such as this caused a status-quo smashing breakdown? Not all that much, I would suggest. A higher mortality rate. The news that having had the disease imparts no immunity. Not much at all.
None of which is to say that the current crop of leaders are especially bad, but a realization of how quickly events can get ahead of us and unmoor us from everything we've come to expect of how society works.
Any insight yerselves?
Anyway, happy Friday.
- The pandemic brought home in a complessed time frame the crisis of the natural world that has been happening since the industrial revolution, even before that .... the pandemic itself happened when a pathogen jumped from another species to prey on humans, just like flu jumped from pigs when we domesticated them, or cholera from a crustacean in the Ganges delta in the 19th century. This will continue.
- It brought into stark view the gap between required policy and sceintific findings seen in climate change ... the science is fairly clear, but politicians say "Not yet!". Hesitation by politicians hoping for better news led to a lot of deaths in the pandemic before action happened. The political failures over the pandemic are only harbingers of what will happen when the policital failures over climate come into clearer view.
- What surprised me: How the EU pulled together after initial wobbles. There is a way forward, not clear but the first step in a long journey.
- More that surprised me: How we Irish went our own way, and pulled together in disciplined fashion, rather than the same-old "Item I on the Agenda: The Split". That may be fracturing now, as "normal " politics resumes.
- Even more that surprised me: How badly North and South America managed the pandemic, except for Canada, and some smaller countries like Costa Rica.
- Outstanding Leader: For a "lame duck", Angela Merkel was the best leader of a democracy in the pandemic. And also as a European leader, she showed touches of greatness.
- In general, 2020 has not made me any more optimistic or pessimistic about the future. The same issues are there to be faced. They interlock like russian dolls
- The World Economy
- Global Governance, from the WHO, the UN, to the G7 and the incipient Cold War between the US and China.
- The Crisis of the Natural World - climate change and mass extinctions (though not, I hope, of us).
- These are problems, but the optimist in me says there are opportunities too.
- The American Elections on November 3rd is going to be an important indicator of how these play out. The USA is still a dominant player, what its electorate determines is important.