Global re-orientation to online formats caused by the pandemic will continue and gets in an irreversible course in the post-pandemic era. What is effectively working online is unlikely to return offline. A significant part of the retail businesses will go online and stay there because consumers will be convinced that they can purchase without going physically to the shops. Our transition to the digital age has accelerated enormously. What would be realized in decades is happening in months.
Many international observers have been shocked when they look at the US and see, in the midst of the greatest pandemic since last century, dumbfounding acts: university students romping on the beaches, demonstrators at state capitols without masks demanding an end to quarantine measures, and fake social media campaigns warning about the dangers of being vaccinated. Is this a society gone mad and plunging toward its own destruction?
The fundamental commitment of the authorities was to save as many lives as possible, and compared to the lives lost in the fight with the virus in other countries, not least of all, in the US, the cost for China in human life, while tragic, was far less. As the virus began to hit other countries, the "Wuhan model" became the paradigm. And as the fight subsided in China, Chinese teams were sent to other countries to aid them with equipment and with sound advice on combating the spread.
Faced with COVID-19’s onslaught, not one single life will be saved in any country by propaganda, politicization of the crisis or similar diversions. On the contrary, many lives are lost as a result of these – because they obstruct the necessary lessons to fight the virus’s attack. As bluffing will not stop the coronavirus, only correct actions will, it is therefore vital every country learns lessons from China’s successful handling of this crisis.
The Donald Trump administration’s failure to take the coronavirus seriously won’t only cause thousands of unnecessary deaths, it could change the global political map for good. The US is now a deadly threat to every person on the planet – that is the inevitable result of Washington’s decision to lift even its very limited lockdown despite the fact the virus continues to rage with full force within the American borders.Domestically, this will mean the death of tens of thousands more Americans, creating a casualty toll on US soil comparable only to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic and the Civil War. But the international consequences will see the world divided into two zones.
There is no doubt that the current, unprecedented global economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic requires unprecedented measures of global cooperation. However, the current global action is sadly insufficient and the future looks uncertain.True, the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit offered a glimmer of hope. Several good proposals were made, but they were not given adequate attention in the international media and in the work of decision-makers. Many are focusing on other themes, mainly revolving around the statistics of the pandemic and its victims, and on measures taken at the level of countries.
On July 25th, an international meeting in Opposition to the US-led New Cold War on China organized by scholars and activists from 48 countries voluntarily was broadcast live on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube simultaneously. The joint statement with 14-language version of "A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity" has attracted great attention from the international community. The event brought together 17 well-known scholars and opinion leaders from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil and other countries to participate in the speech. Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, CODEPINK, is one of the speakers of the "No to the New Cold War" initiative.