Waking up after corona. How will the world look?

Sallie Anderson

A Dutch buddy of mine went to Venice recently. He wished to see the city without the normal crowd of travelers.

A Venetian waiter enjoyed to invite him to his balcony till he found out that my buddy was Dutch. Generosity became grimness.

The Dutch federal government’s objection to assist Italy and Spain after the corona crisis was met much bitterness.

This bitterness became anger when the Dutch financing minister, Wopke Hoekstra, asked why northern European countries had built buffers, and southern European countries did not. The front page of the publication Elsevier, illustrating working ‘North Europeans’ and lazy cocktail-sipping ‘Southerners’, was absolutely nothing except insulting and went viral in Italy.

“It runs deep, very deep,” stated my Dutch buddy.

In amount, with the corona crisis in Europe, lots of questioned what the world would look like after the crisis.

Some anticipated that whatever would be various. The crisis would make people understand that there is more than standing together in a traffic congestion while going to work which family, neighbours and pals are more essential thanmoney


Geopolitically, the crisis would make us understand that infections have no national borders and do not compare citizenship, colour or faith. Simply put, the pandemic would lastly reverse the upward pattern of nationalism and polarisation.

Nevertheless, as we slowly wake up from the crisis in Europe, existing patterns appear to have actually heightened, instead of reversed.

For instance, the media are investing even further in online news, working from home (for those who can) is ever-more the brand-new regular, and online conferences will continue to change in person ones.

At the very same time, we likewise understand that online education and online conferences and online conferences are less efficient than the conventional method of conference face to face. A fine example is the reality that the European Council chose to go back to relaxing the conference table face to face in July – due to the fact that it was up until now just difficult to reach agreementonline


The corona crisis hence seems more of a trend-accelerator than a trend-changer.

This likewise appears to use to worldpolitics


The pandemic soon ended up being like salt being rubbed into existing injuries. After earlier, condescending, declarations throughout the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the Dutch declarations now were an additional hard slap in the face of the Italians.

When United States president Donald Trump firmly insisted on calling the corona infection the “China virus”,

China too responded intensely.

In addition, the United States withdrew from the World Health Organisation due to the fact that it was stated to be”too Chinese” The pre-existing stress in between the United States and China have actually intensified to such a level throughout the crisis that Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi cautioned of another Cold War. Lots passed away in a military clash in between Chinese and indian soldiers.

And in a current report, Europol anticipates that the corona crisis will likewise heighten terrorism, whether it be jihadism or right wing and left-wing terrorism.

Another phenomenon that took place throughout the lockdown is no less troubling. A number of authoritarian programs mistreated the around the world concentrate on the pandemic to quietly press their illiberal program.

China chose to take control of the ‘security’ of Hong Kong. Turkey and Russia sent out weapons and soldiers to Libya in a fight for power and oil. Egypt apprehended more activists and revealed it would not eliminate a military raid on Libya. The Hungarian federal government tightened its grip on the media and the opposition. Congo sentenced an opposition leader to 20 years of hard labour. The Belarusian president apprehended his competing prospect. And so on, etc.

Maybe even more essential than the salt being rubbed into injuries and politics of authoritarian leaders is that something has actually altered in people’s minds.

Brand-new worry … other individuals

Where we had actually been living for 20 years with worry of terrorism and fear that our cost savings might unexpectedly go up in smoke, a brand-new worry has actually now emerged: worry of contamination.

It is this brand-new worry that made people snitch on neighbours, or shout at other individuals if they were standing to near each other.

It was most discomforting to see how rapidly our societies became some sort of spontaneous authorities state.

It was the very same worry that European countries made close their borders and kept face masks, meant for other countries, on their own. Due to the fact that they might have been contaminated, and the very same worry advised some people in Africa and South America to shoo away Europeans.

A 4th worry flared up with the demonstrations on Black Lives Matter: the worry of identity loss.

The more than warranted anger about ingrained bigotry, today and in the past, dangers of becoming an allegation of bigotry and opportunity versus anybody who is white.

It is true, naturally, that the majority of white people do not understand how typically dark-skinned people handle bigotry. And the majority of them do not understand how disheartening and deeply aggravating bigotry is. Yes, this should alter urgently and completely.

However that does not make all white people racists or perhaps fortunate. This sort of generalisation produces a brand-new polarisation in which the genuine need for acknowledgment ends up being a need for repentance – which will just enhance the white supremacists.

Simply put, after the first wave of the coronavirus in Europe and Asia, we have actually not woken up in a more open, steady and safeworld


The polarisation within Europe, in between China and the United States, however likewise within specific countries has not lessen, however larger. This polarisation is sustained by brand-new and old worries. The corona infection turned the existing pattern of polarisation into an extremely harmful pattern.

Which is, sadly, not brand-new. A recent study shows that 100 years back, the Nazi party plainly got more votes in areas of Germany that were reasonably more- impacted by the Spanish influenza.

Let this be a warning to those who believe that after the lockdown the worst lies behind us.

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