How Do Global Pandemics Change Anything?

Discussion in 'Opinions & Current Events' started by Dotini, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    We have noticed that viruses such as SARS, MERS, H1N1, etc have been in the (relatively distant) news for the last number of years. Finally the whole globe has been affected in a big way by the latest novelty in viruses. We are told that we must prepare for yet another epidemic of yet another new virus. Is this something new and different that has the potential to change anything significant about human life on Earth?

    Suppose it's really true that we are in an Age of Virus epidemics much as once we were in an Industrial Age, Atomic Age or Information Technology Age. If so, what are the implications for the following:
    - personal liberty and freedom
    - globalization and open borders
    - human rights
    - income equality
    - populism
    - democracy
    - authoritarianism
    - climate change
    - religious belief systems
    - artificial intelligence
    - exploration of the Moon and Mars
    - mass gatherings for sporting events such as football and auto racing
    - general standard of living
    - what else?
     
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  2. Liquid

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    We won't know fully until long after this is all over, which could be a few years.

    The Spanish flu's lasting legacy was:

    - By disproportionately affecting the Triple Alliance (mainly Germany and Austro-Hungary), it tipped the balance in the favour of the Triple Entente in the final months of WW1

    - It consolidated women's desires to study nursing; the failure of containment was blamed on doctors, who were universally male at the time, whilst the palliative care of nurses was celebrated. Record numbers of women went to nursing schools during and after the pandemic.

    It is also worth highlighting that media focus of the war during censorship of the pandemic, and continued coverage of the war after the war and censorship were over, contributed to less importance placed on flu deaths compared to war deaths and the pandemic fell from public consciousness fairly quickly.

    I don't think that will happen this time. People are going to remember and know about covid for a long, long time.
     
  3. MaxAttack

    MaxAttack

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    I think it's a step too far to label 2020 the "pandemic age". We are still very much in the information age.

    As far as I'm aware the name we give to eras of anthropological history are influenced by emergent technologies that altered the course and structure of human society at every level, hence Bronze age, Iron age, Industrial age.

    Viral epidemics/spreads have occured on some level during every age of history so it seems a little ridiculous to say we've crossed some anthropological threshold here.

    That said I think the long term effects will mostly manifest in the corporate/commuter side of things. This may cause us as societies to pause and consider the reasoning behind everyone commuting into population centers and stacking up in office buildings to do work that could be done from home.

    My hope is that it may have a political effect, closing the wider and wider divide in people's politics by virtue of the fact we have been forced together against a common enemy of sorts; this might make people realise that those who don't necessarily agree with them politically aren't demon worshippers who want to summon the end times. International collaboration might even de-escalate more threatening political tensions.

    If I could wish for any outcome - and I always want this, but feel it's unlikely still - is to drive huge investment into space programs worldwide and create a global effort to find humanity more homes out in the void, but that's just the starry eyed futurist in me talking.

    I'd also be pretty happy if it stopped people buying giant SUVs somehow.
     
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  4. VBR

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    If it forces the Chinese, & other such cultures, to implement laws stopping the practice of stacking & packing loads of different species of live animals on top of each other in their infamous 'wet markets', which many experts believe is the cause of this new strain of Coronavirus, then that'd be a great start.
     
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  5. TexRex

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    20200327_062538.png
     
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  6. Exorcet

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    I'd hope for a more wide spread understanding of viruses and infectious disease. Maybe enough to knockout anti science like anti vax groups, though they don't seem to care for logic a lot of the time. Outside of that I agree with others that remote work might be more prevalent, but I'm not sure if it will become the norm.
     
  7. Daz555

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    The implication I'd like to see is for society (and capitalism) to place far greater value on those who do jobs that are at the heart of it all.

    Nurses for example are disgustingly undervalued in the UK and yet here we are now praying that they can save us despite having voted for government that we knew would screw those same people over year after year.
     
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  8. Joey D

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    My hope is that we reevaluate how work and education are actually done. All this is showing is that not everyone needs to be in one building to accomplish something depending on your job. Pretty much all office workers should be able to split their time going forward, which would greatly reduce the number of people driving. This would help the environment and air quality across the board. Also, it would cut down on disease transmission since we wouldn't all be huddled in a cubical farm 8-10 hours a day.

    As for education, these new distant learning opportunities should get us thinking about how we can continue it. I think younger kids still need to be together to learn about social interactions, but once you reach high school, I see no reason why you shouldn't have the option to do distant learning. Some kids just don't thrive in a school environment. Plus, having kids learn from home would cut down on the amount of money needing to be spent on education, this would allow us to focus on improvements that would otherwise go unfunded, pay teacher more, etc.
     
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  9. Danoff

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    Three (at least) ways that can happen.

    1) A bunch of healthcare workers get sick and die, thereby creating demand (raising salary) for new hires.
    2) Nobody wants to take the job because of how dangerous and thankless it appears to be, thereby creating demand (raising salary) for new hires.
    3) Hospitals and governments (that run hospitals) staff up not to average loads, but peak loads, thereby creating demand (raising salary) for new hires.

    Edit:

    I see some big shoves into directions we were already headed. Away from crowded spaces like theaters and supermarkets, and toward a more isolated existence, where items are delivered and experiences are had at home.

    This seems beneficial from an environmental perspective, but it's also presenting a mental health challenge. We've spent too long not thinking enough about how to create meaningful digital connections.

    Edit 2:

    We should probably do some kinds of opinions forum zoom chat at some point. I think this has been done in other areas of GTP.
     
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  10. twitcher

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    I don’t know if this really fits in here, but with all the emphasis being put on using technology to replace human to human interaction, combined with the growth and evolution of certain technologies is quite worrying in my opinion.



    We’ve seen Trump giving outdoor speeches from behind glass. Canadian PM Trudeau has been in self isolation for 16 days now, and has been advised to continue to self isolate. UK PM Johnson will now be going into isolation. Is this the new normal?

    I don’t think there’s danger for some sort of sci-fi movie plot to happen overnight, I still believe Justin Trudeau is a real person. That said, our reliance on receiving information by screens (tv, phone, computer, etc) seems to only be increasing, and this pandemic will certainly push us in that direction.

    I think we only have one to two generations before this kind of technology makes it extremely difficult to tell what/who is real. Thirty or forty years from now, will children who were just born today be more equipped to differentiate what is real and what is not, or will they be more susceptible to being duped?
     
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  11. zzz_pt

    zzz_pt

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    Highly recommend Sam Harris's conversation with Matt Mullenweg about the implacations of the current crisis in the job market.



    Very interesting ideas thrown around.
     
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  12. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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  13. Jezza819

    Jezza819

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    I really hope that's not the case. I don't want going to the movies, going to concerts, sporting events, car racing, going to the beach, even family things like reunions and vacations to all be a thing of the past because we're so afraid to get within 6ft of each other.
     
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  14. novcze

    novcze

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    EU states went to "every state for himself" policy because there is stark difference in strategies regarding virus spread, Schengen is practically over and can stay that way for years... but idea of one market is fine so some form of EU will survive.

    Spain and Italy (or any EU state) can take back production of crucial items from China, because apparently making everything in China isn't the best idea and then bounce back economically.
     
  15. HenrySwanson

    HenrySwanson

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    [​IMG]
    Wait....
     
  16. twitcher

    twitcher

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    I think we’ll eventually return to that to certain degrees, but there will be a cost.

    - in order to be able to enter a movie theatre, would you tolerate having to take a mandatory yearly vaccine shot?

    - in order to enter a stadium, would you tolerate having to go through a body scanner (not unlike security at an airport) that would scan your temperature and perhaps a few other vitals?

    - would you accept having a chip implanted that would constantly monitor your health, but would give you unfettered access to public life?

    I don’t think these are necessarily guaranteed to happen, and the last one is definitely stretching the idea, but I do believe this is the direction we are headed in.
     
  17. Exorcet

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    I can't really say I expect this to happen, at least right now. The pandemic is an event that we can trace to an origin and its spread had a lot to do with the response once the virus was detected. People will be more wary about the spread of illness and probably react faster to a similar outbreak in the future but I don't think what has happened is enough to cause a shift in what people consider normal.
     
  18. Daz555

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    The UK NHS has over 100,000 open vacancies. 40,000 unfilled nursing positions for example and 10,000 open doctors positions so its not about supply and demand, it simply about the employer (in this case UK Gov) being unwilling to pay people what they are worth and accepting that reduced healthcare quality is an acceptable trade off.

    I hope that covid-19 sees a huge shift in that attitude.
     
  19. Danoff

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    Government.

    C19 is going to raise the price too.
     
  20. Joey D

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    Universities also need to look at how much they're charging for med school. The cost to become a doctor or PA is astronomical and takes a really long time. Nursing isn't much better, but you can get through the schooling in four years if you really push it. However, I know at the university I went to, if you get below a certain GPA in even one class you're removed from the nursing program and have to start over. That's a ton of pressure to put on someone and ends up causing shortages because students don't want to pay tens of thousands of dollars just to get kicked out if they fail a history class.

    Reduce the cost of training, make it more available to people who are capable of succeeding in the medical field, and you'll see a rise in the number of potential candidates for a job.
     
  21. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    Famous genius elite statesman/adviser Henry Kissinger speaks to the topic,


    The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order
    The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.


    By
    Henry A. Kissinger
    April 3, 2020 6:30 pm ET
    Mr. Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-coronavirus-pandemic-will-forever-alter-the-world-order-11585953005
     
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  22. VBR

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    Looks like they're going even further: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-dogs-idUSKCN21R1VI



    :tup:
     
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  23. Joey D

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    China making "laws". Ya, that will work out for all of about a few months then they'll start ignoring it, or lying and saying they're enforcing it.
     
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  24. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    The coronavirus pandemic has precipitated a political crisis and a clear threat to democracy.


    https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/ne...-new-powers-to-fight-coronavirus-15195776.php
     
  25. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    The pandemic is threatening chaos with internal divisions in both the US and Europe, according to this opinion piece.

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Crises tend to widen fault lines that already exist. The Covid-19 pandemic has been no exception. Before the virus hit, the unbalanced nature of recent economic growth was already straining federal structures around the world, from the U.S. to India to Europe. The current crisis threatens to open new disagreements and deepen old ones — and transform some political entities beyond recognition.

    This isn’t just a question of how central governments should distribute revenues and aid, although in most cases that’s the matter at hand. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that he’d rather see “blue states” go bankrupt than have the federal government bail them out, he wasn’t making only a crass political calculation. He legitimately didn’t want states to receive aid if he felt they had overspent on, say, pensions.

    He raises a fair point: How, in this crisis, should the federal government fairly deal with states that hold completely different visions of what government is and what it should do? Why should states that are so allergic to government that they would reject even Medicare expansion funds agree to finance states that have readily taken on debt to pay pensions?

    Of course, there’s an easy retort to that argument, summarized by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara: Many of those populous and economically vibrant “blue” states are already providing more than their share of federal revenues. “I, too, am sick and tired of subsidizing Kentucky,” Bharara said, referring to McConnell’s home state.

    The irony is that, across the world, it is these wealthier, more globalized parts of federal systems that have been hit hardest and earliest by the pandemic. The virus travelled across the world in airliners and cruise ships, carried by tourists and traders. Rich northern Italy, not the southern provinces that it has long subsidized, became the grim example of how deadly the new coronavirus could be. New York is the epicenter of the virus in the U.S., not deep-red states such as Kentucky.

    A lack of solidarity at moments like this will be remembered. The European Union will at some point have to deal with its failure to support Italy when that country was at its most vulnerable. Whatever deal the EU’s leaders finally cut, the fact is that when northern Italy’s health system was overloaded, no trains of medical supplies and doctors crossed the Alps to help. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has admitted, “too many were not there … when Italy needed.” That failure will cost the taxpayers of northern Europe – and it should. If money isn’t a cure for hurt feelings, big intra-regional transfers are therapeutic at least.

    To some economists, that’s all that a federal structure really is — an excuse for such fiscal transfers. Countries that are unable to agree on how much to send and where are facing another form of fiscal paralysis. In India, for instance, state governments are responsible for healthcare and face straitened budgets as a result. Yet not only does the federal government seem unconcerned, it has absurdly banned liquor sales for the duration of the lockdown, even though taxes on alcohol are one of the few ways left for India’s state governments to raise money.

    As a result, monetary authorities everywhere are once again having to hold things together. The U.S. Federal Reserve has promised to expand its municipal lending program. The European Central Bank is underwriting the euro area’s governments while its politicians remain divided. The Reserve Bank of India has raised the cap on short-term advances to India’s state governments.

    The populists and budding authoritarians that have sprung up everywhere see this crisis as an opportunity to expand their authority; they are unlikely to recognize how strained federalism is becoming. It’s not just the U.S., where President Donald Trump has tried to turn residents of certain states against their own governors. In India, the ministry of home affairs – run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s No. 2 – has begun sending out “investigation teams” to harass states run by the opposition, such as West Bengal.

    This is neither moral nor wise. It could force states and regions to discover that they have common interests – and that the federal government doesn’t share them. Already, in the U.S., three groups of governors have emerged – in the West, Midwest and East – declaring they will coordinate pandemic policy within each region. The governor of Minnesota compared the approach to “a loose Articles of Confederation.”

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-straining-concept-federalism-000036415.html