G20 leaders must recognize that pandemics are a national and global security threat, and expend some political capital to shift the international health-security machinery from its current equilibrium. Their forthcoming summit in Rome is the right moment to establish a new vision of global public health.
University of Chicago researchers used flu data and similarities to create a predictive model showing how COVID-19 spreads.
While COVID-19 is more transmissible and deadlier than most influenzas epidemics encountered in our lifetimes, COVID-19 and the flu do share some characteristics. Both illnesses primarily infect the upper respiratory system and are spread by droplets, fomites, and contact.
The global pandemic has dramatically impaired the lives of millions of people around the world. It has also dealt a body blow to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, at a time when these values were already in decline.
Book Review: Adam Tooze Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy (Allen Lane, 2021)
Adam Tooze’s account of the 2008 financial crisis – Crashed – demonstrated his ability to combine a rigorous account of history with sharp-edged economics and a compelling storyline. He brings the same narrative skills to bear on the Covid crisis in his latest offering, Shutdown.
Tooze’s key message is that Covid was a textbook opportunity to demonstrate effective global cooperation. Despite the stunning achievement of rapid vaccine invention and production, the challenge – vaccinating the world population – is proving difficult, failing to achieve the immense benefits that universal collaboration could bring.
Warning that uneven recovery is leaving much of the world behind, Mr. Guterres urged greater support for vulnerable nations as they tackle the challenges of debt distress, lack of investment, unfair trade and the climate emergency.
While highlighting the urgent need for vaccine equity now, it is but “the first step in a much longer race”, he said, as the pandemic is putting decades of development progress at risk.
Weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelmed intensive care units across North Africa with severe oxygen shortages sparking public anger, case numbers are sharply declining.
Here is a look at the situation in the four countries of the Maghreb – Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya – based on official figures collected by the AFP news agency.
The Food and Drug Administration’s scientific advisory panel recommended against approving Pfizer/BioNTech booster vaccinations for the general population aged 16 and above. The boosters are currently only approved for immunocompromised individuals and patients in nursing homes—patients who are more vulnerable than the general population to get breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization or death.
The pandemic is just the latest pretext for a debate that needs to be shared. I intervene in this reasoning with a critical and free spirit but considering the recent reflections of the philosopher Massimo Cacciari as absolutely acceptable.
I taught Totalitarianism and Democracy at the university and I know that the “Weimar risk” is no stranger to our liberal democracies today in crisis. Hannah Arendt, like many other thinkers, has written memorable pages on this subject.
The Global Eye’s research intends to focus on the risks facing the world today and, in particular, on the risks that increase the democratic crisis. Democracy is a fragile construction, we know, and it must be continuously looked after and never considered completed: this is its beauty and, at the same time, its tragedy.
To enter into the merits, and whatever the triggering cause, the endless extension of the state of emergency risks turning into a state of exception. We must be very careful because the state of exception is typical of authoritarian regimes, realities that deny everything that is guaranteed in a democracy.
Cacciari’s reflection is a warning. We must not live in the anxiety of risk but knowing that the same is “around the corner” and can materialize in our lives with an impact that could be dangerous.
An element that must be carefully considered is the growing incapacity of the State to face emergencies in the ordinary nature of its institutions. Already when we invoke “extraordinary actions” we take a step into danger, essentially declaring that the institutions are unable, in their ordinariness, to face the risks that, more and more, become intangible and unpredictable. If the risk has entered into metamorphosis (think of cyber), the State has remained unreformed: and this is a risk within the risk.
As COVID-19 spread across the world, governments responded with an unprecedented increase in social assistance measures. Policymakers had to shift their focus to urban areas, particularly slums, whose residents were hit the hardest by the pandemic and its economic impact. Social safety nets, traditionally targeting chronic poverty in rural areas, had to be reinvented overnight: The new objective was to prevent informal workers affected by lockdowns from falling back into poverty. Exciting innovations in the design and delivery of social transfers followed, with emerging lessons informing us, as the world continues battling the pandemic.