The convergence of crises

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The spread of the virus follows a different logic than the economic crisis. Its behavior is still under study. But more quickly impacts the life-and-death dilemma

By Roberto Jorge Regensteiner*

What are these overlapping crises? The Covid-19 crisis, the economic crisis, the relationship between urban-industrial society and Nature (with a capital en). Does it mean that humans thought they were no longer part of nature? Have you forgotten this basic fact of biology? Or else, as a global society, as a social whole, they never truly learned, behold, the interconnection of 9 billion on a limited planet occurs to all of us for the first time. It's a new challenge...

We could say that a hypothetical Zeus sent a missile, named Covid-19, just to remind us that we are part of nature, that we need oxygen, water, the entire Periodic Table of elements. Let us quickly become aware of this and take advantage of the convergence of crises for a complete restructuring of global society towards ecosocialism.

The outbreak of Covid-19 at a key point in the world's production system, caused Chinese industrial production to fall in the first quarter of 2020. It abruptly interrupted the flow of goods across geographies, similarly affecting direct and derivative financial flows.

The spread of the virus follows a different logic than the economic crisis. It is still under study. But it impacts much more quickly, in the short term, the life-and-death dilemma. Little is known about it other than that it is transferred from one human to another through contact between (simply put) secretions and upper mucous membranes.

Considering that the most important human value is the preservation of life, it was fortunate that the infection started in China, as evidenced by the country's capacity to face the problem. Between its initial identification (in December 2019) and the current moment, statistics on the decrease in the lethality of Covid-19 in that country prevail, configuring a bell curve graph that now points downwards.

Meanwhile Europe, the US and other countries are preparing to experience the rising phase of the problem. I hope they do better, since they have had more time than the Chinese to prepare and if they want to be smart they will benefit from the experience that China has made available to all countries. But it is scary to see the incompetence of Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro (not necessarily in that order) to deal with the problem.

The People's Republic of China, led by the PCC (Communist Party of China; each country has the pcc it can have...), put on a great show!, proved to be an example of social organization followed by the willingness to collaborate with other countries in pursuit of the common good. Deny it who you want! Point the first finger at the normal initial hesitations in identifying the problem in China, the countries and regimes that have never suffered from the sin of only recognizing a problem later, only when it becomes a calamity. There are many examples.

In China, the identification of fundamental measures to be taken and their masterful execution strikes deep in the soul of admirers of human ingenuity: from the execution of the lockdown to the completion of the works turn key two hospitals (think of the planning behind it!); from the development of partnerships in search of vaccines to its impeccable attitude of offering help to other nations. My applause and shouts of bravo! This is what inspires us to face a moment of pain for thousands of losses to the disease in China, for the coffin of Italian army trucks transporting a similar number of bodies for the cremation of victims of a population that is a small fraction from Chinese.

Let's see what other nations have done with the time allotted to them by luck to prepare and see how long the outbreak lasts in these other locations.

This is the time when each national government must take care of its population and, more than ever, a global articulation is necessary to face health issues, at the institutional, political and economic levels, which replaces the strength of financial systems, of the articulation between Central Banks and Stock Exchanges.

*Roberto Regensteiner is a professor and consultant in Management & Information Technology.

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