The world is suffering from a global crisis. We all are in lockdown and missing the old “Normal” world. It is shocking that the world after this pandemic will be a different world economically, socially, politically, and culturally. One of the most important questions is that after the Spanish flue of 1918, the world did not change so much then why after COVID-19, it has more changes in its order. The reason is that in 1918, the world was not interconnected as it is nowadays. There were no bipolar superpowers at that time. The population of the world in 1918 was only 2 billion but now it is 7.5 billion. So now the world leaders have been left with the following options. One is between totalitarian surveillances or citizen empowerment and the other is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.
This technique is commonly used to catch criminals but, within pandemic conditions the government may use it for detecting infected citizens. For example: Regulating the body temperature, blood pressure of masses, and regulating their movement by cameras to control the spread of disease. This technique is often inconvenient and a violation of privacy for normal citizens, so most governments will go with the other option and that is of empowering the citizens.
Governments will make people aware of this global crisis. They will convince the masses to cooperate, and it will be a more effective option long term. As it was identified in 19th the century that washing hands are useful, viruses are easily killed by washing hands. Before that time doctors used to perform many surgeries with the same dirty hands causing many more infections. People were made aware of it and not forced into anything. They were empowered, as a result people own sense if self-preservation caused people to take protective measures.
The other two choices are Nationalist isolation and Global solidarity.
In nationalist isolation, the country will just focus on self-preservation. The country will not cooperate with any other country locking its borders going into isolation mode. This approach, however, might not work in the 21st century within the era of globalization. Regardless it is still possible that this pandemic will give rise to the concept of nationalist isolation. For example – Trump is calling this virus a “Chinese Virus” gaining more support for his tariff policy. Another factor is power shifting.
If the world shows unity at this time, it can better put up a fight against the virus because humans can plan but viruses cannot. The People of China can teach people of America that how they can fight this pandemic, but “Virus of China” can’t teach “Virus of America” that how its infected people. So, in global solidarity, data can be shared, rich countries will help poor countries and medical staff will be exchanged for the sake of global containment. On the other hand, Global international relations will be badly affected by a nationalist isolation policy.
After this pandemic, we will be witnessing the formation of a new world order. Did you ever think about how we are surviving under lock lockdown? We are surviving just because of globalization. We can work from home. Owners of many big corporations bought many buildings to run their companies but now they are realizing that work can be done from home too. People especially women may work from home in the future. E-commerce will have a large rise in its market worth. For example – Shares of Amazon and Ali baba are rising in this pandemic. So, in the future E-commerce will be a crisis-proof business. Before this pandemic, there was no concept of online education in many countries. But now we are realizing that it can also be effective. Meanwhile, Power may slowly get shifted from west to east. If we look at the response against the virus in Asia, then it is better than Europe or America. Power pivot will be changed in the future, and globalization will be China-centric as all the countries will try to be self-sufficient.
Author: Zain Ul Hassan
About Author: Zain Ul Hassan is a Student of Mechatronics and Control Engineering at UET Lahore.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.