Dr. Basel Haj Jasem's Blog

Corona between populism, conspiracy and the media

April 2, 2020
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Everyone knew that at the beginning of the epidemic, China tried to keep everything confidential and not tell anyone what was happening. Now, after realizing the actual scale, they changed their behaviour.

Today, Russia, America and the rest of the world do not reduce the severity of the virus. Authorities restrict communication between countries and quarantine those who have been in contact with infected people. Companies have reduced or stopped travel, people have postponed their holidays, and we are witnessing the cancellation of major events.

The virus is prevalent around the world, but it is retreating in China, and this news may be the most important. According to Chinese estimates, they have surpassed the epidemic; therefore, we can estimate the time that has passed since the infection outbreak, and then began to decline gradually. This will normally happen when a country at all levels does its best to fight the virus. Unfortunately, in countries which will not be able to do the same practice, their crisis will be extended for a month or more.

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Source: Reuters

Now it is practically impossible to talk about most of the disasters around the world where coronavirus has arrived, and words cannot speak about this tragedy. It is very painful when we broadcast the statistics of Covid19 victims as if we were talking about things and not humans.

Since the virus recently stroke both Brazil and New Zealand, it can be said that all continents are infected except Antarctica, which is devoid of coronavirus, the enemy knocking on everyone's gates.

The good news is that the situation around the world is gradually changing. People are shifting from panic and screaming to specific questions. What can I do? What do I need to request from my government to survive?

Here we may raise a significant question: Can the coronavirus turn into more severe forms, and become a threat to all people? This is to some extent impossible if the virus mutates into more severe forms, the person who is infected with the virus will die, and this means that the virus is no longer able to spread, as the general direction of such illnesses is the opposite, they become lighter. And whenever the disease was lighter, it will spread more effectively.

Epidemics are not just tragedies, diseases, and immediate deaths, as such threats along with uncertainty and worries widespread, this will lead to the emergence of new patterns of behaviour and beliefs. People become more suspicious and more naive, but above all, they will be afraid to communicate with everything that looks strange or external.

Nobody knows how long the Covid19 epidemic will last, and if the virus does not die down by spring in the northern hemisphere, the world may have to wait until a vaccine for this disease is developed and put into production. The most important issue is the readiness and effectiveness of health authorities in each country.

Anyway, closing factories and suspending production disrupts global production chains, and manufacturers have begun taking steps to reduce their dependence on the weaknesses of remote countries. Until now, financial experts have focused on calculating the costs of individual industries, where automobile factories worry about a lack of components. Textile workers are left without fabrics, and luxury goods stores are deprived of customers.

However, few people think seriously about the importance of uncertainty of the global economy, and think about the long-term consequences of the crisis of COVID-19 virus, individuals and companies, and perhaps even governments will try to protect themselves with the help of complex contracts that are implemented under certain conditions (Emergency contracts), and it is easy to imagine new financial products that will be structured in a way that guarantees payment to auto manufacturers in case the virus reaches a certain level of deaths. The demand for new contracts may lead to the emergence of new epilepsy, with opportunities to gain more money.

It is not surprising or unlikely that the COVID-19 epidemic is already playing in the hands of modern populism. For some Americans, the Chinese origin of this disease will be another confirmation of their belief that China poses a threat to the world, "a country that cannot be believed to be able to act responsibly". Therefore, many Chinese citizens will almost find that some US actions to combat this virus are driven by racist considerations designed to prevent the rise of China. Conspiracy theories have already emerged, and as the world plunges into a pandemic of disinformation, the COVID-19 pandemic promises to increase in size.

As a conclusion, we may say that the coronavirus will make life completely irregular and unnatural, and the media contribute and support this trend. All this leads us to a completely unnatural economy in extraordinary circumstances.

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
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    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
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