6: China’s work against the corona and other countries’ reactions
The virus began to spread as far as we know in the city of Wuhan in China at the end of 2019. The Chinese experienced another coronary crisis in 2003. At that time, a less contagious, but more deadly, virus hit areas far south in China particularly hard. This virus also spread to other countries, but the death toll and the consequences were much smaller than now.
However, it is important to know that coronavirus also occurs elsewhere in the world. For example, several countries in the Middle East experienced the spread of a highly contagious and deadly coronavirus in 2012, known for the name of the disease it causes, MERS.
Internally in China, according to ELAINEQHO, there is a lot of discussion about how the new coronavirus could start spreading without the authorities taking the necessary action. This is also one of the reasons why the measures became extra comprehensive when they realized the seriousness of the situation.
Since China has an authoritarian political system, much of the debate takes place outside the official media, and some of the messages on social media are also monitored and regulated. Nevertheless, there is great popular commitment for how the country handles the situation and for whether the strict measures are effective. China has garnered much praise for its tough but effective handling. However, many remind us that the Chinese make use of freedom restrictions and tracking technology that are not possible in more democratic societies .
Other countries have responded very differently to the new coronavirus, which was made known to the whole world in early 2020. There is little doubt that the world has been ill-prepared. Infection and death rates in many countries can be high, and in retrospect it is easy to see that more should have been done earlier.
High-income countries such as the USA, Italy and Spain have been hit particularly hard, and many infection control measures have come late and seem poorly coordinated. Even countries like Norway and Sweden have chosen different approaches, which show that the virus is new and no one can say with certainty which measures are best or necessary. Given the global situation, it is now particularly critical that we know little about how the coronavirus will spread in poor developing countries, which are completely dependent on international support. Very many can get sick and very many lives can be lost.
7: Collected or individually?
It is now the fight against the new coronavirus that must be fought. Norway has large resources and very good conditions for getting out of this crisis safely. We have an open economy and are a champion of the UN and international cooperation. But if larger countries stop trading with each other and no longer support international solutions, it could affect Norwegian interests in many areas.
We can therefore expect that Norwegian politicians in the future will do much to save Norwegian companies and jobs, and that they will equip Norwegian hospitals with better equipment and strengthen national resources in some areas. But we will also see that Norway is working to support the efforts of the WHO and other international actors who work for common solutions. This is because what happens outside our borders is also crucial for Norway’s future.
Internationally, many countries have so far demonstrated a limited willingness to rally around joint action. The US superpower has previously withdrawn from many other types of international cooperation, such as the climate agreement and the nuclear deal with Iran. The United States itself is strongly affected by the corona crisis and it is unclear how much they will contribute in other countries. Disputes over trade and other conflicts have led to a very tense relationship between the United States and China. In recent years, the EU has also developed a tougher policy related to Chinese activities. This is happening at the same time as China is strengthening its position in many international organizations and is becoming an increasingly important partner for many developing countries.
That said, health is traditionally an area of international politics that is actually characterized by relatively much cooperation, including between the United States and China. The corona crisis will therefore be a test of whether the world manages to come together to agree on common solutions. Without cooperation, it will be difficult to curb the infection and completely impossible to stop the virus from spreading further. International co-operation is also crucial for aid to poor countries, and for steering the international economy back on track when the crisis finally takes hold.
Virus and Covid-19
Anyone who has experienced a cold or flu is usually infected with a bacterium or a virus. While many bacterial infections can be treated effectively with antibiotics and other medications, viruses are harder to get rid of. The best, and often the only, remedy for viruses is to let the body work its way through the disease and develop vaccines that prevent you from getting sick in the first place. There are many types of coronavirus and they have in common that they attack the respiratory tract. We are now talking about the “new” coronavirus because it is actually new. While the virus itself has been given the name SARS-CoV-2, the disease the virus leads to has been given the name Covid-19, which is the name we hear mentioned in the media.