The global toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is enormous: more than a half-million lives lost, hundreds of millions out of work, and trillions of dollars of wealth destroyed. And the disease has by no means run its course; hundreds of thousands more could well die from it.Not surprisingly, there is tremendous interest in the development of a vaccine, with more than a hundred efforts under way around the world.
Some of the Chinese government’s recent policies seem to make little practical sense, with its decision to impose a national-security law on Hong Kong being a prime example.
As many countries progressively relax their COVID-19 containment measures, preventing a renewed spread of the coronavirus from emerging infection clusters will be key to controlling the pandemic. And this will require the world to develop innovative new treatments.So far, policymakers have relied on non-pharmaceutical interventions such as testing, contact tracing, and quarantines to prevent a second wave of infections.
As COVID-19 spread from China to Europe and then the United States (US), pandemic-stricken countries found themselves in a mad scramble for medical supplies – masks, ventilators, protective garments. More often than not, it was to China that they had to turn.By the time the crisis erupted, China had become the world’s largest supplier of key products, accounting for half of all European and US imports of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The COVID-19 pandemic is entering its second phase as countries gradually reopen their economies and loosen or even revoke strict social-distancing measures. Yet, barring the arrival of an effective, universally available therapy or vaccine, the transition back to “normal” will be more aspirational than real.
The ongoing standoff between Chinese and Indian forces along the two countries’ disputed Himalayan border recently resulted in the first troop casualties there in decades, with some Indian soldiers killed in particularly brutal fashion.
COVID-19 infection rates are rising in much of the United States (US). Even if the US can prevent outbreaks in the South and Southwest from worsening during the summer, experience with other coronaviruses counsels the preparation for a potentially major onslaught during the fall.
COVID-19 has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide, made millions more ill, and continues to wreak havoc. But as the saying goes – and without wishing to downplay this human tragedy in any way – it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
Certainty is like a rainbow: wonderful but relatively rare. More often than not, we know that we don’t know. We may seek to remedy this by talking to people who may know what we want to know. But how do we know that they know? If we cannot ascertain whether they actually do know, we must trust them.Historically, we have bestowed our trust on the basis of science, experience, or divine inspiration.
Just a few weeks after the first COVID-19 cases started appearing outside China, South Korea launched a system for broadcasting the exact profiles and movements of individuals who had tested positive for the disease.
Widespread lockdowns and border closures aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic have interrupted global supply chains and largely paralysed the global economy.
Like the leading character in a long-running television series, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has kicked off the latest crisis on the Korean Peninsula with familiar theatrics. After cutting off all communications with South Korea earlier this month, the Kim regime bombed the building in which it had previously hosted South Korean diplomats. It has redeployed troops into demilitarised border areas and issued renewed threats of violence against the South.