The world before this coronavirus and after cannot be the same

By Robert Muggah and Ian Goldin

Published in The Conversation

With COVID-19 infections now evident in 176 countries, the pandemic is the most significant threat to humanity since the second world war. Then, as now, confidence in international cooperation and institutions plumbed new lows.

While the onset of the second world war took many people by surprise, the outbreak of the coronavirus in December 2019 was a crisis foretold. Infectious disease specialists have been raising the alarm about the accelerated pace of outbreaks for decades. Dengue, Ebola, SARS, H1N1, and Zika are just the tip of the iceberg. Since 1980, more than 12,000 documented outbreaks have infected and killed tens of millions of people around the world, many of them the poorest of the poor. In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) detected outbreaks of six of its eight “priority diseases” for the very first time.

No one can say we weren’t warned.

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