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Post-pandemic lessons: How do we deal with viruses in the future?

The famous American writer Farid Zakaria made conclusions about dealing with future viruses that dealt with designing cities and economic systems, and writer Michael Hirsch described them as difficult; But it is inevitable.

Says Hirsch in his article On the Foreign Policy magazine website, after 10 months, it is not too early to write an initial draft about the post-pandemic world, which has become the worst in a century, and what that might mean for the future world.

Hirsch continues, praising Zakaria, saying that he had previously warned in 2017 on his CNN show that the biggest threat to the United States, “the world’s only superpower now, is a small virus, and it is completely unprepared to deal with it.”

In his 242-page book, Hersh explains, Zakaria provided an impressive and eloquent presentation of history, economics, protracted health crises, and global cultural trends.

Is it the revenge of nature?

Hersh quotes from the book that Zachariah says, “We have made a world in a state of constant and excessive activity,” where people live longer, inhabit larger areas, and encroach on nature, and in response, the next epidemics will be (in revenge for nature), not least in the distant habitats of bats Malignancy, which we have learned are ideal carriers of deadly viruses; Because they can survive better than other animals, but humans who are spreading constantly come into contact with bats more often, which increases the risk of unknown viral contact in the future. “

Zakaria says that in the United States it is very easy to blame President Donald Trump and his response to the first signs of the Corona pandemic; But the problem is long-standing and it is a problem of an entire system, as years of dominance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies over medical health have led to complacency in these centers, which needs to change.

Zakaria: The new culture of “Zoom” meetings from home is not a substitute for reinventing cities (Reuters)

Reagan Market and Sanders Socialism

Zakaria says that market solutions, which are attributed to former US President Ronald Reagan, must be changed, and he describes them as insufficient, and that the government needs to play a new role, although not yet defined, and he rejects the new socialism promoted by Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders and the young American politician, Alexandria. Ocasio-Cortez, which recreates the old debate between free markets and command economies, instead calls for recognition of the imperative of government intervention.

He explains that in a post-“Covid-19” world, the American right no longer rejects Denmark, for example, with its pioneering mixed economy that has achieved extraordinary success against the virus, referring to the call of the right-wing commentator in “Fox News” (Tucker Carlson) Republican leaders should admit that market capitalism is “not a religion.”

But Zakaria also offers some useful perspectives on what will not change, and he quotes, amid the mass migration from cities, Aristotle’s saying that humans are basically “social animals”, to say that cities will not disappear due to epidemic panic, and urbanization is likely to recover, especially in Developing countries, continuing to some extent at pre-pandemic rate; What is needed are more prepared cities, such as Hong Kong, which have suffered only 105 deaths.

City of 15 minutes

Zakaria cites the plan of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to transform this wonderful and innovative city into a “15-minute city”, designed in such a way that shops, parks, schools and doctors’ offices can be easily reached and to basic common spaces within a few minutes by cycling or Walking, instead of spreading viruses on mass transit.

According to the author of the article, the new concept of zoning, which would deny “100 years of urban orthodoxy,” and divide the city with a division that restricts population density, is a long way.

Zoom meeting culture

Zakaria argues that the new culture of “Zoom” meetings from home is not a substitute for reinventing cities. Because, he says, “it is becoming increasingly clear that telecommuting is a wonderful tool; but an imperfect substitute for actual human contact.”

He goes on to describe the culture of Zoom meetings, saying that it enables colleagues, who have established relationships, to continue working together seamlessly through online chatting; But it does not build trust and instill a teamwork style between them, not to mention that remote work excludes all the spontaneous conversations about water coolers and occasional meetings that ultimately lead to increased productivity and innovation stemming from clash of minds, and does not address the most frustrating aspect of global lockdown, which is loneliness. Absolute Satisfaction, which shows that Aristotle was right.

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