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COVID-19 Pushes World Towards Tension – OpEd

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International pandemics are centuries-old disturbances that have often shaped the course of history. The Black Death 14th century’s pandemic, which some believe appeared in China and others trace to the Crimea, caused devastation across Europe bringing social, economic, and political uproar in its wake. Likewise, in 1918, the Spanish flu also created global stresses. The novel coronavirus (covid19) outbreak, which has created public health concerns and brought daily life and human movement to a pause in many countries, has triggered international crises worldwide.

The worldwide blame game has already begun to exacerbate tensions between states as the spread of conspiracy theories. In China, speculation that the virus was manufactured in America to hurt China is common. Officials in Beijing have voiced that “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” Americans has suggested that the coronavirus was produced by a bio-weapons program in a government laboratory in Wuhan. In Iran, where senior members of the government have become affected by the virus, President Hassan Rouhani has described coronavirus as “a conspiracy by the enemies of Iran.” Directly blaming other countries for the spread of the virus remains relatively rare.

The wake of coronavirus has been further deteriorated the U.S.-China relationship at an unfortunate time when the two countries ought to join each other to limit the destruction caused by the pandemic. Sadly, U.S.-China trade tensions would be more likely to re-escalate, particularly if China proves unwilling or unable to deliver the import commitments agreed under the recent first-phase limited trade deal. The tense relations between the two superpowers could lead the world towards another loss.

With a major outbreak of the virus confirmed in Europe, split the European Union (EU). Italy that is the most affected country by this contagion indicated that she is going to pull out from the EU for not helping at the time of crisis. Each EU nation is struggling epidemic individually. At one time borderless Europe now is recoil and victim to the political and economic crisis.   

The global coronavirus crisis has also shadowed the Doha agreement between the US and the Afghan. The virus hit the US and creates catastrophic conditions within the country that ultimately imposed limits on diplomatic efforts. Delay in beginning intra-Afghan talks develops the risk of the Doha peace plan being crashed. 

On the other hand, the virus triggered the oil war among Russia and Saudi Arabia that has created very painful market conditions for the world’s largest crude producers along with collateral damage. Moreover, this oil war crashed the American oil market and the price of one-barrel dip below zero dollars. 

More worriedly, the virus caused a rise in racism against East Asians these people have become the victim of micro-aggressions. Worldwide there has been a significant increase in hate-based crimes against East Asian people. This is common in racism and xenophobia to blame the opposite race as the spread of contagious disease. This sort of issue often repeated throughout history, for example, the bubonic plague was frequently blamed on Jewish people. If this problem worsens it is unlikely to stop.

The results have witnessed the coronavirus mutates into a truly international crisis. The worst-case health scenarios will presumably be avoided. But the political consequences of the outbreak are only just beginning. Tackling these challenges requires empowering medical and scientific professionals, cooperation, to have systems, policies, and Governments have to put aside their differences in pursuit of a common goal and they must remember that in an era of globalization, the presence of the virus in any country will result in transmission and that if it is not curbed everywhere, it is a risk to all nations.

*The writer is student of International Relations, University of Sindh, and having specialization in East & Southeast Asian Studies. She can be reached on[email protected]

3 thoughts on “COVID-19 Pushes World Towards Tension – OpEd

  • Avatar
    May 7, 2020 at 12:23 am
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    This is our society. This time it is the virus that causes disagreements, but unfortunately we will always have a reason to hate the neighbor. For example, look closely at Putin and be alarmed.
    Excellent article.

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  • Avatar
    May 7, 2020 at 9:00 pm
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    No one doubts that the 14th century Black Death and the 1918 Spanish Flu were natural germs. But the COVID-19 is entirely different. Our scientists of the 21st century are capable of engineering and weaponizing viruses. Two Nobel Laureates in medical sciences have already declared that the COVID-19 virus cannot be natural germs but must be lab-created germs. That’s the issue. We cannot let this heinous crime go on. The outbreak of the COVID-19 first started in Wuhan, China. And the scientific community knows that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has had special projects on germs like coronaviruses (so-named because of their characteristic shapes and functions), hemorrhagic fever viruses, antibiotic resistant-tuberculosis germs, and the like.

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