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How Will The World Be After #COVID-19? – OpEd

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We are in 7/24 lockdown at home these days, we have no other topic to talk about except Covid-19. All media news speaks only of Covid-19. Although global wrong policies are implemented, late and incomplete decisions are made and negative comments are made, we are experiencing formations that coincidentally correspond to the expected curve. Covid-19 sets new global rules of the pandemic everywhere, pushing decision-makers in the direction it should be.

The hard power of the new generation F35s, S400s and large aircraft carriers are no longer necessary. Payments were postponed for construction tenders, highways, bridges, due to fear of the epidemic. Limited resources were quickly directed to city hospitals, construction of half-hospital buildings were accelerated. Gigantic City Hospitals of Istanbul Başakşehir in European side were rapidly opened, similarly Başıbüyük on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Arçelik Aselsan METU accelerated ICU intensive care units mass production. The health personnel needed by the new hospitals have been taken from the young staff of the old hospitals, family physicians and provincial physicians have been assigned to these new city hospitals.

All resources have been provided for the construction and completion of Ankara Etlik City hospital. With the repetitive curfew on the weekends, the rate of infection spread was cut. The herd immunity advantage of the young population came into play.

All Turkish borders were closed. The widespread epidemic in the southern immigrant camps forced Syrian immigrants to return to their motherland. The USA’s unpreparedness to the pandemic is shaking the whole globe. When Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quarantined, his post remained to Rishi Altar, an Indian-born well-educated treasury minister with Indian origin.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin has just understood the seriousness of the situation. Covid-19 pandemic even defeated the unbreakable stubbornness of the Vatican and other religious institutions. Churches, mosques are closed to religious sermons. Saudis authorities canceled all hajj programs this year. They don’t take anyone into sacred places. Because of the need of female medical personnel, they removed the necessity of covered hoods.

Angela Merkel in Germany brought the epidemic in Germany under control with her academic sensitivity. The number of casualties in Germany is kept at minimum. German authorities took the outbreak forecast report of the 2012 Robert Koch Institute seriously and applied the necessary preventive measures and investments. So current causalities are less than other countries. Germany, which makes the necessary investments in health issues and has high-number of ICU devices ready, is considered to be saved.

However Germany has loosened the epidemic rules a little nowadays, due to unskilled worker requirement of their economy. They invited east European young healthy workers of 100 thousand to enter Germany. These are young people with better life expectancy who are not afraid of the epidemic, most will work in unskilled jobs in agricultural lands outdoors or in health centers. The average age in Germany is 49, and there are no young people do heavy work. Most German people work on computers in office work. Nowadays they all work from home without going to the office.

Global oil prices have fallen in the world, there is ample nonstop production, but there is no demand. There is no extra place to store oil production. The producers have started to give money to the buyer in order to store. Moreover big price discounts are expected soon for natural gas prices which are indexed to oil prices.

Coal can no longer be extracted from underground mines. It’s hard after #Covid-19 pandemic. Thermal power plants will remain idle and in the end they all be closed in time. Renewables wind, solar, hydro resources will gain importance. After Covid-19, we will return to fully renewable energy sources. New investments will quickly flow to renewables.

Europeans canceled their summer holiday reservations, early booking reimbursements led hotel and aircraft companies to bankruptcy. Restaurants, cafes, bars, all closed entertainment spaces will need a long time to reopen. Nobody will go there for a long time, even after reopening. The airplanes are used only for emergency evacuation and healthcare transportation. Intercity passenger transportation is over, only food trucks work on highways. This epidemic will last at least 2-3 years with repeated mutations, eventually the world will be completely different and we will acquire new habits that are accustomed to living indoors.

The Covid-19 outbreak process continues. We finished the fourth week of being lockdown at home in Ankara. There are optimistic political statements, but realistic academic interpretations say that this process will continue to slow until the end of June and still will continue for 1-2 years, with new waves that have mutated next year, even if it eases. The Spanish flu, in 1918, continued with more mutations in the years 1919-1920.

Closing our borders was a very important decision. Especially Iran, Iraq and Syria borders were very important in terms of stopping the epidemic. The entrance of people infected through Iran and the Middle East was very dangerous.

On the other hand, we hear that the epidemic has increased in Russia, Bulgaria, Greece and Georgia.

The existence of the outbreak is unlike the power of any combat weapon. In the epidemic of Covid-19, America’s heavy new modern weapon power meant no sense. Italy, Spain, England are not good at all. It will take time for them to survive.

There are 4000 soldiers on the American USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier, located near the Pacific island of Guam, almost as high as 500 soldiers test positive with the Covid-19 epidemic.

The huge aircraft carrie warship almost failed to work. Likewise, in the French DeGaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, 1000 out of 1700 soldiers are now sick. If the fighter plane pilots get sick, if marines get sick, if food soldiers get sick, who remains to fight any conventional war?

None of the new generation F35 fighter aircraft, new S400 or patriot missiles, or aircraft carriers have any significance. Luxury cars, private planes, luxury villas have no meaning at all. All countries have been defeated by Covid-19 virus without using any weapons, all streets are empty.

A year from now, do not expect the people would have forgotten all of this and went back to their old ways easily. If anything, the best we hope the virus showed the Millennial and the Gen-X and Gen-x the flaws of our society. In the West; the new generations, if they are awoken now; should start paying closer attention to the politics instead of concentrating on the tech revolution. Otherwise, the monies US FED printed in 2001 (9/11) and the in 2008 (financial crisis) and now in 2020 (virus) will haunt them for their whole life. During Covid-19 pandemic process, it is useful to reconsider public policies that are paralyzed in the current global environment.

After Covid-19, we have to redraw new world order. The world after Covid-19 will be another new type new order that we cannot anticipate now.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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