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Monday, July 15, 2024

COVID-19: Has it attacked our brains?

Strategic editor Global Village Space argues that at a time when countries should be coming together to fight the deadly pandemic, they are becoming isolated and seeking refuge in conspiracy theories and in individual acts of bravado.

The COVID-19 virus or as President Trump calls it ‘The Chinese Virus’ is the deadliest pandemic known to humanity since the beginning of the 21st century. The scale of this international emergency cannot be understated as it has already proliferated to almost every country on earth.

The belief in Governments across the globe is shaking as they fail to respond as they should to fight and contain this common enemy. The Americans and Chinese Governments, to their mutual detriment, are locked in a bitter ‘war of words’ on the true origin of the virus. There is a developing debate of COVID-19 being a bio-weaponized strain of the corona type virus.

COVID-19 and the Consequences

The COVID-19 attacks your lungs but before that it attacks your brain, sending you into panic and frenzy. It is a potent psychological weapon that has brought the global economy to a grinding halt. Trade routes have been disrupted, communications air-lines have been shut, ground lines of communications have all but been left crippled to just stop the flow of this pandemic.

Prime Ministers, Royalties and Celebrities are being infected – adding fuel to a global scale panic. The world media, on the other hand, seems to have locked itself into a race of publishing unverified information – what could go wrong?

At a time when the nations should be coming together to cooperate in fighting this deadly pandemic – to develop countermeasures, vaccines, therapies, and medical supplies – we instead see a dysfunctional and rotten international system that has so far failed to rise to the occasion.

Countries have started to look for answers in the realm of conspiracy theories and bravado – mainly to maintain public order at a time when everyone, everywhere is looking for explanations. This has created a toxic political atmosphere where bizarre and ridiculous opinions are becoming amplified.

Indeed, the COVID-19’s exact origin is not established yet, the scientists across the world are trying their utmost to get to an answer – albeit, it is a time-consuming exercise. It is true that the COVID-19 strain of the virus can potentially be a biological weapon but that has not been authenticated. A lot of the research, however, seems to suggest otherwise.

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Whether it’s a Bioweapon or nature’s revenge, one aspect can be established for certain; the world has irreversibly changed, and it will never be the same again. The true weaponized aspect of the COVID-19 may not be its ability to proliferate and kill; but its capability to create mass hysteria – with generous help from misinformed media and incompetent governments across the world.

The sheer shock and terror of COVID-19 pandemic in itself is a weapon; that has significant implications for the global economy, trade, security and geopolitics— it would continue to define these dynamics for the foreseeable future.

Global Unity

Biological weapons remain a looming threat and the world has to come together to tackle this issue; because if we can learn anything from COVID-19 pandemic, it is how deadly a biological weapon can be. We can now understand how fast it can spread and how significant its consequences can be on the global economy, political systems, and international trade.

Countries need to get out of this biological warfare perspective – as it would only lead to further chaos, distrust and increase the threat of miscalculation. It can also be said that this pandemic has neutralized the nuclear deterrent because the nations that are claiming they have been targeted by a biological weapon cannot respond with nuclear forces because of the unidentified nature of the attacker.

Whilst world leaders have been caught napping, people across the world are looking for answers which are readily provided by conspiracy theorists and pseudoscientists – with mantras of global panic, anarchy, political instability, riots or worse – again, theories of what could go wrong?

The fundamental priority should be the understanding that we are all united and that our collective survival depends on the robustness of international cooperation and not on conspiracy theories

The global community, especially global leaders, needs to rise to the challenge, work together and create mechanisms to fight the COVID-19 outbreak and any such outbreaks in the future. Global leaders must come together to reassure their respective populations that they are competent; they can protect them and will do everything they can to avoid such disasters in the future.

The international blame game has exposed the fragility of the international system; it has exposed just how weak the world order is and how easily it can be torn apart. Therefore, the first challenge the global leaders have at hand is to provide direction, hope and a reassurance that they will work together as humans – not as nationalities to fight this pandemic which threatens the very fabric of human existence, let alone its progress and survival.

The time has come for the heads-of-state to call an international summit– possibly through a video link to discuss this pandemic and create a unified response to a shared global challenge. At a time when countries are isolating themselves and looking for easy answers, the global economy and potential peace are under severe threat.

COVID-19 has tested our defenses against a potential biological attack; the respective leaders must discuss the threats of biological weapons and especially bioterrorism. We have all now witnessed the true scale of chaos and terror it can unleash at an unprecedented global scale—it’s clear, we would not be able to respond.

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The developed economies like the United States and emerging economies such as China need to rise above the futile zero-sum game of political brinksmanship. Countries need to come together to protect the global economy and human lives to restore the public faith in their respective governments.

The fundamental priority should be the understanding that we are all united and that our collective survival depends on the robustness of international cooperation and not on conspiracy theories.

Shahid Raza is Editor Strategic Affairs at GVS. He serves as the Director of Geopolitical Research at Command Eleven. He is also a Policy Consultant and a writer who conducts independent research and analysis for Katehon Think Tank, Sputnik Radio International, and the Geopolitica Russia. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.