lørdag 1. februar 2020

If China fails to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the price will be paid by all

Nature has never respected human-made geographic boundaries. Despite a lockdown of some 60 million people at the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Hubei, China, the epidemic has already spread to at least 17 other countries and territories in the course of only a few weeks.

For all the talk of decoupling, the virus outbreak reminds us yet again how interconnected the world really is. Ten years ago, most people would not have known about or visited Wuhan, and certainly so many people from this city of 11 million would not have  travelled widely around the world. From health epidemics to wildfires, to the effects of climate change, what happens on one side of the planet now rapidly affects people half a world away. In the highly polarised political world we live in today, however, the risk of an epidemic is even greater than a public health threat.