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Note to Listeners:
This is an unofficial summary for COVID-19: The Great Reset, by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, designed to enrich your listening experience.
COVID-19: The Great Reset, by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, begins with a reflection on how COVID-19 has triggered a worldwide crisis, not just through the tragic loss of life that it has incurred, but also on economic systems and the vulnerability of human life itself. It has caused, above everything, a global existential crisis that is likely to impact life, as we know it forever. Despite our most fervent hopes, we will not return to normal, as we know it, whatever our beliefs and concerns about the draconian measures employed to keep the virus contained. Things will necessarily change, whether we want them to or not.
However, the authors add a note of caution when it comes to discussions about what might happen and what will happen as the world reopens. Many of the changes and movements already in place, for better or worse, will have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and divisions that were but fissures before may now open up to great chasms.
The chapter goes on to look at the role of pandemics and viruses in the history of the world. To put it in perspective: viruses have been on the earth for at least 300 million years, whereas humans have only been here for a fraction of that time, about 200,000 years. It is hardly surprising to find that an era without a pandemic is something of an anomaly, and the authors point to the diseases that have ravaged the world and shaped recorded human history. They look at the Plague of Justinian in the 6th century, the Black Death, and the germs that obliterated the Aztecs and the Incas when introduced by the European settlers.
Even some of the terminology around, how we treat and control viruses comes from treasured sacred texts: 'quarantine,' for instance, comes from the Italian 40, referring to the 40 days of purification during the biblical flood. Viruses have caused suspicion and death, too, such as the case of the massacre of 1000 Jews in Strasbourg in 1349, which were believed by some to be causing the spread of plague.
But though many are keen to build a comparison with viruses of the past, the truth is that what we face now is unprecedented. For one thing, the world is more interconnected than it has ever been before, which is at once a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we have the might of all the world's best medical research at our disposal, and a curse because the nature of this globalized world means it is easier than ever before to spread such viruses.