11th December 20200
As the world breathes a sigh of relief with the emergence of the Covid-19 vaccine, darker realities await us.
Bergamo – an Italian province that was the “deadliest killing field” during the pandemic in the West – is a “disturbing postcard from the posttraumatic aftermath of the virus”, the New York Times reported.
“Doctors at a hospital that became an incubator of the virus said they had seen an increase in patients with substance abuse issues, and psychologists in the province have reported a rise in anxiety and depression.”
It is hard to tell, at the moment, what the long-term effects of the virus will be. Brexit also brings anxieties about Europe’s future and current contentions from France, including its demand for British companies only accessing Europe’s single market if they obey the rules, have been supported by other member states.
The Guardian reported, “Headlines such as ‘le bust-up’ and ‘France derails Brexit talks’ do not reflect European reality, analysts, politicians and EU diplomats have insisted, saying Paris’s fundamental concerns are widely shared across the EU27.” (theguardian.com, 7 December 2020)
Earlier this week, The New York Times noted:
“Britain and the European Union are preparing their domestic audiences either for a landmark accord that will require compromise on both sides – or for a breakdown that will disrupt cross-channel trade, pitching both Britain and Europe into uncharted territory as the economies of both have been battered by the pandemic.” (nytimes.com, 07 December 2020)
According to The World Bank reports, the world economy has taken a significant blow due to Covid-19, which is “already evident and represents the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades.”
The June 2020 Global Economic Prospects report shows that “the deep recessions triggered by the pandemic are expected to leave lasting scars through lower investment, an erosion of human capital through lost work and schooling, and fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages.” (www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects)
How this damage will ultimately materialise and the dangers it will bring to domestic and international peace are questions many are worried about. Historically, following devastating economic blows, the world has often seen wars erupt.
Tensions between Iran and the wider Western world, especially the US, have escalated following the assassination of the Iranian Nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
As a result, Iran has announced it will install centrifuges in its central uranium enrichment site – a step condemned by the UK, Germany and France as deeply worrying and against the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Previously, the US’s exit from the Iran Nuclear Deal mandated by President Trump led to further tensions and crippling sanctions on Iran by the US. Iran had said it would no longer respect the deal – which Europe wants to continue – following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general.
The worries of a post-Covid society, an uncertain Brexit, a crippled economy and international relations being in jeopardy are just the tip of the iceberg from the colossus mountain of world problems that shadow over lasting international peace.
Countries remain at war; populist parties and narratives are spreading like wildfire; the refugee crisis continues to displace people from their homes; climate change has already shown its devastating effects and politicians continue to create scapegoats to divert attention from domestic failures.
One consequence, no matter how much it is overlooked, could be a world war. The head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, is now known as a voice who has, for years, been warning of a devastating world war that could bring unimaginable horrors.
Covid-19 has already given us a taste of what life is like when a deadly and unforgiving virus floats in the air. But imagine if, instead of a virus, the world is engulfed in nuclear radiation and destruction. Politicians and world leaders may ignore this threat, but it will not make the danger disappear.