Sunday night. How Covid-19 reveals the cracks in hyper-globalization.

Thank gawd it’s Sunday night and the weekend is over. Tomorrow I’m going to walk to work instead of taking public transportation. The office will be half empty because schools are closed and parents will be able to stay with their kids and work from home. I’m not a parent and I’m not ill (at least I feel no symptoms), so I am obliged to go to work.

Below is a TED Talk on Covid-19. I thought it fell short. Not once did the speaker mention globalization, the interconnectedness of our markets, worldwide out-sourcing, global supply chains, and all the risks that that engenders.

We’re living one of those risks right now.

Globalisation and surging trade and travel within countries and across national borders has lifted billions out of poverty, but it also spreads infectious diseases. The epicentre of Covid-19, Wuhan, is typical of many midsize Chinese cities. In 30 years, it has grown from 2 million to over 11 million people. As in other mushrooming cities, poor hygiene and lax enforcement of regulations coexist with people and animals living in proximity, near airports from which a virus can spread anywhere in 36 hours. (Financial Times)

Read the article below in which the author writes – “the Covid-19 virus is readying us for what could be the new reality. To really address the climate emergency, we must slow down economic activity, reduce trade, re-localize economies and severely restrict travel.”

“Pandemics tell us to put aside our money-making obsessions, and pay attention to the biological world around us.”

Up until now, the thinking has been – “Why waste money stocking up on supplies or making stuff locally, when you can order the cheapest stuff from a distant Chinese factory?” This mindset needs to change. We need to become local again.

More than 50 years ago, British ecologist Charles Elton warned that “we are living in a period of the world’s history when the mingling of thousands of kinds of organisms from different parts of the world is setting up terrific dislocations in nature.”

This is a wake-up call, folks. What is Covid-19 trying to tell us?

(read this article here, it is more edifying than the Ted talk):


4 thoughts on “Sunday night. How Covid-19 reveals the cracks in hyper-globalization.

  1. I work in freight transportation and although the global supply chain is vital to my industry, there’s a necessity to scale back and focus on what’s available closer to home. This creates protection from being so heavily reliant on other countries when sh7t hits the fan like it is now.

  2. I think it’s entirely reasonable for countries, provinces (here in Canada), and communities to both produce and source stuff as locally as possible. Careful and sustainable trade, yes, but not what we’ve seen in the past decades where local companies and services are driven out of business by cheap commodities and labour from far away. What we’re seeing right now too is that those big businesses are not worker-friendly (witness the behavior of Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, to workers laid off or needing medical time off due to Covid-19 issues –and I truly think we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg there– when their profits were sky-high last year– $13B and they paid so little tax — I think it was 1.2%.)

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