From the JT Opinion section, five views on the wider, global ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on public health in most countries, but it has caused particular destruction in five of the most populous and powerful democracies in the world. Why? Joshua Kurlantzick points the finger at the vast inequalities in these ethnically diverse nations.
- While causing misery for many, the pandemic has been a godsend for futurologists and those bold enough to live by the dictum “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Amid all the predictions, it’s easy to lose sight of the one trend that is being turbocharged by COVID-19, writes Jesper Koll: the rise of the “Asian century.”
- By all indications, post-pandemic Asia will likely become more economically unequal, socially unstable and geopolitically contested, warns Richard Javad Heydarian. There are also three long-term trends that should prevent even an iota of complacency among regional policymakers, he argues.
- The U.S. intel community’s “Global Trends 2040” report says the pandemic is “possibly reversing some long-standing trends in human development” and has “shaken long-held assumptions” about institutions’ ability to respond to catastrophe. Brad Glosserman dissects the report, including five global scenarios it suggests might play out in 2040 and five recurring themes.
- The end of the office, of the campus, the city. The past months of pandemic gloom have witnessed many dire predictions. But after countless lockdowns, quarantines and Zoom sessions, architect Carlo Ratti puts forward an opposite proposition: Embracing and re-imagining the space of our cities will soon be more powerful — and more necessary — than ever before.