COVID-19’s Global Impact

The novel coronavirus is impacting almost all areas of human life. Below are some useful reports and analyses on how the virus is affecting global politics, human rights, health and economics.

Global Politics

The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing long simmering tensions between the United States and China. As the U.S. death toll continues to rise, the finger-pointing and blaming between the leading countries is spilling over and having a negative impact on international efforts to contain the pandemic. In A Modern Tragedy? COVID-19 and U.S.-China Relations a Brookings scholar analyzes this dangerous problem.

Human Rights

A series of human rights concerns have emerged since the outbreak of COVID-19. The most significant are hate speech and crimes directed at racial groups, migrants and refugees thought to be sources of the virus and the promulgation of ideas that the elderly are expendable, their lives an acceptable cost in efforts to restart economies. The U.N. released the policy brief The Impact of COVID-19 on Older Persons and the Secretary General issued an Appeal to Address and Counter COVID-19 Hate Speech to address the problems.

Global Economy

The global economy has been and continues to be devastated by the virus. The International Monetary Fund released a report, World Economic Outlook, April 2020: The Great Lockdown, analyzing COVID-19’s impact on the world’s economic activity and what could happen if mitigation efforts fail or succeed. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs published a policy brief that details the impact of the pandemic on Europe and implications for the rest of the world. And, the International Labor Organization published a paper COVID-19 and the World of Work that analyzes the virus’ impact on workers in different sectors of the economy throughout the world.

Food Insecurity

With high unemployment rates and disruptions in supply chains, access to food during and after the COVID-19 health crisis is no longer just a concern in less economically developed countries. Europe’s virus-driven economic crisis has reportedly resulted in the same concerns. In the United States, there is already evidence of increased food insecurity, particularly in households with young children. The World Food Programme now estimates that over 250 million people will become food insecure partly because of the pandemic. This number is double that originally reported in the pre-COVID-19 Global Report on Food Crises 2020.

Global Health

Most health and economics experts agree that the speed with which the world recovers will depend on how effectively the medical realities of the virus are addressed. To that end, doctors, scientists and researchers throughout the world are working hard to understand the virus and develop a vaccine. The University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy is one such group. Their report, The future of the COVID-19 Pandemic, is worth reading.

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