How the Covid 19 Outbreak Has Exposed the Fault Lines in the Western World

How the Initial Denial and Complacency Have Cost the West Dearly

As the Covid 19 Outbreak rages around the world, the handling of the same and the response of governments worldwide have brought into focus many fault lines that were simmering on the surface.

For instance, many Western countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain and Italy, were in denial for months until the outbreak became severe.

Initially, Western leaders tried to dismiss it away saying that it was no more dangerous than the Common flu.

Next, they started to state that the resilience of the West was enough to fight it and there was no need of lockdowns or coordinated responses.

Such blasé complacency initially meant that precious time was wasted that otherwise could have been used to formulate a coherent and lucid response.

Indeed, such was the level of stupidity among the Western leaders that now it seems to be a clear and criminal negligence of the warnings from experts who urged and indeed, pleaded with them for a better response.

Compare this with the success stories of South Korea, Taiwan, and even China that managed to bring the outbreak under control.

The West Reacted Too Late and Is Now Saying that the Cure is Worse than the Disease

Moreover, what is baffling about the Western response is that it was not only too late, but even now, they are thinking of reopening their economies lest they miss out on economic growth.

While it is nobody’s case that whole economies should suffer, it must also be understood that human lives are more important and what more, saving lives also saves economies as otherwise, there would be nobody to participate in the economic activity.

Of course, this commonsense is not too common among Western leaders who are now saying that the Cure is worse than the Disease and it is high time normalcy was restored.

This is yet another fault line in the Western world which has prized monetary gains over human lives for a Century or so and more so, in the last three to four decades.

Indeed, the Covid 19 Outbreak is bringing to the fore the deficiencies of the Neoliberal Free Market economies of the West.

Moreover, it has also exposed the fault lines of capitalism wherein profits come before people and where greed overrides everything else.

Therefore, it is clear that the West learns a few lessons from the crisis and uses it to good effect.

How Covid 19 Has Left the Western Healthcare System Overwhelmed and Collapsing

Having said that, it is not only in the economic aspect that the West is failing. Even in terms of social capital and healthcare aspects too, the West seems grossly underprepared to deal with the challenges posed by the Covid 19 outbreak.

For instance, the United States model of paid healthcare for even its poorest citizens means that money counts for everything even in times when the humankind is at stake.

Moreover, in the absence of Medicare for all, the effects of the Covid 19 Outbreak are being felt on the poorer sections of society.

What is more galling is that the hospitals in the United States, especially in the hard hit New York, seem to be overwhelmed with the deluge of cases of Covid 19,

That it can happen in the financial capital of the world indicates that there is something seriously wrong about the way the Western order is functioning.

We use the term west as even in the UK where the NHS or the National Health Service is supposed to be for all, the system is so overburdened and understaffed that it is groaning under the weight of successive bad decisions taken by the governments over years.

Prioritising Who Has to be Saved and Who Benefits

While these fault lines were apparent for quite some time and are now bursting into the open, there is something else that has appeared as a result of the collective choices made by Western leaders.

This is to do with priorities such as who has to be saved and when in terms of financial bailouts and stimulus packages.

While President Trump gloated over the booming stock market for the last few years, the Covid 19 Outbreak came as a rude jolt.

So, something had to be done and this was the passing of the 2.2 Trillion Dollar stimulus package.

While saving economies is important, it must also be noted that there must be some compassion towards the people at the bottom.

The stimulus did offer a few Bread Crumbs to the unemployed while reserving the Meaty portions to the corporations.

Of course, something is better than nothing and hence, this stimulus package was welcomed by the Democrats as well.

Having said that, it is our argument that more has to be done for the marginalised lest the present crisis turns into a humanitarian disaster.

This is the case in the UK and Europe as well in terms of prioritising benefits.

Conclusion

Last, the Covid 19 Outbreak has brought to the fore many fault lines in the West.

What is worrying is that instead of using the crisis to address them, the West is simply continuing with Business as Usual policies.

This is the time to fix the problems and not pretend that they don’t exist. Salvation lies in universal wellbeing rather than narrow selfish interests.

It is hoped that the West learns the right lessons.

Otherwise, it is clear that organised society would collapse and what would be left is a brutish and nasty free for all situations among the people.


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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.


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