World After the COVID 19 Pandemic

COVID-19 will reverse both of those trends, increasing the space both between countries and among people. Some will laud these changes for increasing safety and resilience. But a world that’s less global and fewer urban would even be less prosperous, less stable and fewer fulfilling. Future is shrouded in clouds of uncertainty, as resilient leaders steel oneself against all possible global outcomes, few are more prominent than others. These are two most predicted and certain scenarios of how the planet would begin of COVID 19. Less global, more isolated. Even before COVID-19, the decades-long trend toward ever-more globalization of trade, investment, supply chains and other people flow were starting to grind to a halt. We began to seem closer to range in terms of the products we produce and consume, the people with whom we interact, and where we get our energy and our money. In retrospect, we’ll come to look at the years right before the 2008 financial crisis as “peak globalization.” Since then, the mixture of recession, inequality and populism has created a growing anti-globalization and anti-immigration consensus in western countries, exemplified by the U.S. trade war with China. The reaction of developed economies to the coronavirus will only strengthen this consensus, as all things international are going to be viewed as incurring unnecessary and dangerous risks.

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What was a growing “anti-globalization” consensus is poised to crystalize into a “de-globalization” reality. We are being told this de-globalization will make us all more resilient. But it’ll also make us less prosperous — with less choice and better prices. it’s going to also make us less secure, as international cooperation will decrease and therefore the potential for international conflict will increase. Less density, more distance. Urbanization is probably going to be the opposite major casualty of the coronavirus. Unlike globalization, the trend of ever greater-urbanization was unaffected by the worldwide financial crisis. Even America — the land of all things suburban — joined the worldwide march into cities. People were interested in cities not just for economic opportunity but also for the urban lifestyle. After coronavirus, people are going to be more scared of crowded trains and buses, cafes and restaurants, theaters and stadiums, supermarkets and offices. Crowded spaces are the lifeblood of cities. But now crowds are seen as major health risks. People that have the power to exit the town will increasingly be tempted to try to do so. people that cannot leave will feel at increased risk, hunker down, and reduce their movements and contacts. it’s hard to believe Manhattan without the subway and 10-deep pedestrians on Fifth Avenue. But that will be the increasing post-COVID reality. De-urbanization would harm the economic process because cities generate enormous scale economies and have proved to be remarkably effective incubators of creativity and innovation. This might be particularly true in developing economies where the movement of individuals from rural areas to rapidly expanding cities has been perhaps the key driver of poverty reduction. But the shrinking of cities will produce other adverse effects too, from reducing cultural vibrancy and cosmopolitanism to exacerbating global climate change. Additionally, to be more productive, cities also tend to be more environmentally sustainable. A world that’s less global and fewer urban would be far less appealing to me, personally. But it’s also a world that might hurt economic prosperity, reduce shared understanding among disparate people, and increase the prospect of conflict among them. Our immediate reactions to COVID-19 will lead us to require both to de-globalize and to de-urbanize. But we must take fully under consideration the profound longer-term costs of doing so. Globalization and urbanization generate challenges we must confront, all the more so during a post-coronavirus world. the answer is to manage them, to not reverse them.

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