Coronavirus is now a disease, not an epidemic.
It has turned into a wave of hysteria, an atmosphere of panic, a destructive storm.
The disease will son be brought under control. But this fear, this panic is leading people, societies, states towards abnormal behaviors and measures.
Beyond preventing the epidemic, we are seeing the signs of building a new social order.
Countries, cities collapsing. Our lifestyle is changing.
It is as though it is going to be used as a means of war, of revenge, an attack method that collapses countries. In that case, beyond it being a health issue, we will be left face to face with a brand new reality.
Countries are collapsing. Cities are collapsing. Trade is collapsing. The industry is collapsing. Schools are closing. Collective worship is being ceased. Our lifestyle until now is changing.
Our relationships with one another, the way we behave towards one another is changing, trust is diminishing.
We are losing the desire, the will and skills to co-exist. The social domain is receiving heavy blows.
The panic caused by the disease is going to force people to question capitalism, the free market economy and Western lifestyle.
Most importantly, freedoms are being curbed in all facets of life - from everyday human behavior to political habits. Coronavirus is imposing a new lifestyle on us all.
Iran: Carrying disease from Afghanistan to Lebanon
The virus has paralyzed Iran. Though they try to put on a “brave face,” schools are on suspended, mausoleums are closed, the congregational Friday prayer is not observed, cities have surrendered to the epidemic.
Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s relatives have died, deputies have died; even the Newroz speech had been canceled. It is said that the number of those who died is much higher than the one disclosed.
There is extensive foreign fighters traffic on the Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon axis, and this traffic is carrying the disease to every country. China, the homeland of the virus, has been under quarantine for weeks now. Cities have surrendered. Trade and production have almost ceased. The Chinese economy, which was expected to surpass the U.S., is rapidly collapsing.
The strict supervision of the central state order has perhaps been effective in preventing the spread. However, there are serious suspicions about there being a yawning gap between the information provided in China and reality on the ground.
Italy throws in towel.
All of Italy is now under quarantine; the country gave up. Calls are being made onto people to stay inside their homes. Schools are closed, tourism has ended, cities have become ghost towns, all collective activities have been canceled.
Italy was the first country to “buckle” as a result of the epidemic. There are concerns that South European countries like Spain also await an end similar to Italy’s.
Global trade wars are now in a new era because of the coronavirus. The epidemic has led to a halt in not only production but also travel and tourism. Education and cultural activities have also been suspended.
Oil quake only first example
Consequently, the oil and energy equilibrium has been spoiled. The conflict between Russia and the U.S. and Saudi Arabia slashed oil prices in half; stocks and markets have collapsed.
After oil, what other fields will witness a similar collapse? What weapons will countries use against each other? The motive to protect oneself coming to the fore in extraordinary times instead of solidarity may pit many countries against one another.
Crown prince takes advantage of disease, starts purge
In our region, it is said that Saudi Arabia and, after it, Egypt may become the center of the disease. Gulf countries, primarily the United Arab Emirates, are evaluated within this context.
However, these countries appear to be turning the disease into an opportunity for political gains rather than fighting it. Using COVID-19 as an excuse, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has almost declared martial law in the country.
He started to purge and arrest his opponents. He stopped circumambulation at the Kaaba for COVID-19 cleaning measures, shut down schools and the tightened his grip on the regime. This facilitates keeping everyone under control.
Harbinger of future: New political systems, new economic models
Many countries are similarly taking advantage of the situation. They are presenting their plans by using the psychological atmosphere caused by COVID-19. The international system was already in tatters. Now, it is on a complete deadlock.
My suggestion is to think of the aftermath of coronavirus. We need to be able to predict the new political, social and cultural tendencies. We need to contemplate new lifestyles and examine new social networks.
It seems as though new society models, new political models, new individual relations and new sensitivities are going to emerge. As a matter of fact, even new political systems and new economic models might form.
Coronavirus is like the harbinger of the future.