Sunday, March 15, 2020

This pandemic risks bringing out the worst in humanity

London (CNN)A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.
The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.
Never mind that Australia's toilet paper supply is plentiful, that the Singaporean has no links to the virus and that not a single passenger on the Princess cruise ship that docked in Reunion was infected.
Irrational and selfish incidents like these are likely the exception, not the rule, but an everyone-for-themselves mentality -- or each family, even each country -- appears to be growing, putting into question the world's ability to unite and slow the coronavirus' spread.
    Leaders of affected nations are scrambling to seize some control of the situation. They impose restrictive measures in their countries, inject money into their economies, and promise their health systems will somehow find the extra beds, doctors and nurses they will inevitably need.
    Yet there seems to be little coordination between countries to address what is by nature a global challenge.
    Face masks on the production line at a Moldex-Metric factory in Walddorfhaeslach, Germany, on Thursday.

    Face masks around the world are running out, as people who don't need them hoard them. The US is stockpiling them, while South Korea, Germany and Russia, among others, have banned their export, to ensure their own people have enough.
    India, which makes 20% of the world's medicinal drugs by volume, has halted certain medicines from being exported. Yes, it is unable to source enough ingredients from China and can't make its usual output, but it is also likely keeping them for its own people.

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