UK News Opinions | The Suez crisis toppled the British Empire. The pandemic will bring down ours.

05:10  26 march  2020
05:10  26 march  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

How the pandemic will end

  How the pandemic will end How the pandemic will end

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Coronavirus is the plague that reveals. The global nature of the pandemic has illuminated national characteristics as it crosses borders: China exerts ferocious control over its population; Italy has a large elderly population with a tradition of warm social interactions, ideal conditions for the spread of disease; Korea is the best-organized nation on Earth; Israel can switch to a war footing more or less instantaneously.

Get Used to it: This Lockdown Won’t Be the Last

  Get Used to it: This Lockdown Won’t Be the Last New restrictions in Hong Kong show that a single round of constraints won’t be enough to beat the pandemic.HONG KONG—As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases exploded in China early this year, Hong Kong, densely populated and connected to the mainland, was able to largely contain the virus’s spread. A combination of community response and official action held back the pace of infections, with the number of patients discharged from treatment until recently outpacing those remaining in the hospital. This month, civil servants on work-from-home orders were allowed to return to their office. Soon, private businesses started to do the same.

And the United States?

This moment is to the United States what the 1957 Suez Canal crisis was for the British Empire. The coronavirus pandemic is the event that has stripped away any lingering pretensions of global U.S. leadership. It has uncovered an emptiness.


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Every empire has its bluff called eventually. In 1957, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, Israel invaded Sinai alongside French and British forces. But President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who needed Arab support against the Soviets, insisted on a retreat and threatened to sell American reserves of the British pound if they didn’t concede the territory back to Egypt. Everybody learned who was really in charge. The loss of the canal mattered infinitely less than the demonstration that the British and French no longer possessed the ability to control foreign territories at will. Invincible no more, the Empire crumbled almost overnight. Fourteen French colonies were their own countries by 1960. Within a decade, 24 British colonies gained independence.

Coronavirus: Which countries have 'flattened the curve'?

  Coronavirus: Which countries have 'flattened the curve'? After more than 80,000 cases and more than 3,200 deaths, China has successfully reduced the number of new coronavirus cases it is recording each day. © Other South Korea has sucessfully 'flattened the curve' of the outbreak In other words, the country where the disease originated has "flattened the curve" of the outbreak.China now has less than 100 new cases and 30 deaths a day and has done since early March, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.It is not the only country starting to get the outbreak under control.

Gallery: Coronavirus turns the world into a ghost town (The Atlantic)

An aerial view shows an empty white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on March 6, 2020. An eerie emptiness enveloped the sacred Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, where attendance at Friday prayers was hit by measures to protect against the deadly new coronavirus.
Covid-19 demarcates a similar moment of transition, a revelation of a new global structure of power. It has shown that the United States, under the Trump administration, is radically unprepared to face the realities of the interconnected world and that it lacks the basic characteristics that every other country considers essential to the functioning of a state: a government that can respond to existential threats with authority and a civil service that can deal effectively with matters of public health. From the outside, the United States appears uncoordinated, unsystematic, chaotic. Leadership is isolated, state by state. Political squabbling has continued in the middle of a plague, overtaking even the economic response. From the point of view of other nations, a disorderly country cannot be relied upon. The scenes at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago earlier this month of U.S. citizens returning from overseas, packed together with no signs of protection, were open demonstrations of dysfunction. Now, the world’s largest economy with the world’s greatest military has abandoned its citizens overseas.

Jared Kushner Is Going to Get Us All Killed

  Jared Kushner Is Going to Get Us All Killed Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror. Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror.

A Norwegian university declared all its citizens should return from the United States as soon as possible because the American health-care system was unprepared to meet the incipient crisis; many countries have been sending the same message in more guarded language. Trump’s unpredictability has strained foreign relations from the beginning of his term; covid-19 has only revealed how dangerous that unpredictability is.

Almost alone in the world, the United States does not consider access to medical care a fundamental human right. In response to the pandemic, the Trump administration made its priorities clear: It suggested a suspension of the payroll tax while covid-19 screening remained widely unavailable. A private system such as the American one simply cannot respond to public health crises. Private companies are being asked to provide the services that states normally provide, often much better, everywhere else: Google was tasked to create a national coronavirus website; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has busied itself preparing at-home testing kits; Amazon must regulate price-gouging (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post). Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security, essential to maintaining order in the current situation, is operating with 65 percent of the top jobs vacant or filled only by acting appointees.

‘Anything good I could say about this would be a lie.’

  ‘Anything good I could say about this would be a lie.’ “From normal life to this hell in a week”: A man on losing his partner to coronavirus.From normal life to this hell in a week. That’s how long it took. How am I supposed to make any sense of that? It’s loops and more loops.

One Hundred Dollar Bill With Medical Face Mask on George Washington. One Hundred Dollar Bill With Medical Face Mask on George Washington. This American chaos did not begin in 2020, nor with the Trump administration. Americans have been actively dismantling their government for a generation, and the current crisis is the fruit. Ronald Reagan, in the 1980s, made massive cuts to the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services. Reagan famously said the nine scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” I have nine that are scarier: “Contact your HMO if you experience symptoms of covid-19.” In most wealthy countries, and the more fortunate developing ones, the people expect governments to protect them; governments expect it of themselves. But even disease will not affect the hyperpartisanship of the country: Republicans are much less worried than Democrats about the effects of the coronavirus, though the difference is narrowing. As recently as last week, 29 percent of Americans believed coronavirus was made in a lab.

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The consequences of covid-19 on American foreign relations are already apparent if not yet manifest. For the foreseeable future, every American product, every American person, every American idea, will be suspect. This is not about historical memory or anybody’s feelings about the United States or even Donald Trump. Because the American networks — informational, political, medical — are so weak, the health of any given American citizen is now an unknown.

Navy captain who raised coronavirus alarm relieved of command

  Navy captain who raised coronavirus alarm relieved of command The acting secretary of the Navy said he relieved Captain Brett Crozier of command after losing confidence in his ability to lead.Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said he relieved Captain Brett Crozier of command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after losing confidence in his ability to lead under the stress of dealing with the viral outbreak.

The coronavirus has not revealed any weakness in democracy generally. South Korea and India and Japan have been at least as effective at containment as China. But the American political order under Trump — a half-democracy, half-oligarchy in which corporations possess power but no responsibility — has had its fundamental instability and contempt for people demonstrated in a way that is obvious, at the very least, to those of us outside the borders of the United States.

Global epidemics and economic impact Global epidemics and economic impact The effects of the Suez crisis were not immediate, but they were profound. Nationalists throughout Africa realized the British and French capacity to withstand international pressure was nil. The stampede for the exits of European empires didn’t begin until the 1960s, but after Suez, country after country proceeded toward independence with deeper determination and confidence. Britain was no longer a broker in world affairs. It gave up the power of empire for the vague branding exercise of the Commonwealth, a toothless organization that amounts to little more than a goodwill circle. Britain’s influence on world affairs has declined every year since 1957 until the present, when it is just a small country on the edge of Europe. America’s prestige, its impression of dominance, its assumption of the superiority of its political system, its claim to be the most advanced country in the world, has been shattered in the same way.

The fallout of that shattered prestige will be far-reaching and unknowable. It will play out in the decades to come, long after covid-19 is a piece of history. But America’s place in the world is already transitioning: Nobody seems to know whether the Americans are well enough to meet with others.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients. .
Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan’s west side to catch a glimpse. (Pictured) Members of the Ladder 22 and Engine 76 fire crews of the New York Fire Department clap for health and medical workers from the Mount Sinai Morningside hospital on April 2 in Manhattan.

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