It’s a new world order defined by the global health politics of Coronavirus. The borders are back and resealed. Maybe just temporarily or perhaps we are back to where we started before the current global integration. The year 2020 started on a high note. At least, besides the old known problems, we were not expecting fundamentally earthshaking ones. Forecasts were positive and optimism was high.
In the past few weeks, the COVID-19 epidemic has spread at an unexpected pace into a pandemic. Meanwhile, the situation in China is trending steadily towards a positive direction. At present, we are working around the clock to resume production, putting medical protective materials on the top of manufacturing list, and trying our best to support the world in the fight against the virus. However, China’s motives were questioned and politically interpreted recently.
“We are a group of concerned parents who started a PETITION to the Government on 13 March to close Universities, schools, daycares, public places and events due to the coronavirus outbreak. Following the announcement of THL on the testing approach and WHO recommendations to isolate, test, treat and trace in order to suppress and control the epidemic, we updated our petition to include also a plea to the Government to re-consider the testing approach.
When a cruise ship sinks in the ocean or an airliner crashes and the causes are examined retrospectively, human error turns out to be the most common cause of the disaster. Someone pushed the wrong button, miscommunicated, slept on his watch, missed the signs or misunderstood or disobeyed instructions.
In our Titanic today, that navigator, who doesn’t believe in maps and thinks the best way forward is right through the iceberg, seems to be Mr Mika Salminen, The director of health safety at Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
“It’s time for Europe to disregard unlawful and unilateral US sanctions against Iranian People.”
After China and Italy, Iran has been one of the most affected countries by the Covid-19 pandemic. The country which has been under extreme sanctions by the United States was already in economic hardship before the pandemic. Has there been any ease of sanctions or help from the international community in fighting the disease ? How does Iran manage in this extraordinary harsh situation?
We put these and other questions to the newly accredited Ambassador of Iran in Finland Ms. Forouzandeh Vadiati.
The Finnish government suddenly woke up last Monday and implemented severe measures against the spread of Covid-19. Schools and borders are closed, all non-essential gatherings of more than ten people are forbidden, and the elderly and chronically ill were put in a high level of isolation. Most importantly, after a period of losing count, testing is to be ramped up.
As scientists, we are very alarmed by City of Helsinki’s decision not to close schools. According to THL, Finland is now in the epidemic phase of COVID-19. As in other countries, unless strong measures are taken, infections are expected to rise exponentially until a very large proportion of the entire Finnish population will be infected. Given current estimates of case fatality rate (3-4% according to WHO), and the necessity of intensive care for a significant proportion of the patients (in Italy 10%) this is an extremely worrying scenario.
It was only a couple of weeks ago when the Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin, accompanied by Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru, and Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni marched into a press conference and announced that there is no epidemic in Finland and not much needed to be done. At the time, there were only two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
In art, writing, and even journalism, democracy is often personified just as its components as Liberty and Justice - phrases like "democracy takes a backseat", "shy democracy", "meek democracy", "democracy's subconscious" and "murder of democracy" are recurrent in contemporary media. But if democracy can be depicted and studied as a person, can we attempt to analyse its psyche and its components? If we treat democracy as a consciousness, can we resolve, identify and characterise its constituents, and come up with a Freudian model of it?
European integration has led to a decline in trade costs. Still, trade between European countries is estimated to be about four times less than between US states once the influence of language and other factors have been accounted for. Non-tariff obstacles to trade are estimated to average only half of the value of trade.