Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire planet is confined. Any? No. Three billion human beings – out of a world population of 7.5 billion according to the UN – have been called by their respective governments to remain cloistered at home, in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has affected at least 500,000 people since the first case of Wuhan in China. Almost three billion earthlings immobilized, that is of course already enormous.
Except that the countries which reject confinement, out of ideological conviction, by denial of the gravity of the virus or for any other reason (failing states or explosive urbanization in Africa or Asia, ongoing conflicts with their share of refugees like in Syria, etc. .) constitute so many health time bombs.
What will happen when the disease is finally overcome here, it will be reborn or explode elsewhere? Should we start all over again, close shutters and borders, making it impossible to resume normal life, restart the economy, return to trade without fear of health? Clearly, lessons will be learned from the crisis and how it has been managed here and there, by democracies or authoritarian regimes. These lessons will be good or bad. On this ground too, sleep time bombs.
Bad reflex, originality, stupidity … policies facing the coronavirus
Faced with the virus, there are several nuances of democracies. “The libertarians, liberal on the economic and societal planes, like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, initially left the primacy to the market, to the business, to the inalienable right of the individuals to circulate, to go to his work and to make his racing is the American myth of Go West, “analyzes geo-political scientist Pascal Boniface, director of Iris. It does not seem absurd, in this model, to accept to see the oldest and the weakest perish, provided that the blockage of the country lasts the shortest possible time and that business resumes quickly.
If Johnson ended up tightening the screw, Trump is for the moment on his choice of minimum precautions against the “Chinese virus”, as he says. At the risk of making his immense country an unquenchable home … and paying him to the polls when the Americans elect their president on November 3. In the populist genre, but more authoritarian, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is on the same line, with him (and the countless evangelicals of the country) a dose of mysticism, suggesting more or less that God will overcome evil. Seen from France, Germany, Italy or Spain, these stripped grenades are worrying.
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China itself, with its Communist Party in absolute power, capable of confining people to their homes by wallowing them, is not immune to a boomerang effect: after having controlled the epidemic in two months, it sees cases reappear “ imported ”. However, it is impossible for this factory in the world to give up trade. Its western partners would not support it besides. Will we have to, as somberly predicted by an American infectious disease specialist, resolve to seasonal pandemics?
The temptation of authoritarianism
The other time bomb is about our future choices. On the positive side, there is the commitment, repeated by Emmanuel Macron, supported by many Europeans, to upgrade our health systems and our public services. It remains to be seen whether we will agree to pay the price, once the great fear has passed. The negative side? “We are already seeing the resurgence of the debate, similar to that posed on the subject of terrorism, on the need to restrict public freedoms to better fight the epidemic scourge, resumes Pascal Boniface. However, the temptation of authoritarian power exists in opinions in France and elsewhere in Europe. “
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Has the Elysée Palace not launched a reflection on the telephone “tracing” of citizens? As for the Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, familiar with the role it is true, he has just taken a step closer to the dictatorship, by presenting a bill which would allow to govern by ordinances during a state of emergency of an unlimited duration! And this, in the middle of the European Union. Tomorrow, under the pretext of a health, migration or other crisis, how many will imitate it?