Yevhen MAHDA, PhD
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE LAST 75 YEARS
Spring months in 2020 in many states looked like the pictures from science fiction films – empty streets, rare people walking the streets and wearing masks, crowded hospitals with exhausted doctors who have to choose which patient to help. Global lockdown led to global economic slowdown and tectonic changes in lifestyle and culture. The COVID-19 is the reason and this medical term seem to determine the life of the humanity for at least another year or two – until the vaccination would become cheap and effective enough. The pandemic has posed a number of challenges to humanity in a wide range of areas, from urban planning to access to food, and has raised the issue of the balance between civil liberties and a decent level of public safety. This list can be extended.
Coronavirus has exacerbated many problems and shattered the illusion of the effectiveness of globalization. Well, globalization is as good for economics as for virus spreading and spreading misinformation about it. Fakes about the COVID-19 turned out to be very catching and showing another one side of globalization – and not the best one. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) famous words at a gathering of foreign policy and security experts in Munich, Germany, on 15, February 2020 has thrown the infodemic in a world’s public and scientific discourse: “We are not just fighting an epidemic; we are fighting an infodemic”.
The other challenge which became global due to the global world is a security challenge. I mean not only biologic security but also information one. COVID-19 has fundamentally challenged the traditional security sector. The unexpected nature of the challenges stimulates the spread of conspiracy and fear. False information about the coronavirus spreads much faster than accurate news, and even faster than the coronavirus itself. People are more likely to believe fakes than truth, and this makes countering the pandemic harder. And it is sad but true – populism is growing fast in such conditions and proposes simple decisions. For example, restriction of the rights and freedoms of citizens is perceived as an appropriate (though not always effective) method of combating the spread of coronavirus. So many are willing to give up some civil liberties in exchange for imaginary security.
NTUU “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Associate Professor of National Technical University “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” and Executive Director at the Institute of World Policy, Ukraine. Author of the surveys ‘Hybrid War: Survive and Win’ (Kharkiv, 2015), ‘Russia’s Hybrid Aggression: Lessons for the Europe’ (Kyiv, 2017), ‘Games of Images: How Europe Perceives Ukraine’ (Kharkiv, 2016, co-author Tetyana Vodotyka). In 2017, the publishing house “Family Leisure Club” published the book “The Sixth. Memories of the Future” – a study of Ukrainian presidents. From April 2017 – the member of Public Council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine