Coronavirus is sounding the death knell of the old world and helping to midwife in the new
In just two weeks the world has been educated as to the incompatibility of free market neoliberal nostrums and the political and geopolitical order they support with the needs of humanity and the planet. On a national and international level Covid-19 is ravaging not only the lives of its victims and those affected by its social and economic consequences, it has taken a bludgeon to a status quo that now lies broken and blooded on the ground.
To watch Donald Trump and Boris Johnson address their respective nations on the pandemic’s impact and provide regular updates on their response to the crisis is to watch yesterday’s men spouting yesterday’s solutions to the problems of today and tomorrow.
The diseased mind of Trump is now on full display as he heckles the press on a regular basis for daring to ask pertinent questions about his administration’s handling of the pandemic at a time when the body count in the US is rising exponentially. Millions without healthcare, countless thousands who have and who face losing their jobs and being reduced to destitution, and Trump continues to debase himself and his office with press conferences at which lying and dissembling, buttressed by the shameless self-promotion of a man for whom the word narcissist could have been written, have been elevated to the level of performance art.
As for Boris Johnson and his government in the UK, the British public have been awoken to the devastation wrought by years of systematic and chronic underfunding of the National Health Service. This in service to the long and cherished desire of the country’s Tory establishment to destroy the NHS as a public service free at the point of need and in its place roll out private health care across the country as a privilege of wealth. The fact that NHS doctors and nurses are now risking their lives just by going to work due to the lack of personal protection equipment is a national scandal, as is the failure to as yet introduce universal basic income as part of the package of measures required to place an economic floor under this crisis.