The world in the post-Covid-19 era (Part 5)
Science and technology help people cope with pandemics like Covid-19 and help society adapt to pandemics.
The ASEAN-US Foreign Ministerial Meeting on Covid-19 held on April 23.
Along with this process is the creation of a series of laws and regulations at the national, regional and global levels to regulate people's behaviors. People do not have much choice and they are forced to "sacrifice", to accept some personal freedom restrictions and adjust their behavior in a new context for survival.
After the emergence of the Covid-19 epidemic, there were many articles in Vietnam and the world talking about the new adaptation, the appearance and "bloom" of a series of services for the survival of people and society. New ways of doing, new services, new industries will certainly see great developments after the epidemic ends.
The development of e-government: Not only in Vietnam, but also in many countries in the region and around the world, before the Covid-19 pandemic, money poured into this field quite a lot, but the development was small because the actual "demand" was very low.
However, when there was a pandemic, demand suddenly increased. It is simply because officials cannot travel to meet each other as easily as before. Online meetings and online working has become the most useful way at the moment.
Therefore, after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, the operation of "e-government" will continue to increase strongly for its benefits such as: (i) saving money in comparison to face-to-face meetings; (ii) the working efficiency of "e-government", which has been proven to be effective; (iii) the "e-government" system, which should be regularly used to improve for use in similar cases in the future...
Work From Home (WFH): After the pandemic, WFH has sharply increased both in terms of supply and demand. On the employers' side, which are companies, organizations and public authorities, they are forced to review and rearrange their organizational structure and work handling system to ensure two factors: First, they can still operate "normally", without interruption at the peak of the epidemic. Second, even when there is no epidemic, there will still be divisions that can handle work online.
WFH meets many criteria of both employees and employer: Savings can occur in office rental costs and related costs; employees can work for many different agencies at the same time and have the opportunity to increase their income; the most important thing is the final product, while the working time is flexible.
This is followed by the development of a series of electronic and online forms based on the available internet platform (of course, at a much higher speed later), such as:
(i) Online learning: At all levels from elementary, secondary and tertiary to postgraduate.
(ii) E-commerce: To thrive due to convenience and attractive prices, e-commerce will gradually overwhelm traditional types of commerce.
Right before the outbreak of Covid-19, a series of large traditional shopping malls all over China became increasingly quiet due to the strong development of e-commerce.
Traditional shopping centers are now just places for people to visit, see products and consult prices! The general trend in the world towards that direction is hard to resist.
(iii) Remote medical examination and psychosocial counseling: The fact shows that except for emergencies, most common diseases can be diagnosed and exchanged online among patients. doctors and psychologists. This will help patients and doctors communicate with each other in a flexible, cost-effective way.
(iv) Biotechnology: A series of new products based on research results and a combination of biotechnology with information technology will help citizens as well as managers quickly detect people suffering from communicable diseases caused by epidemics or viruses so that appropriate treatment or isolation can be taken.
These devices, such as bracelets, hats, personal glasses, and biofilm cameras, are placed everywhere to quickly and directly detect information about an individual's condition, or people with a fever to send to hospitals, or health centers for timely action.
In addition, new processes for researching and producing medicines will be significantly shortened and the time will be in weeks or months, not years.
(v) Robot and automation technology: The use of robots and the process of manufacturing automation and remote control, especially in the field of manufacturing and services, will have a great leap forward.
The most important reason is that robots can operate under any conditions without fear of being infected with diseases, while automation will help to program and control the production process remotely, without interruption in any circumstances or conditions.
The Covid-19 pandemic will also witness the emergence of driverless car technology in the transport sector, not only for passenger cars but also for trucks. Currently, Tesla billionaire Elon Musk is leading in this field.
The Covid-19 epidemic is a major contributor that helps accelerate the development of information technology, biotechnology and automation.
G7 leaders hold unprecedented online meetings during the pandemic.
In addition to the general information about the above-mentioned changes, the health and pandemic prevention areas will have the following important major changes both nationally and internationally:
Firstly, tracking technology, not just identification technology, will have great progress.
Due to the epidemic and the fact that people have to wear masks when going out, certain restrictions for identification cameras are being created. However, tracking technology and tracking traces by mobile phone number (whether the phone is turned on or off) will make it easier for authorities and health officials to track individuals or locations where a person came in contact or approached someone.
To do this, individuals will be required to register their phone numbers with the authorities. This also means that individuals must "voluntarily" give up part of their personal freedom in return for their own safety and that of the community.
Second, states will have to build a new "national health and epidemiological defense" system alongside the traditional defense and security system that everyone knows.
A "national defense and epidemiological defense" system will be built on a new foundation, namely:
- Having a budget large enough to focus on strengthening the work of human resources training, both in terms of quantity and quality, as well as reorganizing the public health apparatus so that this system responds quickly, most effectively, and with the most reasonable cost.
- Increasing health budget to build up strategic medical stockpiles with sufficient quantities of medicines, protective equipment, and basic medical equipment ... to be used in emergencies or when a pandemic appears.
- Policymakers must always have the idea of technologies that can be used for all three purposes for (i) civilians, (ii) public health, (iii) military, not just dual-use technology like before.
- A new concept has been created: "public health service" instead of "military service" as before. The Covid-19 pandemic presents an important gap in the awareness of current national security. Covid-19 showed that "health security" is as important as institutional security or national security.
The reality in many countries shows that the type of "military service" is quite common. When an epidemic occurs, the demand for medicine, doctors and health workers for public health activities soars. Meanwhile, normal soldiers can provide very low support for the service of public health.
Ventilators can be mass produced quickly, but those who know how to use them cannot be mass trained. Having medical equipment is not enough; qualified personnel is also very important.
Therefore, it is necessary to have a new form of organization in society: soldiers who join the army for "public health service". They do not need to be trained as physicians, but must have basic medical service skills.
- Build a national database of personal health records instead of just the current "security records". In fact, the recent Covid-19 pandemic showed that an individual could become a "threat" to national security if their medical history is weak and they are in a high-risk group of spreading infectious diseases to the community.
Therefore, besides "personal identity", each individual can be issued or managed by a "medical identity", which has a rating for "safety" and the ability to spread disease to the community.
Thirdly, in order to control the spread of disease internationally, in addition to ordinary visas, there is the possibility of a kind of 'medical visa' for people who travel, work abroad...
These individuals may have to undergo biological tests or tests for "sufficient" entry conditions such as a history of infectious disease, the ability to spread the virus to the community.
Even countries or regions in the world should be "drawn" or "repositioned" in the "dangerous" or "safe" ranking in terms of health, epidemiology, similar to the "marking" of some countries or regions with a high degree of drugs or terrorism danger.
Fourthly, foreign diplomatic missions can also adjust the organizational structure to suit the new context. At present, the organizational structure of most foreign embassies or diplomatic missions often has departments in fields such as politics, consular, defense, trade and culture.
However, in the new organizational structure, it is possible to have a new title as a specialized health officer, who specializes in monitoring and promoting bilateral health cooperation.
Dr. Hoang Anh Tuan
American scholar Stephen Walt, a realist and an ardent supporter of nationalism, said the post-epidemic world is a world that is less open, less prosperous and less free.
Originally regarded as a "savior", the Covid-19 pandemic has created new skepticism, considering globalization as a "criminal" that spread the coronavirus epidemic across the globe and caused the current disaster.
Some questions must be answered clearly: Where and in what context did Covid-19 appear? Were the World Health Organization's (WHO) detection and warnings timely enough in preventing the pandemic outbreak?
The coronavirus pandemic has not passed, but it has been and will leave severe consequences in all aspects of human life, as well as international relations.