The Spanish flu was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, claiming up to 50 million lives worldwide between 1918 and 1919. It has many parallels with the current coronavirus and the international community would do well to learn from such past pandemics. For every flu death back then, four people survived, but became impoverished. In order to prevent such a scenario, we need to act now to utilise and adapt social protection systems to provide rapid, non-bureaucratic assistance to people.
European public opinion seems to react quickly to perceived crises of the day, but past opinion polls show that support to international cooperation remains stable even in times of crises. Will this change in the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, which has raised questions of the effectiveness of our global governance?
Most of Europe is in lockdown, trying to cope with the huge implications of the battle against the novel coronavirus. Africans are following what is happening on the other side of the Mediterranean with relief that Africa is not currently the epicentre of the crisis, but also with a troubled gaze.
All eyes are on London, and specifically the House of Commons, right now. Political dynamics in Brussels fundamentally changed right