the little virus that could

Do you remember the book we used to read to our children about the little train that could? It dawned on me recently that Covid-19 is “That Little Virus That Could“.

What do I mean? Consider the following. For the last seven months the world has been preoccupied with the immediate effects and direct impacts of this pandemic. The list includes impacts on world heath and economies, education, social interaction, work habits, travel, sports, mental health, domestic abuse, to name a few. Surely, the list of the direct impacts is robust. But what about the pandemic’s implications for the world from a long term political and geopolitical perspective?

We need only look at the United States and the current presidential election to see that the pandemic is a very significant factor, maybe even the single most important factor, in deciding the election. The campaigns, each in their own way, have made the pandemic a significant election issue. The Biden campaign points to Trump’s handling of the pandemic as a bell weather issue which they insist demands Trump’s defeat. The Trump campaign argues that Trump is responsible for the pre-pandemic robust economy and only he can restore the economy to its pre-Covid-19 levels. Whomever the electorate chooses, the long term implications for both domestic and international policy are enormous for the two candidates posses starkly different views and advocate polar policies. This same phenomena is repeating itself in countries all across the globe.

Who would have ever though that the Corona virus would be The Little Virus That Could change the trajectory of the world?

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