Before COVID-19, the world was already experiencing heightened disruption. Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, China’s growing assertiveness, rising nationalism and the increasingly competitive relationship between the world’s two great powers had dramatically destabilised the global order.
Then came the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is a new scale of disruption that could further unravel or even destroy the rules-based system we have known since World War II. There has been a shocking loss of life, with more to come. Statistics and graphs go some way to capturing the devastation, but the images of overwhelmed hospitals, mass graves and fearful communities speak universally and powerfully. It is a shared experience of grief.