Ten things to know about our COVID-19 world
GPS webinar series explores the global policy implications of the coronavirus
June 29, 2020 | By Wendy Hunter Barker | GPS News
It is not hyperbole to say that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has impacted nearly every facet of our lived experience as global citizens. From personal and community health, to employment and one’s ability to earn a living, to freedoms including travel and consumerism, we have all been affected.
The lessons we are learning about COVID-19 are coming fast and furious. While we have lived with this virus for less than a year, and the epidemiological knowledge changes by the day, clear trends are already emerging in the social sciences.
The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) recently produced a nine-part webinar series to explore “The Global Impacts of COVID-19.” The series featured relevant research from the school’s renowned faculty, as they shared key take-aways and established knowledge on how the pandemic has already transformed the globe.
Here, we highlight 10 lessons learned from the webinars, which ranged in topics from the global economy, to healthcare, to the environment:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test of the U.S.-China relationship — and the relationship has failed this test,” according to Susan Shirk, research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center. The U.S. and China put aside political differences and had high levels of cooperation during SARS, which helped bring the virus under control relatively quickly when compared to our current pandemic. However, domestic missteps in both China and the U.S., coupled with the fraught diplomatic climate between the two countries has led to mutual suspicion and blame, and has ultimately impacted global health.
The Mexican death rate from the virus is relatively high. There are many factors that contribute to this, one being the high rates of obesity and diabetes in Mexican adults. These comorbidities can be seen in other countries with unequal health systems, including the U.S., which suffers from pronounced health inequity. In the U.S., the virus is disproportionately affecting Hispanic and Black Americans who have social determinants that lead to increased cases of diabetes, hypertension and more.
Governments around the world have spent a copious amount of time and energy ensuring their citizens continue to have income during this pandemic, and yet the global economy continues to suffer. The reason is simple: it is supply, not demand, that is driving the contraction. “The stimulus is getting money into people’s hands, but the stimulus can’t help the supply chains, and it can’t help get goods moving again,” said Renee Bowen, associate professor and director of the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy. Until goods begin flowing again, the global economy won’t recover.
Everyone around the world seems to have their eyes trained on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, and yet, there is much we could be doing to benefit societal health right now. According to Associate Teaching Professor Gordon McCord, we can, and should, be investing in the public health system. “There is a lot we can be doing to emulate the success of countries in the Asia Pacific region while we are waiting for testing, treatment and vaccines to come online. There’s a lot that we know how to do to invest in international health systems and investing in front line workers,” suggested McCord.
With local commutes suspended and commercial airlines grounded, people in highly polluted areas are joyous at seeing the blue of the skies and mountain ridges in the distance. Should we be hoping for a greener future? “This is a very painful way to reduce emissions, and we don’t know that it’s going to have a long-term systemic impact,” Assistant Professor Michael Davidson said. In order to keep their economy moving, China has approved the building of a number of coal plants. And the high-level diplomatic talks that were scheduled this year, with CO2 emissions as a top topic of discussion, have been postponed. When they resume, will climate stay a priority? Or will trade and the revival of the global economy take center stage?
“The workplace post-COVID is not going to look like the workplace pre-COVID ever again,” foretells Josh Graff Zivin, GPS professor and director of the Center on Global Transformation. Changes in floorplans, the viability and desirability of working from home, and how managers train and supervise their staff are all going to change and remain altered for the foreseeable future.
“American citizens reacted very differently to COVID … in what they thought the government response should be based on whether politically they were on the left or on the right,” mused Barbara Walter, GPS professor and director of Political Violence @ A Glance, an award-winning online magazine. Where people are situated in the economy has a lot to do with how they are reacting, and this plays out in the protests we are seeing, according to the panelists. In the U.S., mobilization on the right is increasing, while the left is mobilized, but fragmented.
“At one point in March, there were 1.5 billion children out of school worldwide. This has never happened before,” said Emiliana Vegas, a senior fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. This then begs the question: will this further exacerbate the learning gap between higher socioeconomic and poorer children? We are still waiting, but previous research suggests it will. The question will then become: what can we do to mitigate that effect?
And takeaway #10 from the seminars? It’s an important one. Your voice is needed. We are entering an unprecedented time in modern history, and we need informed, committed people guiding the future of our global society. Keep learning, keep inquiring and raise your voice to be heard. For our part, we at GPS hope this webinar series helped you in that endeavor.
- Ten things to know about our COVID-19 world
- Class of 2020 shines brightly in the face of adversity
- Students honored for academic achievements, contributions to GPS community
- Juneteenth and the GPS Community
- Statement on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery
- A day in the life of a remote student
- Ulrike Schaede and the business reinvention of Japan
- Robertson Fellows show commitment to public service
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Jessica Keegan MAS '16 of the International Republican Institute
- A rundown of binge-worthy shows and films
- Global connections foster global solutions
- Taking the reins at CGT
- A message from Dean Cowhey on COVID-19
- A gift to enhance U.S.-China relations
- Reflections of a harrowing journey through China's turbulent revolution
- A day in the life of a teaching assistant
- Ensuring diversity and inclusion
- Deploying mangroves to fight climate change
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Alisha Tomita-Yu ’16 of Oracle
- Student group puts focus on China
- Decoding the Hong Kong protests – and more
- Is the MPP the right degree for me?
- Through knowledge we gain understanding
- Mapping a cleaner San Diego
- A day in the life of a NCAA Woman of the Year Honoree
- Nirupama Rao defines the future of Indo-Pacific relations
- Winter reading for the bibliophile
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Maura Deignan
- Leading from the front
- Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies expands research on drug war and migrant crisis
- A marriage of policy and advocacy
- Decarbonizing the grid
- Sylff Fellows translate vision into reality
- Stanford study finds poor air quality responsible for one in five infant deaths in sub‑Saharan Africa
- Office hours: Associate Professor Jennifer Burney
- Class of 2018 graduates embody global citizenry and leadership
- Science Policy Fellows program nurtures effective interdisciplinary scholars
- Building cross-border relationships
- Geoengineering a greener future
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Adnan Saygili
- Celebrating academic excellence
- Painting the picture of an MPP student’s day
- Gregory Lee looks at the future of digital health and technology
- A sustainable seafood hero
- Pass the pen: Alumnae nominated spotlight
- Campus recognizes alumni as leaders and changemakers
- Innovation in mobile technology
- Ian Johnson chronicles the rise of religion in China
- Writing the book on China’s economic policy
- Broadening horizons through international experience at BCG
- Office hours: Professor Gordon McCord
- New evening option for working professionals
- China's infrastructure investment as a development strategy
- Rethinking the war on drugs in Mexico
- Creating theoretical frameworks
- Nurturing future leaders at TechPolis
- The future is female
- Jamal Russell Black on Veridian Analytics' entrepreneurial spirit
- Love is in the air
- A day in the life of an MCEPA student
- Health and human capital
- Eduardo Porter finds journalistic inspiration at GPS
- Technology assessment at the nexus of STEM and policy
- IGCC receives coveted UC research grant
- Battery storage at the center of energy policy
- Researching how humans and the environment interact
- Office hours: Professor Ulrike Schaede
- Fighting wildfires with web based imagery
- United we dream
- Our 2017-2018 Boren Fellows
- Applying game theory to study behaviors
- Students craft views on climate change at COP23
- Molding future technical experts
- Why GPS: A niche in life
- The art of entrepreneurship
- Solar energy and pursuing the policy dream
- Social entrepreneur and first time author Ken Davenport ’90 of “The Two Gates”
- Why GPS: Discovering a passion for all things math
- Our 2017-18 Dean’s Fellows
- A Living, Learning Laboratory
- A ‘Prep Program’ for success, before day one
- Office hours: Professor Gordon Hanson
- Adding to a truly interdisciplinary academic environment
- Why GPS: Apply now and figure it out later
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Noritoshi Kurokawa
- West Coast-Trained for a Washington, D.C. Think Tank
- Linked in Latin America
- Facilitating a ‘family affair’
- Nico Ravanilla retreats to Oxford for research
- 2016 alumni remember their first year in the real world
- Pioneering international excellence
- Research at the border: A living laboratory of transformation