Hindsight is 2020, foresight is 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the lives of almost everyone on the planet, causing more than four million recorded deaths, changing the way we travel, work, and socialize, as well as reducing the global economic output by trillions of dollars. As such, the pandemic has reinforced the willingness to engage in strategic foresight and to «think about the unthinkable».
This week’s featured graphic shows Germany’s crisis management structures on federal and on Bundesländer level. For more on Germany’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rethinking of its civil protection, read Benjamin Scharte’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.
This graphic shows the intended usage of government benefits to address the impacts of the pandemic in Armenia. It can be observed that most assistance is directed towards consumption of primary goods and covering bills. Furthermore, it can be seen that in rural areas, as well as in the capital city Yerevan, social assistance programs covering utility bills substantially increased the consumption of primary products, an observation that may be attributed to the fungibility of money. Still, over 1.5% of the population claimed (at least as an intention) to save the funds. Meanwhile, a disproportionately high share of the announced usage of the funds is directed toward servicing debts, especially in urban areas outside Yerevan, where poverty levels are high.
For more on the mitigation of the social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the three South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, read this issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest.
Why has the coronavirus affected some territories more than others? This week’s featured graphic illustrates the hotspots for outbreaks of new and recurring diseases. For more on global health security and infectious disease containment, read Ursula Jasper’s CSS Analyses here.
This graphic illustrates how pandemic preparation in Switzerland has developed over the past 25 years as a step-by-step learning process in step with international developments. The most important driving forces behind the accelerating national and international pandemic preparations were the epidemics and pandemics that occurred between 2002 and 2010: above all the SARS outbreak in Asia in 2002/03, the worldwide spread of the avian flu virus H5N1 from 2004 and the “swine flu” pandemic in 2009/10.
For more on Switzerland’s coronavirus crisis management during the first wave of the pandemic, read our newly published Bulletin 2020 in Swiss Security Policy here (in German).