The Coronavirus Crisis: Only a Health Crisis? Part I of: What Type of Crisis is This? A lecture in four parts for Ars Electronica 2020.
The coronavirus crisis is not only a health crisis but marks a crisis in society. The course of the pandemic illustrates how society in every country functions, e.g. how politics works, which areas of society are affected, how people react and what options for the future are available. However an comprehensive global reaction has taken place in a way that has never been observed before. It seems that the approach China chose gave a model to the rest of the world. The coronavirus shock triggered the biggest economic crisis in 100 years. It has led to a sharp decline in economic performance and high levels of unemployment in most countries. In reaction to this immensely large sums of money have been announced or spent in the world’s wealthier countries on policies to support the economy. The sums are greater than the measures taken to counter the financial crisis in 2008 and the economic crisis in 2009. The still-rising prices on the stock markets can be taken as an indication that investors are hoping that these rescue packages prove effective. But this is uncertain. A long lasting economic crisis or a deep crash on the stock markets is also possible.