The coronavirus pandemic is still raging, especially in Europe and the USA. In addition to the search for a way out, the question already arises: What can we learn from this catastrophe? Doctor and medical journalist Dr. speaks with ntv.de Christoph Specht does just that.
ntv.de: Mr. Dr. Woodpecker, the coronavirus pandemic is far from over. Nevertheless, we would like to draw a kind of interim conclusion. In your view, what is the most important lesson from this crisis?
Dr. Specht: I think the most important lesson from the crisis is the realization that such a pandemic can take place. Scientists, virologists and epidemiologists have always warned in recent decades that we are facing such a pandemic. Only when it would happen and to what extent was not clear. Many also expected to have influenza viruses. That is also the reason why people looked so closely at swine flu in 2009. But it can obviously also be coronaviruses that bother us. And the next pandemic can hit us every day. And, of course, she would also take no account of the currently rampant situation.
Globalization has also been linked to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But how big is your role in this, after all there have been pandemics again and again throughout human history?
Indeed, there have always been pandemics. Of course, only globalization has meant that not only ourselves, but also the viruses can travel very quickly around the world with us. It was once calculated that a person can be anywhere in the world within 36 hours – not just the big cities, but also some completely sleepy nest in a jungle. So we are so closely networked, which of course increases the rate of spread of such a pandemic significantly. For example, compared to the pandemics of the previous century and before.
An obvious disadvantage of globalization is that in the current crisis, the supply of urgently needed medical materials such as breathing masks is becoming scarce. Will we have to create more of our own production capacities in Germany and Europe in the future?
In the years leading up to this pandemic, there were already many problems with delivery bottlenecks when it came to medication and, above all, antibiotics. Now we were shown even more clearly that we clearly have to focus more on ourselves when it comes to the manufacture and supply of important medicines, but also important aids such as protective equipment. Due to globalization, care was naturally taken to ensure that medical products can be bought cheaply anywhere. But the downside of this coin is that we made ourselves dependent. So here is the clear signal that at least in Europe we will have to keep parts of our production going, or at least an emergency production that can be ramped up if necessary.
That would mean reducing globalization a bit. But isn’t close international cooperation also very important at the same time in order to counter dangers like a global pandemic?
Indeed, pandemics know no boundaries, as the current one clearly shows. Especially since we are so closely intertwined in the world, especially economically, that we cannot easily establish former borders again. Of course we have to work more together. Ultimately, a pandemic can only be solved in a network. But this current crisis has also shown where the weaknesses in this cooperation are, for example in Europe. From my personal point of view, European unity was not particularly pronounced in the time before Corona. But now it is even more apparent to me that the need for European unity is not far off in the view of some states.
With Dr. Christoph Specht spoke to Kai Stoppel.
More interviews with Dr. You can find woodpecker on the subject of corona virus here: