Now is the time to enthusiastically start a new year

Now is the time to enthusiastically start a new year and turn the page on the past twelve months.

Traditionally, therefore, it is time for assessments and perspectives!

We are still far from knowing in detail the future societal economic and geopolitical consequences induced by the past year: our lives were turned upside down, we had the impression that our freedoms were restricted, the states were richer and the banks power stations poured out a deluge of money to avoid collapse and acquire the first doses of vaccine.

This Covid crisis has highlighted the vulnerability and unpreparedness of our banking, political and health systems and has been the occasion for competition between our democracies and the authoritarian models in force in Beijing or Moscow.

Are we going to witness a shift in history?

A year ago almost to the day – January 9, 2020 – the Covid 19 virus was formally identified and the level of emergency decreed by the WHO for China, but not for the rest of the world, still far from suspecting the coming tsunami

It was not until January 25 – in the midst of the Chinese New Year – for a state of health war to be declared and January 30 for the international emergency to be declared.

In February 2020, Sylvie Briand, Director of the Pandemic Department of WHO, congratulated the courage and civil conscience of China, which without hesitation has confined 50 million people to stem the epidemic.

Now, as Wuhan seems to have returned to normal life, the Chinese president is using the enviable argument of the country’s economic recovery to establish his position as a providential man. Since then China has been trying to present itself as a supplier of “post-covid solutions” but this discourse only takes hold in one part of the world: more than ever it remains a divisive power.

What about the USA where in three months more than 350,000 people have been killed – more than three times higher than that of the soldiers who fell in Vietnam – and where millions of Americans have lost their jobs: unheard of? since the great depression of the 1930s!

Verbal contests will follow, widely reported by the media, in which Beijing and Washington will clash relentlessly.

For Donald Trump, China is solely responsible for this cataclysm and he will even go so far as to suspend financial support to the WHO, which he accuses of being at the hands of the Chinese government.

He will spread rumors that the virus is in fact part of the Wuhan P4 Institute of Virology.

The Chinese authorities will retaliate by accusing the US of diverting public attention from its mismanagement by fabricating these false allegations. He will even go so far as to claim that the virus was in fact imported as early as October 2020 by American soldiers during the military world games held in… Wuhan.

However, it is likely that the shift to Asia is not yet for tomorrow.

The American model, despite its undeniable weaknesses, has a real rebound capacity and remains the most attractive: this is where young people want to migrate!

In the meantime, the world has been brought to its knees and if eyes out of habit have turned to China and the USA to follow these heavy exchanges, we can only observe a clear strategic weakening of Europe.

The omnipotence of the state does not seem to have been synonymous with efficiency in the management of this crisis and there is still a lot to say … and to consolidate.

Many uncertainties remain on the eve of this new year.

So what to wish?

Wisdom prompts me to borrow the formulation of a sort of “preamble to the vows” from an Austrian writer whose excerpt from his letters to a young poet I let you ponder:

“For now, let’s live with the questions. Perhaps one day we will step in like this little by little without noticing it inside the answer.” *
Happy New Year everyone !

* Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)