In many respects, the COVID pandemic has been a huge litmus test: from our capacity to devise rapid responses at the medical level to the sustainability of our transition to a low-carbon future, to how society acts and reacts in the face of a deadly virus. International affairs have not been spared.
We often discuss single events: we see Russia announcing its own unproven version of the vaccine in September, we reflect on how countries run by populist leaders and outright COVID deniers are faring if compared to others, and try to assess how lockdowns might strain the relationship between democracy, privacy, and personal freedoms. But all these events reveal something about the current state of world affairs.
In a world in which the logic of the “winner takes all”, and “everyone for themselves”, is prevailing, the COVID pandemic has exposed once again absence of effective multilateral responses.