In 2020, the world was hit by an unprecedented disaster – COVID-19. With 70 million confirmed cases, 1.6 million deaths, stagnant people, the global economy is in the worst recession since World War II…
Life is slowly recovering, but the coronavirus has undoubtedly been deeply imprinted in everyone’s memory. What will this memory leave for mankind in the end? Lockdown? Social distancing? Or is it a better response in the face of a new epidemic in the future?
The Paper International launched a series of reports on “Global Epidemic Record”, reviewing the joys and sorrows experienced by people in many countries in the past year, outlining the unprecedented picture of the world under the epidemic, and looking forward to where mankind and the earth will go.
In December, as the buzzing U.S. election ended, the coronavirus epidemic worsened. According to the epidemic data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on December 19, 40359 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in the United States on the 18th, setting a record for the highest number of new confirmed cases in a single day in a country by nearly double the increase; 2,756 new deaths. Previously, the highest number of new confirmed cases in the United States in a single day was 244,011 reported on December 11.
As of December 22, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 18 million, of which more than 310,000 people died – you are right. This is the cruel reality facing the world’s only superpower today.
In April, when the number of confirmed cases worldwide exceeded 1 million, Feng Daxuan, a famous physicist who was former vice president of Texas University in Dallas and vice president of Tsinghua University and the University of Macao in Taiwan, told The Paper (www.thepaper.cn) that the impact of the coronavirus on the United States is unprecedented. .
In July, the second wave of epidemic in the United States returned. The scholar, who has lived in the U.S. for more than 40 years, once again expressed his disappointment, anger and incomprehension of the U.S. response to the epidemic.
After the U.S. election, The Paper interviewed the nearly 80-year-old man again at the end of the year. Feng Daxuan said that when a chaotic political system can still “self-correct”, it means that there is still hope for the system.
New York Times columnist Friedman believes that the 2020 U.S. election was the victory of Abraham Lincoln over George B. McClellan during the Civil War in 1864. McClellan) The greatest embodiment of the vitality of American democracy since General.
However, the hundreds of thousands of patients who have fallen seriously or died of illness due to the coronavirus epidemic are no longer able to participate in the election. No one can count exactly how many Americans’ lives have been affected and changed this year due to the epidemic.
Feng Daxuan said that the global coronavirus pandemic has exposed many problems in society. The relationship between people needs to be reconsidered, and people’s way of thinking has also changed greatly. Feng Daxuan, who wrote the book Global Renewal of Higher Education and has long been concerned about higher education, actively organized and launched online activities such as the Global University Presidents Forum during the epidemic. He said that it is difficult to count how many offline activities have changed to online, or simply launched from online. It is also difficult to find out the way, depth and breadth of people’s communication, and how much change and expansion has taken place due to the outbreak of the epidemic.
Thanks to the pandemic, this may be an unexpected gain in the year of the coronavirus.
I have been under “home arrest” almost always from February 2020 to the present. I only went out with my wife to buy vegetables once a week or two with a mask. Because of this, our car has not been refueled for three months. My last long trip was in February, when I went to San Francisco for a meeting, and then I didn’t go far away.
Although no one can run, I think another interesting thing is happening. Because everyone is “banned”, more and more activities are forced to move to the Internet. I now have to attend a lot of activities online every day, almost two or three online meetings every day, which is really busy.
That’s why the coronavirus epidemic has not cut off my communication with the world, so I’m actually in a good mood. In 2020, I not only finished writing what I had been wanting to write, but also more than 2,000 people came to my online new book launch conference, and also came from all over the world, which was also an unexpected gain. For me, while I was “home arrest” by COVID-19, I’ve “run” more of the world — I’ve been on the web platform to communicate with you, and my thoughts have been traveling.
About four months ago, I started to promote a principal’s forum. The first time I presided over, the main content was the dialogue with Chen Yongcai, President of the National University of Singapore, and Chen Fanchang, President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (former President of the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong). Several presidents are Chinese. At that time, more than 700 people from five continents participated.
On January 15, 2021, we will hold the second president’s forum. The president of the Southern University of Science and Technology of China will have a dialogue with the president of an Israeli university, and the president of the National University of Singapore will become the host.
If you want to do this kind of thing before the outbreak of the epidemic, firstly, you need to find funds, and secondly, you need to find places. Others don’t want to fly so far for a short meeting, and now everyone has completely changed their minds.
Can Biden “fix the United States”?
Being a big country like the United States, in my opinion, the coronavirus epidemic is a stress test for the American system. However, in front of the world, the United States has lost a big face, which exposes that the United States has very serious institutional shortcomings.
Through this epidemic, it is obvious that a large number of people in the United States do not believe in science. Although the United States has the best universities in the world, its people can be so “disconnected” from science. I believe that the American education community needs to reassess where American education failed.
Speaking of the newly elected President of the United States, Biden and I have had some intersections with him. Anyone familiar with Biden’s experience knows that during his more than 30 years as a senator in Washington, he has been on a train for nearly four hours a day to and from his home in Washington and Delaware, in order to accompany his two sons from time to time.
From 1997 to 1998, I happened to be a vice president of a company in Washington, often taking the train. Many people will squeeze in the dining car for some coffee in the morning. Biden is a senator, so people often chat around him. I found this person very interesting. When he chats with people, he usually calls others with his first name and treats people very easy-going.
One day, I met him in the dining car and said a few words. He politely asked me, “Hey buddy, what’s your name?” Hey man, what’s your name?) I said, “My name is Daxuan.” ( My name is Da Xuan). He learned to say my name and immediately said, “Did I pronounce it correctly?” Do I pronounce it correctly?) I said “Of course.” That’s right).
After that, we drank coffee on the train two or three times. When we met him, he immediately called me “Hey Daxuan.” Hello, Daxuan).
Although Trump’s defeat to Biden this time has at least saved the United States a little face, I believe that if there was no epidemic, Trump would have won. That’s why Biden, while funny and easygoing, doesn’t tell how great he is. Is he great? This will take time to test. Can Biden repair so much damage Trump has done in the face of such great difficulties? This is only time to give the answer.
“Epidemic is not a fundamental problem around the world”
In April 2020, an old colleague of mine in Philadelphia died after contracting COVID-19. This is an American I know who died of COVID-19.
What will Christmas look like in 2020 and New Year 2021? I don’t know, but I’m sure it won’t be very good. Because it is obvious that the United States wants to control the spread of the epidemic, and a similar approach to China is the only way. All countries that have successfully controlled the epidemic use more or less similar methods to China. Although not exactly the same, most people in American society seem unable to accept such methods.
The leaders of the federal government and state governments certainly bear a lot of responsibility for the epidemic to get out of control, such as not comprehensively promoting wearing masks in the early stage. However, there are also many people who oppose wearing masks, and I don’t know what logic is in it. Some people say that wearing masks is a violation of his human rights, which I don’t understand or understand. In the end, I may have been in the United States for more than 30 years, and I am not considered an “American”.
This global pandemic is a reminder that people-to-people relationships need to be reconsidered.
Our fundamental problem is not the coronavirus epidemic. Sooner or later, the epidemic will pass. Our fundamental problem is the problem of global climate change, which is the real problem. In this epidemic, I have not seen obvious international cooperation, and major countries have not taken the lead, which is very disappointing. Global problems require international cooperation.