From the end of 2019, the world has faced with instability resulted from Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic (WTO. (1),2020); a fatal and destructive virus which can have many lessons for the vulnerable world. The virus has spread to the entire world and has affected all of the states of the world which have affected by complicated and interwoven economic, social and spatial actions.
The twenty-first century world is under threat by one of the smallest microscopic families. One of the hypotheses is that because natural order requirements are neglected, the nature has given the clearest answer and reaction and it will continue, if the destruction continues (Andrawes,2020). It is obvious that COVID-19 is not the first and the last one from pandemic diseases in human live, but it is a part of historical process of pandemic diseases and spreadable to the entire world that some other cases will be emerged in the future. So, based on such experiences, WHO, national and local states, civil organizations and citizens should design appropriate and synergic reactionary patterns to confront with them and execute the designs with previous preparations.
The world mutation of the virus is started from a living organism (bat, pangolins or any other creature) in micro space, namely from a local market in Wuhan City (Hui and others,2020:265-266). But, the pattern of virus transmission was in a way that spread to world, rapidly and became a global epidemic and pandemic (Roumina,2020). Local origin, weakness of science, transmission rate, geographic spread pattern, global epidemic, different and doubtful reactions by the states and its destructive and multi-faceted effects can be an experience for the states, citizens and common reactions of the world society to similar threats in the future.
In global scale, the pattern of virus spread is pandemic and has spread to all of the states (WHO,2020). Even the states that have had high level of control power, they have been only able to delay its spread to inside of their territory and have not been made free from economic consequences and global fear from Coronavirus. Today, economic, social and spatial actions in the world are affected by Coronavirus monster. The chain of global production, distribution and consumption is extracted from normal cycle, at least for short term (Nguyen,2020). Because of the decrease in the global production and transportation activities, oil consumption has reached to its lowest rate and its price was negative. Many economic, social, cultural, scientific and administrative activities like business, transportation, trade, education, religious rituals, and tourism etc. activities have been decreased. Decreasing process of global economic growth and falling stock exchange in developed states are emanated from Coronavirus pandemic in the world (The Economic Times,2020). Networked economy and economic interdependence in the world from one hand, and huge effects of this phenomenon on the industrialized developed states are among the issue which will affect the global economy for long time. It seems that heavy shadow of the pattern of global distribution of China’s economic productions is in direct connection with Coronavirus fast spread in the other regions of the world. If this was occurred in any other state in the world, it would not be spread with this speed, geographically/spatially. Spatial and time pattern of Coronavirus spread show China geopolitical power and influence in the other geographic spaces of the world.
Although some states closed their political geographic borders to confront with the virus spread, but they were not successful in this domain and the virus spread to the world. Closing or non- systematic hasty controlling of the borders in local and national scales were the first strategy of the states in which only some states earned relative success (Worldometers Website, 2020). It seems that closing or controlling of the international and internal borders with cellular approach toward geographic space and time as human structure habitations to close or reduce spatial transactions to the extent of inevitable necessities is a geographical strategy which can control epidemic diseases and preserve human immunity and guarantee human health and human structures in micro and macro levels.
But, unfortunately China as the geographic origin of Coronavirus epidemic (Shadi,2020), and then WHO and consequently national states ignored their political/geographic responsibility and also ignored to codify geopolitical strategy to confront with the virus and acted with delay and incompletely and caused spread of the virus in global scale and pandemic. They should accept the consequences of ignoring the mentioned strategy or postpone in taking appropriate measures to control Coronavirus and development of hygienic threats against micro and macro geographic spaces which act as habitations of human structures and human society totality.
At least there is a one difference among the states in the domain of spatial/ geographic reactions towards Coronavirus crisis, and that is the fact that Coronavirus was emanated from Wuhan in central region of China, but China prevented the virus spread to the other spaces of China by taking the strategy of geographic isolation and cutting or decreasing in spatial relations and taking strict state policies (Financial Times,2020). But, some European States, the US and Iran had unsystematic, doubtful and postponed geographic reactions, and caused the virus spread from its origin to the other geographic spaces and caused to incontrollable geographic pollution.
This experience showed that it seems that coherent political systems with higher power of control, ignoring their political ideology, are successful in the domain of human health security than plural political systems and also weak systems. This experience can be starting point in ideological and attitude revolution in the citizens towards political thoughts and state paradigms in the world and can change the citizens’ perceptions and expectations toward the states’ structures and the criteria of legitimacy.
The level of development and extensive relations with China shows that developed states and also the states which are more dependent in the network of China’s economy are more infected by the virus than developing states. These states have the more cases and deaths. It seems that there is a direct relation between the level of economic interdependence with China’s economy and increase in the cases of Coronavirus and its spread (Goldin,2020). This shows high level and multifaceted level of transactions and mutual interdependence between the states and China as the origin of COVID-19 which caused the virus spread to these geographic spaces and located the cycle of virus spread in the patterns of local and regional spatial actions of the other states. This process caused doubled spread of COVID-19 in geographic spaces of the other continents and global epidemic. The spread and epidemic of the virus in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy, Iran, the Middle East, France, Britain, Eastern and Western Europe countries, Russia, the US and Canada etc. that are among developed states or are in connection with China’s economy is explainable in the frame of interdependence model.
In international scale, the states which reduced, controlled or managed spatial transactions and relations with the origin state namely China were less damaged and some states such as Iran that ignored the threat and continue its spatial transactions with China were more damaged.
The infected countries are faced with different challenges in national scale, and their economies have gotten Corona arrangement, formally and informally. Allocation of huge financial resources to prevent, confrontation, supply of medical equipment and supply of medical expenses have put the economies under pressure. From the other hand, crisis in small, medium and large scale firms have caused decrease in national production and have challenged economic growth and development. In informal economic domain, dark economic boom in economic systems which have gaps, have shown their inefficiency in such a situation. This issue is more critical in the states which face with wide spread of the virus and have not had appropriate financial resources and reserves. However, the lost costs in developed states are more than in developing states and they have suffered more.
Medically, healthy human with immune and resistant immunity system are less vulnerable in confrontation with the virus (WHO (2),2020), likewise in national scale, flexible and powerful systems have more power to cross from the crisis and weak systems will be faced with big challenges emanating from Coronavirus crisis. The consequences of Coronavirus crisis may last for several decades in these systems.
Regarding the above mentioned debate, Coronavirus crisis is one of the least experienced geopolitical crises of last decades which spread to the world incredibly fast and have made vulnerable geographic, biological, economic and social security of the spaces and have shocked and crippled the world. No matter where or what it is originated from, its consequences is global. It has spread to the world in a little time, and infected millions of people, and decreased global economic growth in developed states and it may collapse or bankrupt the economies of the developing states. This dangerous enemy has no weaponry and no complicated equipment, but it is developed through persons and needs and human spatial, economic and social transactions and it is become the biggest challenges of the world in short time and has minimized bilateral and multilateral spatial transactions in all local, area, regional, national and global scales.
So, confront with Coronavirus crisis, COVID-19, and newfound and pandemic diseases requires new applied paradigm in human minds which regardless of enemy-making policies originating from power relations, makes cooperation among the states necessary in interdependent and interconnected world in regional and global scales. It is fact that none of the states, even if it is the most powerful state in the world such as the US, cannot confront with the Coronavirus crisis or similar crises per se. As Coronavirus crisis is global, the exit path also requires global thought based on geopolitical strategy.
The experience of this global crisis shows that the virus threat is not limited to one or several states, but its threat and spread in a state means the threat and spread to the all of states and human being and living on planet earth (WTO (3),2020). Also, control and confront with this threat goes beyond from a state power or regional political system such as the EU. For this reason, there is not an alternative than dependence on multilateral cooperation and participation of all of the states. This crisis can form a geopolitical cooperation pattern base on peace for newfound crises.
Dimensions of geopolitical strategy to confront and control of the pandemic epidemics similar to Coronavirus in the world are as under:
1.preliminary and immediate responsiveness of Security Council and General Assembly of the UN as an institution of political management of global space in considering pandemic epidemics as threats to international security and then mobilization of the states and governments to control and confront with it by central role of WHO;
2.inherent responsiveness of WHO to manage operational project of controlling and confronting with epidemics at their preliminary stages and not to find moral suggestions and consultants sufficient;
3.creation of common perception and approach towards epidemics among all of the UN member states as a threat to national security for all of the nations and states;
4.take initiatives to international cooperation and creation of powerful mechanism to form rapid and effective inter-state cooperation to confront with epidemics in regional and global scales by WHO;
5.organizing of operational teams to international technical and consulting helps and supports to the state or states infected by epidemics;
6.duties division and obligations related to public responsiveness of the states to confront with epidemics and mobilization of international and non-infected states facilities to support infected states by WHO;
7.establish united spatial political management among international, regional, national, sub-national, local and residential levels in coordination with WHO and local states to organized, effective and targeted confront with the epidemics;
8.having perception of national security threat towards epidemics spread to internal space of the territory of the states and nation’s habitations by national states;
9.having cellulous approach towards spaces and places of human living in micro scale (family scale of resident, proffered);
10.establish technical, institutional and specialized systems to national monitor and alarm in relation with newfound epidemeis, even usual epidemics in the state;
11.rapid and effective responsiveness of national states to control and confront with microbial threats and preserve bio security of citizens and habitations against epidemics;
12.rapid activation of controlling function and possibly closing the borders and land, air and sea border gates and decrease or stop spatial/ geographic transactions in social, economic and cultural facets with abroad in particular with the infected states and geographic spaces;
13.structural and functional organizing and to give the power and authority to the national and local operating systems to confront with epidemics;
14.emergency isolation and strict control and decrease in geographic (spatial / place) transactions in interstate scales which are suspected to be infected;
15.exertion of hygienic controls to infected persons and isolation of their place from other citizens;
16.justifying citizens and civil institutions in relation with legal and moral responsiveness against other citizen's health and invitation to cooperate with the states and plans of control and confront with epidemics;
17.establish or organizing of sustainable bio-army institution against future biological threats to the state due to supply and guarantee hygienic, food, physical and psychological security of citizens and inner geographic places and spaces of the state;
18.establish united multi-level and multi-faceted management system with accrue duty division between national, province, local and residential levels in a situation of epidemics and pandemics in the state;
19.taking policies and compensatory actions by the central and local states to supply public social welfare services, biological immunity, hygienic and medical services, losing jobs, economic and financial supports etc. in pandemic period to the vulnerable and damaged citizens and paying the costs from national and public resources;
20.permanent monitoring of epidemic situation and simultaneously with starting process of spatial/ social contraction in the state, execution of gradual process of decrease in geographic/ social limitations in national and local levels by the central state and normalization of living situation of the citizens in the country and reaching at final stage of the crisis.