No matter where you are, you have come to the end of 2020. This is a miserable year on a global scale. Since the discovery of COVID-19, 80 million people have been infected worldwide and 1.7 million people have died, and the number of deaths is still increasing. In many countries, increased insecurity, inequality and civil strife have exacerbated this situation.
Therefore, it is not surprising that most people are not optimistic about the coming year. Australia, the United States and Canada are among the countries with the highest percentage of Google searches, including the words "2021" and "fear".
However, it may be time to ease your worries. There are three reasons:
1. In 2021, almost all countries will use the COVID-19 vaccine
Earlier this month, the United Kingdom became the first Western country to launch a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a feat of extraordinary human talent and global solidarity.
This is the fastest vaccine in our history. In less than three months since the COVID-19 gene sequence was announced, four vaccine candidates are ready for human trials. The last record was four years after the mumps vaccine was developed in the 1960s.
With the development of more than 200 candidate vaccines, the future has a bright future. There are 11 projects in the final testing stage, and 4 candidate projects have shown amazing results, some of which boast efficiency over 90%.
The good news doesn't stop there. In an unprecedented move, almost 189 economies around the world have signed COVAX, a breakthrough mechanism led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and other international organizations. The goal is to bring 2 billion doses of the new vaccine to those who need it most, including the lowest-income countries in the world.
The coming year will certainly not solve all the problems in the world. But 2020 proves the resilience and originality of our human collective.
2. In 2021, multilateralism will return to the world stage
According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD), in addition to devastating casualties, the COVID-19 pandemic has also eliminated jobs created since the Great Depression, and global GDP is estimated to have fallen by 4.2%. development of. The crisis is also accelerating the development of trends, for better or worse, such as the digitization of the economy and the risk of exacerbating previous inequalities. It has once again become the focus of attention! -The close interdependence of our economy.
These challenges emphasize the need for coordinated and collective policy responses in an interconnected global economy, as opposed to unilateral, introverted and beggar-thy-neighbor policies that are at a deadlock.
The outcome of this year's G-20 meeting of major economies is a glimmer of hope in this regard, and it provided a strong financial response to this crisis of approximately US$11 trillion. Its debt service suspension plan will reduce the impact of the crisis on the lowest-income countries. The leaders’ summit in November conveyed a unified and stable position on climate change.
Hope this is just the first step. Next year, the new US government will support multilateralism. The government hopes to put “diplomacy first” and will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. The United Kingdom and Italy, respectively chairmen of the G7 and G20, will co-host COP26 and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, while the European Union and China both pledged to achieve climate neutrality by the middle of this century. Restarting multilateralism is not easy, but if there is the will, there will definitely be a way.
3. In 2021, fake news will finally subside
In this illusion, anti-scientific "facts" seem to have spread across every screen age, and it seems that so-called "anti-vaxxers", climate change deniers and flat earth conspirators have won the debate. But this may change. The Covid19 Infodemics Observatory, which tracks misinformation about the pandemic, noted that as the disease began to spread, thousands of unverified Twitter accounts began posting false news about the vaccine-but failed to attract followers.
After viewing 519 million tweets on this topic worldwide, the Observatory concluded that more than 71% of news can be classified as shared reliable news. Robots may still be in full swing, but the world may have begun to ignore them.
Most major mainstream news media have also begun to deal with fake news and provide fact-checking services on their platforms. Twitter introduced tags that identify potentially harmful or misleading messages, which reduced the number of tweets for quotations related to the US election by 29%. The Partnership for Statistics for the 21st Century (PARIS21) and other organizations have begun to take action to build people’s trust in data.
In fact, social media can greatly help science fight back in 2021. A new collaboration called Team Halo will enable scientists engaged in COVID-19 vaccine research to interact with the public and share videos on these platforms to explain their research. The hashtag #TeamHalo, released a few weeks ago, has become all the rage on TikTok.
Antonio Gramsci once famously said: "Because of intellect, I am a pessimist, but because of my will, I am an optimist." The coming year will certainly not solve all the problems in the world. But 2020 proves the resilience and originality of our human collective. No mountain is too high, there are no challenges that we cannot solve, including the challenges we create for ourselves.