“Epidemics, like disasters, have a way of revealing underlying truths about the societies they impact.”
Five weeks have passed since Anne Applebaum, our Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, first wrote that sentence. But the truths she seeded back in early March are just beginning to flower.
This outbreak is showing the deeper tendencies of governments around the world. Below are glimpses into how four different countries—Britain, Hungary, China, and Brazil—are dealing with this outbreak, and what their responses mean.
Britain pulls back from the edge.
This weekend marked a turning point, Tom McTague writes from London. “These were 48 hours in which Britain reasserted its foundational stability, and in doing so made real change more likely once this is all over.”
This retooling took the form of three events: (1) the election of a new Labour Party leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn; (2) a rare address from the queen; followed by (3) news of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hospitalization (he’s since been moved to intensive care).
President Jair Bolsonaro downplays the virus as a “little flu”—insisting that the economic fallout would be even more deadly. Bolsonaro’s stance has emboldened other hardliners, “but it has also left him isolated and besieged,” Uri Friedman writes.
Local officials, and pot-banging protestors, are pushing back. The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, just won a court battle against Bolsonaro, allowing Witzel to proceed with airport and road closures over the federal government’s objections.
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How can parents best help our children manage their emotional and mental health during the social distancing required to fight the coronavirus pandemic? They’re dealing with a lot of change, stress, and isolation as a result of the pandemic, and I would appreciate any suggestions on how to best help them deal with their feelings.