48. Coronavirus borders. The strange case of pandemic nationalism

Nationalism is a feeling that I have observed with fascination in recent times. Brexit and Trump’s America First are just a couple of examples of movements which seek to build walls (virtual, although in extreme cases and for symbolic reasons real) between those born in different countries. Nations have been around for several thousand years and they are really ingrained in our thinking. Coronavirus provides a startling example of this. Its effects are being reported strictly in national terms. The coverage cares only about the numbers in our country, whichever one that turns out to be. We compare to other countries in competitive terms, to try to deduce who is handling it better, in some kind of perverse Pandemic Nations League, which is filling the gap normally occupied by sporting events. It is hard to think of many problems which are as global in their nature as a global pandemic is but, in the public consciousness, they are still bewilderingly understood in strictly national terms

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Unknown said…
Well summarised, do you think the media cause the competitive approach?
Did you receive my email? A quick response would be appreciated.


SantiDominguezV said…
Hi, Doug. Sorry for the slow response and thank you for the comment! I have no doubt that the media cause the competitive approach. The interesting question is, however: 'do the media create it or do the media respond to the fact that their readers think in those terms'. Either way, it is a self-reinforcing process which will be hard to stop.
Not sure about the email, i think i have answered everything pending, unless i missed something...

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